a short fiction writing competition

The Competition

The Day They Came Home is the theme of a short fiction writing competition. This title refers to day the Parthenon Sculptures, currently held by the British Museum, are reunited in Athens. The competition encourages writing that skips over the current polemics associated with reunification. It hopes to free imaginations to focus on a near-future where the issues have been resolved, to examine a terrain that treats the return as an inevitability, and to delight in the possibilities of how this day unfolds. By rendering the imaginings of The Day They Came Home into short stories, the reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures is brought closer to reality.

Stop and imagine that day...

Will it be a Saturday? What type of ceremony: simple and solemn, a cultural spectacle, a jubilant party? Which composer will we engage for the music and who will be asked to write a poem for that day? Will it be a public holiday for Greece? What will be the reactions of people on the street? Will there be official speeches full of rhetoric and emotion? What transport route will the sculptures take from London to Athens? Will there be a new Panathenaic procession? How will we acknowledge the British?

This last question is crucial. How will we describe the integral role the British will play in return of the Parthenon Sculptures and how will we celebrate their gesture?

These are just some of the possibilities for stories about The Day They Came Home. There are many more ways to imagine this day. It will be these acts of imagination that create the act of reality; of the sculptures navigation home.


Competition Facts:

  • The competition will be held in 2015.
  • It will be an open competition and free to enter
  • There will be a panel of international judges.
  • Works are to be submitted in English with a maximum word length of 2500 words.
  • Prize moneys and prize levels are yet to be confirmed.


More details forthcoming. Sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page so you can receive updates and notifications.


The Seed of The Day They Came Home

Much of the inspiration for holding a writing competition with the theme The Day They Came Home coalesces around the power of narrative. In a talk given by Tom Kazas at the 2013 International Colloquy ‘Parthenon: An Icon of Global Citizenship’, and in the subsequent paper ‘The Parthenon Sculptures: Narratives of Possibility’, the narrative implications of one word, ‘sculptures’, were explored. He advocated for the use of this word as a replacement for the term ‘marbles’’ identifying the dangers of treating these two words as synonymous. They carry markedly different ideological content, that has had, and continues to have, a direct impact on how the issues of reunification are understood.

Imagine then the power of one story that creates a movement forward and away from the current arguments surrounding reunification. This one story becomes that of the day the sculptures return to Athens. Imagining The Day They Came Home allows us to describe a reality where the sculptures have returned, and by doing so we bring their actual return closer to reality. This story, in fact the many stories, have the freedom to investigate and rehearse the civic and personal journeys needed to navigate the sculptures back to Athens, into their home at the Acropolis Museum. This home, bathed in Attic light, vivifies the pentellic marble where the sculptures join in a physical and visual dialogue with the Acropolis hill.

This writing competition, initiated by Tom Kazas, is the result of a team effort by a number of activists who met and discussed the possibilities for action following the 2013 Sydney International Colloquy. The team has developed the The Day They Came Home into an international and collaborative project, one that the team sees as necessary to promote reunification of the Parthenon Sculptures.

Seed to sprout and in turn to tree. We await the fruits that you, dear writers, will offer the table.


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About Us

This writing competition, initiated by Tom Kazas, is the result of a team effort by a number of activists who met and discussed the possibilities for action following the 2013 Sydney International Colloquy. More info...

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