A young woman in a dress with a full skirt, sitting on a bed with her back to us. Edward Hopper, New York Interior, c. 1921.

Edward Hopper Winners B1 plus

Posted by Speakeasy News > Wednesday 26 April 2023 > Pedagogy

We received thousands and thousands of fabulous entries to our Edward Hopper creative-writing contest. Here are our favourite B1-plus texts. 

And the winners are, in no particular order:

Téa from Mrs Malecki’s class, Lycée Jean-Baptiste Corot, Douai
Danaia from Mrs Maurin’s class, CSI Europole, Grenoble
Pia and Fanny from Mme Chabal’s class, Lycée Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, Gardanne
Lyndsee from M. Celma’s class, Lycée Baimbridge, Les Abymes, Guadeloupe
Arthur from Mme Boocock’s class, Lycée Aragon-Picasso, Givors
Soizic from Mrs Counillon’s class, Lycée Kerraoul, Paimpol
Célia from Mme Kowalczyk’s class, Lycée Français de Varsovie,
Lilian, Anne-Elise and Lily from Mrs Levacher’s class, Lycée Brassens, Neufchatel en Bray
Alexandre from M. Salaris’s class, Lycée Lavoisier, Paris
Louis from Miss Berloquin’s class, Institution Sainte-Croix, Neuilly
Victoire from Mme Dreher’s class, Lycée Fustel de Coulanges, Strasbourg

Scroll down to discover their amazing texts!

Téa from Mrs Malecki’s class, Lycée Jean-Baptiste Corot, Douai

Girl at Sewing Machine, 1921

As the rays of the Sun were shining through the window, she was sewing a gorgeous dress.

Sewing has always been her hobby, she absolutely adored creating dresses, especially when she made them with her Grand-Mother.

The smiles, the laughter, the happy moments, all of these memories made her heart fill with warmth.

The thing is, she never really knew how to make a pretty dress.

What made her still practice was something that her Grand-Mother said:

“Creating dresses is a form of Art, and Art isn’t supposed to look nice, it is supposed to make you feel something.”

This quote helped her a lot, because after hearing this, she no longer created dresses with the intention of making them pretty, she created them with her heart-felt emotions.

And in her eyes, it was the prettiest way a dress could ever be.

Pearls, sequins, different patterns, colors, fabrics, all chosen with the different emotions she felt.

That is why after her Grand-Mother passed away, she decided to make her bright soul remain eternal by creating dresses full of their memories.

Joy, Sorrow, Nostalgia, all of these emotions that she felt deep within her heart, made her create the most beautiful dress.

And what makes it so gorgeous is that, whenever she wears it, it feels like her Grand-Mother is still here, hugging her.

Danaia from Mrs Maurin’s class, CSI Europole, Grenoble

Pennsylvania Coal Town, 1947

Purple Hyacinth
"The purple hyacinth is considered a symbol of sorrow and deep feeling of sadness."

Seven whole years have passed since Lily’s disease took her away, leaving behind just one thing: her precious garden.

Believing that if he kept it intact, his beloved wife’s memory would subsist; the man took the decision not to change anything in Lily’s garden. And yet, despite all of his strenuous efforts to keep it alive, the woman’s garden started dying too, soon. At first, Malcolm did not even notice the sick roots nor the yellow leaves, but when the fifth spring after Lily’s leave came and none of the plants rose again; realisation hit him.

Not only did his wife leave him, but the only reminder of her that she left behind started disappearing too.

After a rough winter, as the air outside was getting softer again, another spring came. However, that time, the ground Malcolm discovered under the melted snow was not naked as it had been for the past two years. That year, he noticed some tiny vivid purple spots that were peeking out from between young strands of fresh green grass.

As spring slowly gave way to summer, the purple flower buds grew stronger, eventually opening up and colouring Malcom’s garden in a deep, gorgeous colour of grief and sorrow.

