Edward Hopper, Soir Bleu, 1914, an outdoor café scene in France with a white-face clown.

Edward Hopper Winners C1

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 C1 texts. 

And the winners are, in no particular order:

Alexia from M. Trompat’s class, Lycée Mme de Staël, Montluçon
Julien from Mme Peyrot’s class, Lycée Berthelot, Toulouse
Timéo from Mme Le Brun’s class, Lycée Gisèle Alimi, Bazas
Chloé from Mme Tardif’s class, Lycée Pierre Terrail, Pontcharra
Lily from Mme Jobin’s class, Lycée Jules Ferry, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine
Gabriel from Mme Ilari’s class, Lycée Jacques Ruffié, Limoux
Manon from Mme Hubert’s class, Lycée François I, Fontainebleau
Solène from Mme Diaz’s class, Lycée Pierre du Terrail, Pontcharra
Appoline from Ms Boillot’s class, Lycée Jean Lurçat, Bruyères

Scroll down to discover their amazing texts!

Alexia from M. Trompat’s class, Lycée Mme de Staël, Montluçon

Morning Sun, 1952

I have been sitting here, in this bed, which is empty now. Thinking about this day which recently passed. Thinking about the fact that I let down the person who was the most important to my eyes. You needed me and I wasn’t there for you.   Now, I feel heartless, miserable and without reasons to live. Instead of being with you while you were living your last moments, I was dating a stupid guy whom I barely knew. Because of that, I didn’t go see you, I ignored the calls of your mom and now I am haunted by regrets. I see you in my dreams and in the streets but each time, I remember, you don’t exist anymore. I’m pretty sure that you would never have done this to me. You were the better best friend that I could have in my whole life. I remember when we were kids, playing with your brothers at the park. Your eyes and your smile were still shining. Your sickness got you off of this world. You were the strongest women I knew. Now you’re gone in the sky, far away, this Morning Sun. I promise that I’ll never do this again, this biggest mistake.  I promise you, Chloe.

Julien from Mme Peyrot’s class, Lycée Berthelot, Toulouse

Room in New York, 1932


Economic crisis. Still celebrating the victory in the Olympic Games. Unemployed people protesting in Detroit. Johnny Weissmuller becomes Tarzan.

A Lehman Brothers banker reading the headlines, trying to change his mind after too long a working day. A bookshop seller playing the few notes she remembered from a song she had learnt when she was a child. Their two children are asleep. Both are concerned about their future and asking themselves what they should do if they lose their jobs. Neither dares to talk about it. Should they leave the city? Should they leave each other? Are they strong enough for this? They are thinking the same thing. They are scared but in love. They live one day at a time, waiting for news they don’t want to know. Someone knocks on the door. They both stop and hold their breaths. If they don’t open, they won’t know what it is about, right? They look at each other. They don’t need to talk, they understand one another. Maybe it’s just the neighbour? Maybe he has lost his cat? The man stands up and walks slowly to the door...

Like in a Woody Allen movie, on a jazz rhythm.

Timéo from Mme Le Brun’s class,Lycée Gisèle Alimi, Bazas

Sorry Timéo that we couldn’t reproduce your fun newspaper layout!

Soir bleu, 1914

The "Killer Clown" strikes again...

The small town of Derry is in the midst of a nightmare, as a sinister killer clown stalks the streets, preying on unsuspecting victims. Dubbed the "Clown Killer" by the media, this ruthless murderer has been leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake, causing panic and fear among the town's residents.

The Clown Killer's modus operandi is simple but effective. He stalks his victims, often in the form of a clown, before brutally murdering them in cold blood. The murders have been particularly gruesome, with the killer showing no mercy to his victims.

Despite the best efforts of local law enforcement, the Clown Killer has managed to avoid capture, leaving a trail of fear and panic. Many residents have taken to carrying weapons for protection, while others have barricaded themselves inside their homes, afraid to venture out into the streets.

