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Submit your work: A Sea of Words will reward inspiring stories on the value of Cultural Heritage

Submit your short story!

Deadline: 20th April 2018

We invite you to participate in the 11th year of the literary contest “A Sea of Words”, organised by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Anna Lindh Foundation under the motto “Memory and Identity: Rethinking Cultural Heritage”, in the framework of the European Year of Cultural Heritage.

This year's contest seeks to provide a forum for youth to tell us about their own experiences and emotions in relation to cultural heritage. Cultural heritage, whether tangible or intangible, is a fundamental part of our identity; it is a shared value and a sign of identity in villages and towns, natural landscapes and emblematic centuries- old constructions that bring us together in diversity. It is not just a legacy of the past but also helps us to forge the path to follow and design our future. Cultural heritage contributes to creating more united societies and to fostering growth and employment in cities and regions.

In this context, short stories are a tool that enables us to explore our deepest beliefs and experiences. The literary message can provide a personal, historical and anthropological view of human complexity while bringing similar experiences from diverse origins closer.

“A Sea of Words” encourages the production of short stories focused on building a common future based on shared values derived from stories of real or fictional experiences to showcase the diverse social sensibilities and realities in the Euro-Mediterranean region from the point of view of the young people living there. This initiative aims at creating meeting points to foster debate; sharing values, projects and working methods; promoting knowledge of the environments and political, social, cultural and 
economic complexities of the Mediterranean and European countries; and strengthening the links between the Euro-Mediterranean civil society national 
networks of the Anna Lindh Foundation.

Conditions of the call:

  • People aged 18 to 30 on the date of the deadline for submission of texts.
  • The stories must be original and can be written in any of the official
languages of the 43 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area. 

  • Only one story per author will be accepted. 

  • The stories must not exceed 2,500 words.
Stories must be sent in Word format to the following address: The message must include the title of the story 
together with the author's personal details: name, telephone, postal address, e-mail and date of birth.
The stories selected will be published in a book in digital format with the texts in the original language and their corresponding English translation.

The authors of the 15 best stories, selected by an international jury, will be invited to Barcelona to attend the awards presentation ceremony (19 September) and to participate in the different cultural activities set out in the "Schedule" section of this document, to be held from 19 to 21 September 2018.

The organisation will cover all travel expenses, visa, meals and accommodation pertaining to the previously detailed activities.

20 April is the deadline for submission of original works in any of the official languages of the Euro-Mediterranean countries.

More information: Full dossier