Pia and Fanny from Mme Chabal’s class, Lycée Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, Gardanne

Room in New York, 1932

Yesterday, at 9 PM, the Barrow couple struck again and they stole $50,000 of jewels from the most famous jeweler on 20th Avenue. The police arrived extraordinarily quickly, but, as usual, too late. Indeed, the two thieves had escaped without leaving any clues to find them. Even if the police was searching intensely for them, they had disappeared into the night.

“What newspaper are you reading, honey?” It was a radiant, young woman, looking extremely exhausted. She was talking to a handsome man. They were both wearing clothes, which fitted well on them, but they were in a poor, sad, dirty, little flat. The only good-looking thing wan an old out-of-tune piano.

“It is the New York Times, Bonnie. They are talking about us! We are famous! Can you imagine that, my love? Famous! Us!”

“My God…”

The woman named Bonnie was silent, however, her husband jumped from his wooden armchair to kiss his pretty wife.

“That’s unbelievable, Clyde… We have always just been common thieves. Not…”

“No, darling, we were common thieves! Now, we are writing History!”

In front of Clyde, Bonnie was dazed for a moment, but after a few seconds, she smiled like a dangerous lioness, and said, “Honey, calm down a second, it’s just one newspaper article. If you really want to write History, as you said, we’ll have to get better and bigger. The next theft will have to be perfect, and thus, phenomenal. It is the only way to achieve it.”

They both smiled and began to imagine a new plan, which would let them become historic figures. And they became what they wished.

Lyndsee from M. Celma’s class, Lycée Baimbridge, Les Abymes, Guadeloupe

Morning Sun, 1952

That day was one of those days, those days when anxiety was stronger than anything else. And where the crisis was inevitable. Last night she had already felt it increasing little by little. She had seen it creep into her head until she couldn't think of anything else. But that morning she decided that anxiety wasn't going to decide of her day, she decided that she was going to face it and move on. So in her room, with the walls of a color as neutral as the sheets of her bed, she sat on the latter and looking through the window, she repeated these sentences to herself which helped her to channel herself. "It's okay, don’t worry, nothing's going to happen," she thought to herself, watching a bird fly; "I'm the only person in control of my life," she thought right after; "Breathe and calm down!"

And that morning she had ended up being extremely proud of herself because she had fought against her anxiety. She faced it and kept it from taking up too much space. So, she might not have won the war, but she had at least won this battle and that already meant a lot.

Edward Hopper, Morning Sun, 1952. A woman in a short shift on a plain bed looking out of a window where we see buildings
Edward Hopper, Morning Sun, 1952.

Arthur from Mme Boocock’s class, Lycée Aragon-Picasso, Givors

Morning Sun, 1952

6 o’clock, Demo-1711 turns on. She grabs her duvet and puts it on a support precisely 7 inches next to her bed for the daily bed ventilation. During the 10 minutes it takes, Demo recharge herself with the charging tube. Then she brushes her hair 1 minute per side and polishes her skin. It’s 6:30 am. She puts on her clothes: a pink dress as every day. It’s 6:40 am. Now Demo has to sit on her bed for 15 minutes and look at the industrial city, they say watching the morning sun helps her and the others to face their lives. It is the only moment of the day when her emotion blocker is turned off, and even if she is actually supposed to feel something, Demo-1711 doesn’t feel a thing but emptiness. She only thinks about the work she’ll have to do this day. 6:55, Demo and the others start to walk to the factory, they all walk on the right sidewalk by pairs. The factory is 5 minutes walk away from The House. Demo works here for 11 hours with a 1 hour recharging break. She comes back to The House at 7:00 pm. Then, as she’s programmed for, she cleans her house. She vacuums for 15 minutes and takes a mop for 15 other minutes. It’s 7:30 pm. Demo recharges herself for the last time of the day and, as the sun goes down, she turns herself off. She lives like this and does the exact same things every day at the exact same time, nothing ever changes. You may think this is a depressing and empty life, maybe it’s inhuman, and so she is. But when all is said and done, would you say she is really different from us?

