Chatting with Luther – Competition Winners Announced

Tuesday 5 December 2017
Shutterstock/Elena Dijour/2 Chairs in the Tuilleries
Shutterstock/Elena Dijour/2 Chairs in the Tuilleries

The winners of the 2017 German writing competition, organised by the IMLR and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) have just been announced.

1st prize in the Secondary Schools category went to Victoria Adjei (North London Collegiate), with 2nd being awarded to Panayotis Galatis (City of London School) and 3rd to Alex Davies (King’s College School, Wimbledon).

In the Undergraduate category, Chris Dobson (University of Edinburgh) won 1st prize, with Abbie Gordon (Durham) and Annie Davies (Exeter) taking 2nd and 3rd prize respectively.

Reflecting the 500th anniversary of the publication of Luther’s 95 theses that sparked off the Reformation, competitors were asked to put themselves in the shoes of a time-traveller who overhears a conversation between Luther, or one of his German, Austrian or Swiss contemporaries (real or imagined), and a figure from British public life in 2017. The result was a diverse and fascinating crop of texts and ideas: artists Cranach the Elder and Perry Grayson meet in a hot-headed encounter, Martin Luther discusses the parallels between the late medieval church and the European Union with Richard Dawkins, and has debates with Donald Trump, Vivienne Westwood, J.K. Rowling, and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The adjudicating panel commented on the impressive command of German shown by the competitors demonstrating that learners of German in the UK can achieve an extremely high level of competence.

The awards ceremony takes place at 6 pm on 11 December at the British Library.

The organisers are grateful to the British Library, the National Archives, the Goethe Institute, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the German and Swiss Embassies for their sponsorship of the competition, and to the international theatre group ‘Foreign Affairs’ for helping the winners prepare their mini-dramas for performance.