Folyosó’s Fourth International Contest, Autumn 2023

Theme 1: Freedom

In her introduction to Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor wrote, “Does one’s integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do? I think that usually it does, for free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man. Freedom cannot be conceived simply. It is a mystery and one which a novel, even a comic novel, can only be asked to deepen.”

Write a story, poem, essay, dialogue, letter, or other work that explores the nature of freedom: its complexities, simplicities, possibilities, impossibilities, and more. This piece does not have to include the word “freedom” in the title or elsewhere, though it may; you are welcome and encouraged to pursue the topic in a variety of ways. For example, freedom might play a role in a story about someone who writes an angry message to someone, stews over it for a few hours, and then finally deletes it. Or a poem might alternate between free verse and a tight form, implicitly testing the freedoms in both.

Theme 2: Mistakes

We dread making mistakes, but sometimes they are the most important things that happen to us. Write an essay, story, poem, dialogue, letter, or other work in which a mistake plays a key role. The mistake may be funny, embarrassing, trivial, tragic, interesting, unusual, common, illuminating, confusing, or any combination of these; the piece should do something interesting with it.

The contest is open to secondary school students around the world; the deadline is November 1, 2023. You may enter as many pieces as you wish, but please submit each one to only one category. (That is, your piece might have to do with both freedom and mistakes, but please choose one of these two as the category for your submission.) To submit your work, please email it as a Word or Google Doc attachment to diana.senechal at Include the contest theme in the subject line (for example: “Folyosó International Contest Submission: Freedom”).

Folyosó’s Third International Contest, Autumn 2022

In 2022 there were two contest themes: connections between the arts, and social criticism. Congratulations to the winners!

Theme 1: Write a piece that in some way connects two or more of the arts (including dance, music, literature, fine arts, theatre, film, and more).

  • First Place: Zsófia Szabina Gávris, The Peak of Intelligence (with credit to Eszter Klára Szabó for technical assistance)
  • Second Place: Lilla Kassai, Can You Draw Faster, Picasso?
  • Third Place: Helka Ondok, Being a Dancer; and Petra Varga, Versatile Art
  • Honorable Mention: Adél Mihályi, An (Un)helpful Guide for Creating the Perfect K-pop Group; Eszter Aletta Hevesi, Artistic Travel; and Selin Rana Özkarahan, Death on Two Legs: The Wave That Crushed and Rebuilt Visions

Theme 2: Write a piece of social criticism: explaining what is wrong, misguided, or distorted about a tendency in society.

  • First Place: Fatma Irmak Tuncel, The Gray
  • Second Place: Ezgi Yılmaztekin, Just a Normal Woman’s Life; and Áron Antal, Old Acquaintance
  • Third Place: Ela Kazandağ, Second Chance
  • Honorable Mention: Eszter Klára Szabó, Performative Activism

Many thanks to Judit Kassainé Mrena and Anikó Bánhegyesi, who helped judge the second category (Diana Senechal judged the first category on her own).

Of the winners and contributors, the following six attend the Lycée Sainte Pulchérie in Istanbul: Selin Rana Özkarahan, Fatma Irmak Tuncel, Ezgi Yılmaztekin, Ela Kazandağ, Joshua Robles, and Kaya Tunçer. The others attend the Varga Katalin Gimnázium in Szolnok, Hungary.

Folyosó’s Second International Contest, Autumn 2021

Life is full of contradictions, but how well can you express this through a story, poem, dialogue, essay, or other written form?

Congratulations to the winners of Folyosó’s second international contest! The jury (Anikó Bánhegyesi, Marianna Jeneiné Fekete, and Diana Senechal) were moved by the quality and intensity of the submissions. Thanks to all for your participation! All finalists will be published in the Autumn 2021 issue of Folyosó.

  • First Place: Roza Kaplan*, “Raindrops in the Darkness”; Kitti Lili Tupi, “The Girl in the Window”; Sarin Nevruz*, “The Illusion Game of the Mind”
  • Second Place: Zsófia Szabina Gávris, “From Contradicting to Acting”; Dorottya Turza, “Not What I Thought It Was”; Adél Mihályi, “Coordinates”
  • Third Place: Aurelia Wiggins**, “On the World”; Başak Ünal*, “A Strangely Usual Day of Mr. Steve”; Ceylin Kıran*, “The Song of Being”
  • Honorable Mention: Ecem Göksenin Aday*, “The Reflection”; Eszter Aletta Hevesi, “Do We Really Need Time?”; Sára Eszter Radó, “The Extinct Fire”