Soazic from Mrs Counillon’s class, Lycée Kerraoul, Paimpol

Gas, 1940

Stan was a lonely guy. The kind who had not built a family. Not because he couldn’t but because he didn’t want to. The kind of guy he was doing long, peaceful walks in the forest on the weekends. He liked nature, he found it really relaxing because of its changing colors, and its scent. He appreciated the fact that the color of every leaf was changing slowly from green to red passing by yellow when the weather was becoming colder. He was grateful for each flower that bloomed during the spring. Maybe he liked nature because it was really reflecting his personality? What he also liked was getting to know people. His favorite thing was, in fact, small talk. Small. Insignificant. Talks. Those talks were not difficult because he didn’t have to take into account the myriad of parameters of the life of the person he was talking to. But only doing small talk, he was sure of one thing, that there was no chance of him hurting the person he was addressing. Plus, these talks were not very difficult, they were even repetitive. Cyclical. Like nature. This love of small, talk and nature, had led him to quit school and build a gas station in the complete middle of the forest. But that was when he was younger: full of hopes and dreams.

Right now, Stan is preparing to commit an attack. On his own petrol station. He is spilling oil behind him. Then he is letting the gas go. After that he steps away. Lights a zippo. Throws it. Watches it burn. What a relief. Fire flows throughout the forest like adrenaline and endorphins in the man’s flesh. The flames are growing. The lights become dazzling. The whole scene crackles and snaps. The smell of the smoke is stronger and stronger each second that passes. Everything widens. Everything ignites. A horrendous show is now replacing the peaceful forest which used to be there. Everything is a disaster. And the criminal, standing in the middle of the road, adores it. Finally, he is feeling something. He is feeling alive for the first time in his mediocre life.

After that? He will plainly get a flight to São Paulo and start a new life once there. He will be known under the name of Polo Lancula and problems will never get to him. It is that simple. Stan is a sociopath.

Célia from Mme Kowalczyk’s class, Lycée Français de Varsovie, Poland

New York Interior,  1921


In a small city near Paris, a teenager named Aimée is preparing herself for the ballet competition she will have to face in two hours; makeup checked, choreography checked, steps checked. The last thing she needs to do is the bun, the classic ballet bun that she always fails to do. After half an hour of struggle, she finally succeeded, proud of herself she looked at her reflection in the mirror. Now that she doesn’t have anything to do anymore, the pressure comes back again and her heartbeat beats faster and faster again. In the mirror, the smiling face has disappeared, all her insecurities surface all of a sudden. She hates her face and starts to wonder why her brows are so uneven and ugly. The thought of dancing in front of hundreds of people is making her sick. “What if I fall? What if I forget the movement? What if … what if all my efforts were useless?”, she asks her own reflection. All the hours passed to practice whereas she could enjoy her life and play around. She has a dream to become a ballet dancer so she can’t give up now without even trying, that would be betraying her dreams, her effort and the support of her family. At this moment, she thinks about her mother and the reason why her mom chose her name : Aimée, it means loved in French and she will always be loved by her parents. They hope that she can also love herself as much as they love her. Encouraged and prepared, Aimée leaves her room for the competition.

Lilian, Anne-Elise and Lily from Mrs Levacher’s class, Lycée Brassens, Neufchâtel en Bray

Automat, 1927

Juliette is a young girl who studies Art in the Beaux-Arts’ school. She’s a 20-year-old American girl from Georgia. She has been an exchange student for 4 months and works hard to succeed in her studies. Juliette also works in this café to pay for her studies and every night when it closes, she stays alone and takes a coffee to find inspiration for her art. She’s obsessed by paintings representing nature and landscapes and likes to paint with oil paint. And that night during her shift someone stole her glove and it was a gift from her mother. This event made her realize that she missed her family and that she lost the link between her and her mom. This glove was a lucky charm and source of inspiration so since that night, she is unable to do what she loves…

Two weeks later, she was at the bar in the cafe where she was working when a young man entered and told her he had found this glove one night. He showed it to her. When she saw the glove with her initials, she knew it was destiny. This event gave her the inspiration to paint that self-portrait which became famous.

