Almost two years ago we were told we could write a contest entry for the “Landeswettbewerb für deutsche Sprache und Literatur Banden-Württemberg” instead of holding a presentation. As I am terrible at presentations of any kind I jumped at the chance of not having to stand in front of people. Especially people who tend to stare at you like fish that just realised that they do not have legs. (Surprise, surprise!) It’s incredibly uncomfortable. Anyway, there were seven topics one could choose from and I decided to write about “Meine sieben Unentbehrlichen”. Basically seven books I couldn’t imagine life without. If anyone is interested what I wrote at that time feel free to state so in the comments 🙂
It suffices to say that I didn’t win anything.
And I hadn’t planned on participating again. Really.
But it had to come like it did. I saw the list of this years topics. And my eyes instantly zoomed in on topic eight. “Jetzt sind wir zusammen eingeschlossen – Gestalten Sie eine Graphic Novel” It was a revelation! I knew right that moment that this topic was calling to me. And I started running with only one person in mind. (We could work in pairs.) Once I found her – she is a regular reader of this blog by the way – I grabbed her, shoved the list of topics in her face and asked her if she wouldn’t like to join me in my endeavour. She agreed and the next day we started brainstorming for ideas. “Now we are trapped together” (a loose translation) automatically associated with prisons and lifts getting stuck and basements and dungeons. But that was too obvious for us so our first idea was a isolated island with people that stranded there. Then I thought about making a story of an insane person in an asylum that is experiencing adventures with his friend and only in the end it becomes clear that he is not only imagining their adventures but also his friend and in reality he is sitting in a cell alone and talking to the air. I had already imagined the last panel of the graphic novel through the spyhole/window-thing in the door to his cell. But then we decided on our final idea. Which you can read here. (Go take a look!) There is a German version and a quickly updating English version 🙂
Anyway, we were two of twenty winners out of almost 600 contestants. And getting the letter telling you this little fact is a glorious feeling.
The prize was a four-day long seminar in the Monastery Ochsenhausen. It’s no monastery anymore but still very impressive. You should see the walls and ceilings! (Pictures will follow)
And the food was really good too.
We had a lot of free time and a lot of food. Breakfast at 8 A.M., lunch at 12 A.M., tea and cake at 4 P.M. and dinner at 6 P.M. The only thing one could criticize is the lack of food after 6 P.M. but we don’t want to be fussy.
The program we had was O.K. as well. Just not very earth-shattering. Still interesting of course. Meeting authors and the editor of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. Different workshops. All in all: very well thought-through.
It could all have been for naught had the other participants been awful but surprisingly everyone was genuinely nice and funny and (excuse my French) bloody intelligent! It really had been a while since I last had such a nice conversation about a random topic 😀 There were all sorts of people: tiny funny ones, big goofy ones, history experts, economy experts, “Swedes”, politics experts and of course the Manga/Anime lovers as well as the Fanfiction fans. I was in heaven, simply put. We all became really good friends. Which is also the result of playing card games all evening, well into the night. Sometimes until 2 A.M.
I’m very sad that it had to end but that’s the way it is: everything has an end, only the sausage has two.
I look forward to seeing them all again.
If you have any questions feel free to comment below 😀