To celebrate International Book Day on 23 April, the UK Instituto Cervantes centres, in collaboration with the Education Office of the Spanish Embassy in the UK, and with the support of Banco Santander, is holding its first Short Story Competition. This theme for this year is: ‘El Quijote de tu vida’.
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1. Applicants must be students of Spanish as a second language, of any nationality, who are studying in the UK and want to put their imagination to the test. Each candidate is allowed to submit only one short story.
2. Each short story, written in Spanish, must not exceed the 500-word limit (approximately 20-25 lines, in Times New Roman font, at 12pt.). It must be original and unpublished and not have been previously awarded in any other contest or competition.
3. The theme of the short story must answer and correspond with the question ‘Who in your life reminds you of Quijote?’ It must therefore be inspired by, for example, a family member or a friend who, in the author’s opinion, is most like the character created by Miguel de Cervantes.
4. There are two competition categories:
a) 7-11 year olds
b) 12-19 year olds
5. Those in the first category are permitted to write their short story in Spanish or English. Those in the second category, however, must present their story in Spanish only.
6. All entries must be sent by email to biblon(at)cervantes.es with the subject line ‘Concurso de Mini-Relatos’. In the email, applicants are required to provide their name and surname, full postal address, telephone number and the name of their school and Spanish Language teacher. The short story should be sent as an attachment.
7. All short stories must be received by 9 April 2010.
8. The winners will be announced on 23 April at an award ceremony which will take place at the Instituto Cervantes centre in London, as part of the International Book Day celebrations.
9. The judging panel will be chaired by the Director of the Instituto Cervantes and made up of other members of staff from the Instituto Cervantes in London, Manchester and Leeds, and the Education Office of the Spanish Embassy in the UK. The panel will choose a winner from both categories. Prize-winners will be awarded for their expression, creativity and originality and also their overall response to the question posed.
10. Prize winners of both categories will be awarded the following:
– First Prize: courtesy of Banco Santander – a cheque to the value of £500 for the library of the winning school and a voucher for £200 for the winning author. In both cases, the prize money must be used for buying books or other resources related to the Spanish speaking world and Spanish language learning.
– Second Prize: a selection of books, CDs and DVDs of well-known Spanish and Latin American authors and artists.
11. All participants are welcome to attend the award ceremony, accompanied by the family member or friend who inspired their short story. The Education Office of the Spanish Embassy in the UK will cover the travel expenses of the prize-winner and their guest (one per prize-winner), should they be travelling from outside of London.
The winning short stories will be read out to the audience by their authors.
We look forward to receiving your short story!
22 February 2010