The Clown Killer's identity remains unknown, and authorities have no leads or suspects at this time. In the meantime, the people of Derry live in fear, never knowing when the Clown Killer will strike next.

Some have speculated that the Clown Killer may be a former circus performer, driven to madness by a lifetime of abuse and mistreatment. Others believe that he may be a disturbed individual with a deep-seated hatred of clowns. Whatever his motivations may be, one thing is clear: the Clown Killer is a dangerous and ruthless killer, and he must be stopped.

As the body count continues to rise, the people of Derry can only hope that the Clown Killer will be brought to justice before it's too late. In the meantime, they must take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones, always remaining vigilant and on the lookout for any suspicious activity. The Clown Killer has cast a shadow over the once peaceful town of Derry, turning it into a place of fear and terror. Until he is caught, the residents of Derry must live in constant fear, never knowing when the Clown Killer will strike again.

It is a situation that no one could ever have imagined, and one that has left the entire community on edge.

This article has been made with the contribution of the mayor James and the photographer: Edward Hopper.

Chloé from Mme Tardif’s class, Lycée Pierre Terrail, Pontcharra

Automat, 1927

Happy Ending

Coffee infiltrates my nostrils, and warms my throat as I ponder on the latest headlines. Recently, strange, deaths and unusual circumstances of have been reported across New York. All the victims die in similarly chilling circumstances. No bruises, no physical marks… Mysterious. The serial killer’s signature leaving the victims wide-eyed with a strange wide smile on the face. Ironically, the crime scenes had the same music playing.

Suddenly the patter of heavy rain against the windowpane attracts my attention. As I gaze up at the sky, full of large clouds, moving towards me, announcing a dangerous storm, I am reminded of my dark, dreary, lonesome surroundings. I resolve to finish my coffee. As I drain the hot liquid, I become aware of a strange, slightly bitter aftertaste in my mouth.

The waiter approaches my table. I pay quickly. But as I prepare to leave, the waiter turns on the jukebox and a familiar song comes on. “I see skies of blue, and clouds of white, the bright, blessed day, the dark, sacred night, and I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” My eyes open wait with surprise and remain fixed, my lips freeze into a large smile.

Edward Hopper's Automat shows a woman in 1920s clothes sitting in a café at night staring at a cup of coffee
Edward Hopper, Automat, 1927

Lily from Mme Jobin’s class, Lycée Jules Ferry, Conflans-Sainte-Honorine

Haskell’s House, 1924

We bought the house 33 years ago when we were still young and dynamic. At first, I wasn’t a big fan. They were too many windows, too many cellars, and when I heard the price, I almost fainted! But Jane… she loved it. She liked the garden, where she was planning on planting all kinds of flowers, the little balcony facing the sun and the tiniest details. So, in our thirties, we got all our savings together, and bought it. I can still see her smiling face when we got the keys. Together, we filled up this house with love and kindness. The years passed and the room next to ours was ready to welcome a baby. However, life decided otherwise… Even though motherhood was the only thing Jane dreamed about, she kept her head up. The garden was getting prettier every day thanks to my wife’s love. Her smile never faded. Every time I came back home late, she waited for me at the balcony, with a bright face that could light up the darkest night. But cancer was waiting for you, darling. Oh my love, I could never be thankful enough for all the years spent by your side. I hope the gardens in heaven as pretty as you.

Gabriel from Mme Ilari’s class, Lycée Jacques Ruffié, Limoux

Two on the Aisle, 1927

November 1927:

She had always been interested in the theatre and yet, she never really had the occasion to see a play, that was a kind of dream for her. She had to wait for a long time for this, saving cent by cent, day after day, just to be able to finally see the stage and the comedians. It had been hard, really hard.

But finally, she succeeded, and there she was, finally: inside that long- dreamed place, and it was an incredible feelin ! So she sat down, waiting impatiently for the beginning of the play.

There was practically nobody in the theatre as she had arrived quite early. A rich woman was on the aisle, at the back, reading the programme.

