Chatting with Luther: the 4th DAAD-IMLR German writing competition

Following on from the success of their last three German writing competitions, the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) are again joining forces to launch the fourth challenge for all learners and lovers of German.

This year, the task ties in with the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s publication of his 95 theses, which sparked the Reformation and triggered a series of religious wars across Europe.

Budding story-tellers are asked to put themselves in the shoes of a time-travelling spy: you overhear a conversation between Luther or one of his German, Austrian or Swiss contemporaries (real or imagined) and a figure from public life in 2017 Britain. Is the German-speaking 16th-century time traveller debating Brexit with Boris Johnson or comparing sporting skills with Andy Murray? Does Jamie Oliver try to revolutionise the cooking skills of Reformation Germany? Write down what you hear!

There are only two rules: the dialogue must be written in German and it must not be longer than 350 words.

As in previous years, the competition is open to secondary school students, sixth-formers, undergraduates, postgraduates and anybody else who feels up to the challenge. Submissions, which must be entered online here, are welcome from single authors and from pairs of contributors. The competition closes on 23 October.

Prizes of books, a workshop with translation and theater practitioners and VIP guided tours through exhibitions in London, will be awarded to winners and runners-ups at an event in London on 11 December.

The competition is organised by the DAAD London, the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) and the Goethe Institute London, and is supported by the German and the Swiss Embassies in London and the Austrian Cultural Forum.

Image: © Shutterstock_Elena-Dijour