news / Writing Contest: “Launch your Stories into Space”

Writing Contest: “Launch your Stories into Space”

January 13, 2017 | By francecanadaculture French Language

In parallel with the Proxima space mission, the first writing contest ever launched from space is being organized. This contest is open to all writers under the age of 25.

This writing contest, which is titled « Faites voyager vos histoires dans l’espace » [“Launch your Stories into Space”], is the result of a partnership between Labo des histoires, the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation, the European Space Agency, Cité de l’espace, and Institut Français. This project is under the High Patronage of the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Secretary-General of La Francophonie.

Section 1: General Information

From November 2016 to May 2017, French ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet is carrying out a six-month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Dubbed “Proxima”, this mission expresses a desire to build a close relationship with the general public. The astronaut himself expressed the hope to “share this adventure and to be a source of inspiration for the public”. In his logbook, the 10th French astronaut assigned to a space flight noted that he had packed the complete works of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in his suitcase.

Drawing on astronaut Thomas Pesquet’s fondness for the famed writer-aviator’s humanist values, Labo des histoires, the Antoine Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation (FASEJ), the European Space Agency (ESA), Cité de l’Espace, and Institut Français dreamed up a writing contest for children, teens, and adults under the age of 25.

This writing contest runs January 1st to February 28th, 2017. Participation is completely free: no purchase is required.  Each entry must be produced individually, in French, and consist of no more than 2,500 characters (spaces included). The contents of contest entries will be outlined in Section 3.

Section 2: Contest Participants

All children, teens, and adults under the age of 25 are invited to take part in this contest. Participation is on an individual basis. Each participant is limited to a single entry.

With their entries, all participants must include their full name, age, nationality, telephone number, and email address. Participants under the age of 18 must provide the telephone number of an adult guardian. This information will be used to contact the winning participants.

Section 3: Contest Topic and Conditions

The contest is called “Launch your Stories into Space” [Faites voyager vos histoires dans l’espace].

Topic: In Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s work, the Little Prince travels to seven different planets and encounters a range of surprising characters: a king, a drunk, a lamplighter, and a geographer among them. For this contest, participants are invited to write a text (maximum of one page and 2,500 characters) describing a continuation of the Little Prince’s travels onto an 8th planet and the person he meets there.

Entries containing racist, discriminatory, defamatory, or injurious content will be rejected at the jury’s discretion.

Participants must enter their text at, a site hosted by Institut Français’ Culturethèque platform.

Texts must be submitted electronically. Handwritten texts or documents submitted in other fashions will not be accepted.

Entries will be organized in two categories: France and International. In each category, the project partners will select twenty-five texts that will be submitted to the jury.

The jury will select five winners in the France category and five winners in the International category (one for the Americas, one for Europe, one for Africa, one for Asia, and one for Oceania).

Thomas Pesquet, as chairman of the jury, will select a favourite text from each category. On April 6th, 2017, on the International Space Station, he will read selections from the two texts that moved him most. The names and the stories of the ten winners will be revealed at this point.

Prizes can be awarded at a ceremony, the details of which will be announced on the contest website.

Section 4: Jury and Winners

Jury members:

  • Thomas Pesquet: jury chairman, astronaut
  • François d’Agay: Chairman (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation)
  • Charles Autheman: Delegate General (Labo des histoires)
  • André Borschberg: Co-founder (Solar Impulse project)
  • Jean-François Clervoy: Astronaut
  • Olivier Chaudenson: Director (Maison de la Poésie)
  • Jean-Baptiste Desbois: Managing Director (Cité de l’espace)
  • Camille Dorland: Laboratory technician
  • Timothée de Fombelle: Author
  • Claudie Haigneré: Astronaut
  • Marie-Vincente Latécoère: Chairwoman (Fondation Latécoère)
  • Bertrand Piccard: Co-founder (Solar Impulse project)

The jury’s decisions will be final and not subject to appeal. Only the organizers will have access to the exact contact information of the participants. The full names of the winners will be released to the media and to the general public once the jury’s choices are announced.

Section 5: Prizes

Winners will be invited to Europe in autumn 2017 for a series of space- and writing-related activities.

Prizes are neither transmissible nor transferable. Prizes cannot be substituted for any financial compensation of any kind. The organizers reserve the right to replace this prize with a prize of equal value with no liability on their part.


Xavier Moquet
Education Attaché

Lise Bessiere
Education Officer
Central management of Delf-Dalf in Canada

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