The rich woman noticed the poor woman, and she was pretty surprised that someone with a worn dress and no makeup was sitting in such a beautiful theatre in front of her. What was she doing here? This was not her world …

She called the usher and asked him to expel the young woman from the theatre.

The usher was pretty embarrassed, this young woman had done nothing wrong after all. And that was terrible for him, because he didn’t want to be mean nor unfair. But the rich woman was a regular spectator, and he was afraid she wouldn’t come back… So, he asked the young lady to go.

However, when he saw how heartbroken she was, he finally decided to invite her to come backstage: she wouldn’t see the show but at least she would see the actors, she would sense the beating pulse of the theatre, much more than the rich lady on the aisle.

Manon from Mme Hubert’s class, Lycée François I, Fontainebleau

Jo Sketching on Good Harbor Beach, 1923-1924

I come here every Saturday. I sit on the sand and scrutinize the sea. Today, it is beautiful. It is calm. The weather is clear, there are no clouds nearby, the houses are easily seen, the horizon is clear. Then I take out my sketchbook, my pencil, my brushes, and my paint. And I draw the sea. Some water falls on my paper. A tear.

I stopped drawing and I turned over my sketchbook’s pages, one by one. I see a succession of summer seas and beautiful skies, spring seas, with a coastline of a thousand colors of flowers, winter seas surrounded by the white of the sand and the snow. But never choppy seas. I do not like them. After a moment, 10 December, that are no more seas. Just a man. A dark-haired man with a square jawline. Tens, hundreds of sketches. Sometimes, I put color on them. On some drawings, he is looking at me, on others he is sleeping peacefully. He is as quiet as the sea is calm today. My eyes are wet and my cheeks are soaked with tears. I have always represented the same person. Previously, I could see his face. Since his boat sank in a storm, I have seen him through the waves.

Solène from Mme Diaz’s class, Lycée Pierre du Terrail, Pontcharra

Seated Woman at Piano, 1905-1906

Elizabeth tiptoed across the corridor leading to the room in which the pearly piano was. She knew she wasn’t supposed to be here, but it was like the dainty keys were calling her name, begging her to play, despite the fact that she was only a maid whose place was in the kitchens rather than the conservatory. She learned from her mother, never went to music lessons, but the feeling of being transported to another dimension while she performs always ignites a flame in her soul.

The young lady sat down, placed her hands on the instrument, and let her heart out through the melody for the world to hear in the empty room. For a stolen moment, she wasn’t the poor girl everyone looked down on, she was a true artist. She even let herself imagine she had spectators, who were in awe of her talent, and would acclaim her. But of course, these dreams were only chimeras. As she reached the end of the music, tears were streaming down her face. Begrudgingly, she came back to her senses and left the room, sorrow lingering in her heart through her walk home.

Unbeknownst to her, the conservatory director heard the mindblowing euphony of Elizabeth’s melody was henceforth resolved to discover who the mysterious musical prodigy was.

Appoline from Ms Boillot’s class, Lycée Jean Lurçat, Bruyères

Office in a Small City, 1953

Wow, I had just sat in my office and knew I was in for the most exciting years of my life. From where I was, I could see every roof in this district. “If this doesn’t inspire me, I don’t know what will,” I mumbled. I quickly snapped out of my daydreams and set up my painting equipment: paint brushes, canvas, oil paints and my old but cherished easel. I placed them in front of the west window to face the street since I could see every store and some parks. However, my eyes swiftly moved to a crowd of people waiting in front of a cosy café named “Phillies” across the street. I promised myself I'd go there if I had a break. After 10 minutes of scrutinising the mob, I tried to refocus on my work. But it was too late, I was too eager to look at every single detail of this new view. All of a sudden, my eyes stopped at a woman seated in a rocking chair. She was in the building directly opposite mine. After looking at her, I realised that she reminded me of a girl I knew when I was at the New York Institute of Art and Design. “Josephine?” I whispered in shock.


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