The Swiss Creative Writing Prize is the brain child of Matthew Wake, the owner of Books Books Books, an independent English bookshop in Lausanne.

The aim of the prize is to encourage teenagers to write and to value this activity as a way to articulate their ideas and dreams and anxieties.

Matthew started writing when he was a teenager and, although he has never been published, has continued to write novels, short stories and essays until the present day.

He would like to stress that it is difficult to get published or win a competition. He believes that finishing a story or a poem is already a huge achievement because you will always discover something precious. The real winners are the ones who fall in love with words.

To quote Samuel Beckett’s poem Worstward Ho!

On. Say on. Be said on. Somehow on. Till nohow on. Said nohow on.

Say for be said. Missaid. From now say for missaid.

Say a body. Where none. No mind. Where none. That at least. A place. Where none. For the body. To be in. Move in. Out of. Back into. No. No out. No back. Only in. Stay in. On in. Still.

All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”