Alexandre from M. Salaris’s class, Lycée Lavoisier, Paris

American Locomotive, 1944

The sun is shining brightly in the sky and spreading its warmth throughout the station.

The young boy enjoys the contact of the rays on his skin. He wait quietly beside his father, both of them silent. It is a great moment. He had never travelled for real.

But first there is something important.

Behind him he hears the mixture of voices of the other people waiting on the platform. He moves a few steps closer to the track. He doesn't want to miss anything. He is hot in his jumper and his beret gets him itchy under his hair. But for the moment it doesn't matter.

He hears a sound of movement and a loud squeal. It's finally coming. He sees it approaching and feels like the happiest child in the world: it is huge, red and imposing. The boy screams with joy and his father puts his hand behind his back. The locomotive stops right in front of them and its doors slowly open.

The young boy takes one last look at the hills in the distance: it is both strange for him to be visiting the country for the first time and exciting to be about to discover new places. He turns and looks at his father who is smiling. They stare at each other for a few seconds, nod, and then both get on the beautiful locomotive.

Louis from Miss Berloquin’s class, Institution Sainte-Croix, Neuilly

 Cape Cod Morning, 1950


It is nine in the morning. The same way as yesterday, the day before yesterday and every day before this one for five years now, she looks out the window and stares at the horizon, hoping that what she sees, will be just a little different from usual. She doesn’t ask for a big change; she is just praying for a human shadow silhouette in the distance, walking towards her.

She has imagined the scene multiple times already. The second she would see him, her heart would skip a beat, its pace would suddenly accelerate. She would run across the field, ignoring the burn of her ankles whipped by the grass. Mud would seep into her boots, the wind would undo her hair, but she wouldn't care, because he would finally notice her, drop his rifle and start racing too, so handsome in his officer uniform. She would jump into his arms, he would run his fingers through her hair; they would stay like this for long minutes, half crying, half laughing, smelling each other’s fragrance, forgetting a moment the decade of loneliness and recalling every moment before that, before this horrible war separated them.

But today, unlike every other day from the last five years, something is changing at a distance.

A small black dot appears from afar, and grows bigger and bigger. It’s a man, a military according to the uniform she distinguishes. Her heart skips a beat, she runs towards him, exactly as she conceived it. Excitement floods through her veins, she can’t stop laughing, until she gets closer to the man and recognizes him.

It is not his husband, but his best friend, who went to war in the same regiment as him.

Seeing her, he smiles. Not a big large smile, with all the teeth showing; more of a joyless and sorrowful smile. Without a word, he takes her into his arms in a melancholic embrace. She understands, and starts crying silently, her head pressed on the man’s chest, tears soaking his uniform.

She was waiting for him, and today she realizes he will not come home anymore.

 Victoire from Mme Dreher’s class, Lycée Fustel de Coulanges, Strasbourg

Nighthawks, 1942

That night, tired of my investigation, I decided to go into the streets of the city to clear out my mind. The streets were deserted, London was lost in the darkness and the coolness of the night. After a few minutes, I saw the artificial lighting of the restaurant “Philles”. Seeing it almost empty, I opened the door, for, in this little restaurant, nobody could recognise me, the “famous” policeman Johnson. “Famous” yes, as the newspapers said, but above all angry, alone, and sad.

In the restaurant, I sat down at the counter and asked the waiter for a coffee. There were a man and a woman, sitting at the end of the bar. They were silent. The atmosphere was heavy and lifeless. I started little by little to forget my problems. But the cover of the newspapers brought me back to reality. The title said : “The police-man Johnson does nothing about the burglaries of Baker Street”. But it was wrong! Because for two long weeks I could only think about this investigation! The hours passed and when I left the restaurant, I heard the sound of a window breaking. Intrigued, I went toward the building from where the noise was coming, and I saw the silhouette of a strange man who was coming in a luxury shop. I looked at the street name and read : “Baker Street”. I had my robber!!!


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