Swiss Creative Writing Prize


Almost 100 short stories and more than 40 poems were submitted for the 2018-2019 Swiss Creative Writing Prize. Entries came from all over Switzerland.

After considerable amont of deliberation the short story and poetry judges selected short- and long-lists and 20 writers and poets were invited to the Lili Centre in Lucerne for craft workshops and the prize-giving.


The top three prizes in the Short Story category were awarded to:

1st Prize: Amara Cespedes, Kantonsschule Kreuzlingen, Dear Father
2nd Prize: Janine Lia Horisberger, Liceo Artistico, On the other side of the glass
3rd Prize: 
Chloé Frampton, Collège Sismondi, Guerra Island

The top three prizes in the Poetry category were awarded to:

1st Prize: Ronja Fankhauser, Gymnasium Hofwil, Mum looks like she cried again
2nd Prize: Chloé FramptonCollège Sismondi, We are the run of water
3rd Prize: 
Kai BertschiFreies Gymnasium Zürich, The Kingfisher

You can find the full long- and short-lists here. The photos are here.

Swiss Creative Writing Prize AnthologyThe prizes were CHF 250, CHF 150 and CHF 100 for first, second and third places respectively, half in book tokens, half in cash. The workshop participants will receive a copy of the In Their Words anthology, as will their teachers.

It seems somehow unfair to highlight just these writers. Everybody who committed a story or poem to paper achieved something of significance. We want to thank you all – writers, poets and teachers – for taking part in the inaugural Swiss Creative Writing Prize. Most of all, I hope you have enjoyed it, learned from it and, most importantly,  that you will keep on reading, writing and thinking for many years to come.

Teachers are encouraged to add their names to the mailing list to keep up to date with Prize news.

The Swiss Creative Writing Prize will take place again in the 2019-2020 school year. Submissions will open in October 2019 and close in the Spring of 2020.


Until then!

Matthew Wake


About the Prize

The Swiss Creative Writing Prize is a new competition to encourage creative writing in English amongst high-school-aged students in Switzerland.

It aims to help students develop their thinking, self-expression and creative skills as well as their ability to write in English. Ultimately, we hope that students will develop a love for language and literature.

The Prize will be launched in the 2018-2019 school year. Any student in the Swiss public education system studying for a Swiss high-school certificate/examination is invited to submit work in the following categories:

  • Short Story (up to 1,000 words, either fiction or narrative non-fiction)
  • Poetry (up to two poems of any length)

The Prize judges will choose up to 10 students for a shortlist. These students will be invited to a writing workshop with the judges in mid-May 2019. The winner will be announced at the Reception following the workshop. The winning student in each category will receive CHF 500 (total) in book tokens and cash.

We hope (but cannot guarantee) that the shortlisted submissions will be published in an anthology.

The Prize is being run by Books Books Books, the independent English bookshop in Lausanne, as we believe in the power of creating the written word.

Please note, students studying for examinations outside the Swiss system, such as the IB, are not eligible to apply.