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The British Czech & Slovak Association’s 2016 writing competition is now open. The European Union is a controversial topic currently much in the news in all three countries: in the Czech and Slovak Republics because of migration, and in Britain because of the forthcoming referendum on membership. Entries featuring or referring to this would be welcome.

Fact or fiction – both are welcome. A first prize of £300 and a second prize of £100 will be awarded to the best 1,500 to 2,000-word pieces of original writing in English on the links between Britain and the Czech/Slovak Republics (at any stage in their history), or describing society in transition in the Republics since 1989. Topics can include history, politics, the sciences, economics, the arts or literature.

The writer of this year’s winning entry will be presented with the prize at the BCSA’s annual dinner in London in November 2016. The winning entry will be published in the December 2016 issue of the British Czech and Slovak Review and the runner-up in a subsequent issue. Submissions are invited from individuals of any age, nationality or educational background. Entrants do not need to be members of the BCSA. Entry is free. Entries should be received by 31 July 2016 (new date). An author may submit any number of entries. The competition will be judged by a panel of experts.

Entries should be submitted by post to the BCSA Prize Administrator, 24 Ferndale, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN2 3NS, England, or by e-mail to prize@bcsa.co.uk.

All entries must be in English, prose, typed with double-spacing and no more than 2,000 words in length. (The recommended minimum is 1,500 words.) For full Submission Guidelines and the Rules of the competition apply to the Prize Administrator at the addresses given above.

2015 writing competition 

In the publicity for last year’s competition a strong hint was given that entries dealing with the topic of migration would be welcome. The 2015 winning entry, winning £300, was called It Has Nothing To Do With Me. It’s a disturbing glimpse of the situation of the Vietnamese community in Czechoslovakia shortly after the Velvet Revolution. The author is Janet Savin. Janet is a writer and translator who lives in the South of France.

The runner-up was James Fairfoot. James is a University lecturer and writer who lives in Leeds. His entry was called The Slovak Discovery of Pluto. An interplanetary probe lands on Pluto and discovers that the Slovaks have got there first. Being runner-up brought James £100.

The text of these two stories will shortly be available on the BCSA website (currently being revamped).