*Lycée Sainte-Pulchérie, Istanbul, Turkey
**Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science & Engineering, New York, NY, USA
Everyone else: Varga Katalin Gimnázium, Szolnok, Hungary

Folyosó’s First International Contest, Winter 2020-2021

Congratulations to the winners of Folyosó’s first international contest! The jury (Judit Kéri, Anikó Bánhegyesi, Edit Göröcs, Nándor Szűcs, and Diana Senechal) had a difficult time deciding, since we enjoyed and admired the pieces so much. The winners are:

  • Grand Prize: Bernadett Sági (Varga Katalin Gimnázium, Szolnok), Virtual or Reality
  • First Place: Deniz Pala (Lycée Sainte-Pulchérie, Istanbul), Stronger Links
  • Second Place: Gergely Sülye (Varga Katalin Gimnázium, Szolnok), In an Arm’s Reach, and Kázmér Kaposvári (Varga Katalin Gimnázium, Szolnok), Salvation or the End
  • Third Place: Defne Lal Koçer (Lycée Sainte-Pulchérie, Istanbul), Life Consists of Choices, and Lilla Kassai (Varga Katalin Gimnázium, Szolnok), Bringing Dragons to Life
  • Honorable Mention: Lili Forgács (Varga Katalin Gimnázium, Szolnok), The Language-Capsule; Ahmet Yavuz Kaya (Lycée Sainte-Pulchérie, Istanbul), Muter3000; Eszter Aletta Hevesi (Varga Katalin Gimnázium, Szolnok), The Portal; and Alexandra Klaudia Süveges (Varga Katalin Gimnázium, Szolnok), Camping with a Little Bit of Magic.

Congratulations to all! All of the pieces will be published in Folyosó on Monday, February 15 and their authors will receive certificates within the next two weeks.

Contest Description: Imagine a new invention that, as far as you know, does not already exist. Describe it in an essay, story, poem, letter, dialogue, or other form of writing. The invention may be serious or silly, practical or whimsical, plausible or absurd (or any combination of these qualities). You may accompany it with drawings if you wish, but this is not required. Your piece should explain how the invention came into existence, how it works, and what purpose it serves (or could serve) in a fictional world. It should be entirely imaginary; if you have any actual inventions, don’t include them in this contest. Instead, develop them and apply for a patent!

Past Contests

Congratulations to the winners of Folyosó’s Autumn 2020 Contest! Thanks to Judit Kéri, Marianna Jeneiné Fekete, Judit Kassainé Mrena, and Anikó Bánhegyesi, who, along with editor-in-chief Diana Senechal, read the finalist entries and selected the winners. All winning pieces, including honorable mentions, will be published in the Autumn 2020 issue of Folyosó. We are happy that the choice was so difficult, that there were so many interesting pieces to read! To see the contest description, please scroll down.

First Place: Adél Mihályi
Second Place: Gergely Sülye, Erika Mária Szántó, Attila Marcell Kiss (each individually)
Third Place: Zsófia Szabina Gávris
Honorable Mention: Dániel Lipcsei, Heléna Laura Spinou, Gréta Tóth

Autumn 2020 Contest: How do we determine what is important in life? What makes us change our mind about our priorities? Are priorities just a matter of personal preference, or do they have universal value? Whom do we affect with our decisions about what is and isn’t important? Who influences these decisions, and how?

Write about any of these questions (or related questions) in a form of your choice, such as a poem, play, essay, dialogue, letter, or story. It can be serious or silly, analytical or playful, a combination of these, or something else entirely. Mail the submission as a Word attachment to diana.senechal at Please put the word “Contest” in the subject header. For this contest only, we will consider pieces in Hungarian as well as in English. The deadline is September 30, 2020.

Hogyan határozzuk meg, hogy mi a fontos az életben? Mi késztet bennünket arra, hogy megváltoztassuk dolgaink fontossági sorrendjét? A prioritás csak egyéni vonzódás, értékrend kérdése, vagy hordozza az általánoshoz igazodást is? Kikre és milyen hatással van az, hogy mit tartunk fontosnak és mit nem? Kik és hogyan befolyásolják az értékrendünket?

Ehhez vagy ehhez kapcsolódó témában várunk bármilyen műfajú (vers, dráma, tanulmány, levél, dialódus, novella). A mű hangvétele lehet komoly vagy könnyed, elemző vagy játékos stb., illetve ezek kombinációja.

Az angol vagy magyar nyelven írt pályaművet kérjük Word-dokumentumban Diana Senechal számára kérjük elküldeni: Az email tárgyaként tüntessék fel: Contest. A beküldési határidő: 2020. szeptember 30.