Flash Fiction Contest | European Winner 2020

After a challeging journey, regarding this year’s exceptional circumstances, our EACWP Jury has finally come to a consensus for the final results of the third edition of our Flash Fiction Contest. Five authors representing English, Dutch (Belgium), Catalan, Spanish and Hebrew were our 2020 European finalists

For this third edition, 1200 texts were received from January, 30th. to April, 1st. After a tight and competitive race, concerning the particulary high literary quality of this year’s texts, the EACWP 2020 Jury is delighted to officially announce the final results of the third edition of our  Flash Fiction Contest.

Taking Eurovision’s voting system as a model, this year, five European authors have reached the final stretch to the honour roll: one final winner, one runner-up and three finalists.

With 89 points, the 2020 winning text is the one entitled Motorway Service Stop, by Anna Lu from Cologne (Germany).  And with 78 points the 2020 runner-up text is Captured Moment, by Elske van Lonkhuyzen from Antwerpen (Belgium). You can review the full contest results here.

On behalf of the EACWP family, we would like to thoroughly congratulate Anna, our European winner 2020 and Elske, our runner-up 2020, as well as the three European finalists along with all the participanting authors. Ultimately, we would also like to deeply thank the valuable and voluntary work of the jury, the translators and the different participating institutions for their engagement over the full process of the contest. Thank you all for heeding the call and for accepting the challenge of continuing to  dream and write Europe!

See you in our next edition!

European Winning Flash Fiction Text 2020

English (Germany)

Motorway Service Stop

Tuesdays, on your way to the motorway service stop, she is wearing perfume. Before she disappears in the motel, she buys you a Fanta at the self-service restaurant. You wait for her in a plastic chair, like the ones in your school cafeteria. Sometimes, you go outside where the air is heavy with gasoline and sit on the curb. Once, the sun had already started to bleed into the horizon, a grown-up invited you into his truck. You shook your head. You felt sick. You stayed on that curb waiting for your mother, shivering despite the heat of the day.

  • Author: Anna Lu

European Runner-up Flash Fiction Text 2020

This year, the runner-up has been also the one awarded with the 3 additional points for the popular vote, so, congratulations to Elske for the two-fold merit.

Dutch (Belgium)

Momentopname 

Toen we de hoek om kwamen stond de magnolia zo hevig in bloei dat we in de lach schoten. Victor lag zelfs helemaal dubbel. (Zijn ouders waren aan het scheiden.) Hij maakte een foto. Mijn moeder had altijd gezegd dat je geen foto’s van landschappen moest maken. ‘Mensen zien uiteindelijk het liefst mensen.’ Ik wist niet of een boom een landschap was, maar ik geloofde haar, ze had geen reden om tegen me te liegen, ze zag mij graag. ‘Kijk’, zei Victor. Bij elke windvlaag vielen een paar bloesemblaadjes op de grond. Alsof we voor een reusachtige zandloper stonden.

Captured Moment

As we turned the corner, there was a magnolia blooming so lusciously it made us laugh out loud – Victor was even in stitches. (His parents were going through a divorce). He took a picture. My mother had always said you shouldn’t take pictures of landscapes. ‘At the end of the day, people want to see people.’ I didn’t know whether a tree was a landscape, but I believed her, as she had no reason to lie to me, she loved me. ‘Look,’ Victor said. With every gust of wind a few flower petals fell to the ground. As if we were standing in front of a massive hourglass.

  • Author: Elske van Lonkhuyzen
  • Translator: Willem Groenewegen

Finalists’ Texts 2020

Finalist # 1

Catalan

Manuscrit sense editar

Tots els dijous i a la mateixa hora, s’asseia en el moll per a veure l’arribada del ferri. Amb l’illenc sol acariciant les seves galtes, s’entretenia mirant com desembarcaven els passatgers. Imaginava històries per a cadascun d’ells, i després les escrivia en el seu quadern amb tapes daurades. Avui em pesen els dies sense ella, em sento en el port per a recordar-la, i mentre arriba el ferri, llegeixo les seves històries, sé que en alguna trobaré les meves arrels.

Unedited manuscript

Every Thursday at the same time, she used to sit on the pier to see the arrival of the ferry. With the sun of the island stroking her cheeks, she would distract herself as the passengers disembarked. She imagined stories for each of them, and then wrote them in her notebook with golden covers. My days without her are still gloomy, I sit in the port to remember her, and while the ferry arrives, I read her stories and I know that in one of them I will find my roots.

  • Author: Aurora Tàrrega Gàlvez

Finalist # 2

Spanish

Funcionarios de postal

El abuelo se fabricó las alas artesanalmente, con restos de tela, cola y alambre. Las usaba para transportar el correo con la capital; todos los días, de lunes a sábado. A la ida hacía un alto en el cerro del Hoyuelo para tomarse el tentempié que la abuela le preparaba en una fiambrera. La vuelta la hacía de tirón. Los vencejos y somormujos le miraban con curiosidad, pero solo al principio. A las seis de la tarde, cuando llegaba, teníamos que ahuyentar a pedradas a los mozos que, conocedores de su puntualidad, le esperaban con escopetas de perdigones y tirachinas.

Picture Postcard Workers

Grandfather made the wings by hand, with scraps of cloth, glue and wire. He used them to transport the post to and from the capital: every day, from Monday to Saturday. On the way there he would take a break on the hill at Hoyuelo to eat the snack Grandmother prepared for him in a lunchbox. He would return without stopping. The swifts and grebes looked at him with curiosity, but only at the beginning. At six in the evening, when he arrived back, we would have to scare off the local boys with stones. Knowing how punctual he was, they would be waiting for him with air rifles and catapults.

  • Author: Rafael Olivares Seguí
  • Translator: Henrietta Fielden

Finalist # 3

Hebrew

מחנה קיץ

לכל מי ששאל ענינו בגאווה: מדריכים בקייטנה לילדים בכסאות גלגלים.

בלילה, באוהל, יפית הנכה התחילה לדבר. את יודעת, היא אמרה בקול הנמוך שלה, השבור, בלילה בבית אבא שלי בא אליי לחדר. המילים שלה העלו לי את הדם לפנים. רגע יפית, עצרתי אותה, אני חייבת לצאת שניה.

השמיים היו עיסה רחוקה ושחורה. נכנסתי לאוהל אחר. יפית נורא נוחרת, עיוויתי פנים. אני חייבת לשנות מקום.

בבוקר, אבא שלה הגיע לאסוף אותה. השמש עמדה גבוה בשמיים, ואחר כך הנמיכה, ושקעה, ועלתה שוב. הוא מגיע בכל הזמנים האלה. ואני ממשיכה לצהול איזה יופי שבאת אבא של יפית, הנה התיק שלה, להתראות, להתראות.

Summer Camp

Counselors at a summer camp for kids in wheelchairs, we boasted to anyone who asked. At night, Yafit, one of the disabled campers in our tent, started talking. You know, she said in her low, jagged voice, at home, my dad comes into my room at night. I felt the blood rushing to my face. Wait a sec, Yafit, I cut her off, I have to go outside for a moment. The sky oozed black. I stepped into a different tent. Yafit is snoring like a fog horn, I said, pulling a face. I can’t sleep there. Her father came in the morning to pick her up. The sun was high in the sky, then it sank and set and rose again. He comes at all times of the day and night. And I can’t stop babbling, Hey, Yafit’s dad, so nice to see you, here’s her backpack, bye bye now, bye!

  • Author: Yael Statman