A Hopper painting of Manhattan Bridge

Edward Hopper Winners Collège B1

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 texts from collège pupils entered as B1. 

And the winners are, in no particular order:

Mathéo, Miss Rocher-Ferchaud’s class, Collège La Hève, Sainte-Adresse Adam and Jérôme from Mrs Orbann’s class, Institution Saint-Jean, Colmar
Mme Guérin’s class, Collège-Lycée Assomption, Rennes
Alexandre, Mrs Cayre’s class, Collège Marcel Roby, Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Fidan and Eliot, Mme Mahou’s class, Collège La Madeleine, Angers
Anaïne, Anaëlle and Antoine from Miss Flachet’s class, Collège Irène Joliot Curie, Wittenheim
Laure from Mrs Capelle’s class, Collège St Etienne, Sens
Roméo from Mme Mokhtari’s class, Collège St Dominique, Vichy
Radea from Ms Alem's class, Collège St Exupéry, Rabat, Maroc
Matteo from Mme Leignel’s class, Collège Thérèse d’Avilla, 59000 Lille
Kiara and Coline from Mme Garcin’s class, Collège Roger Ruel, St Didier-en-Velay

Scroll down to discover their amazing texts!
Mathéo, Miss Rocher-Ferchaud’s class, Collège La Hève, Sainte-Adresse

Gas, 1940

The man arrives at the gas pump, exits his car. He gets ready to fill the tank of his beautiful Ford when he realizes he no longer has money after the economic crisis of 1939. His car, seeing him, tries to escape, because she knows she won’t have gas in her tank. She escapes with her beautiful, polished engine, hoping she finds a person who wants to fill her tank. But she finds nobody on the road because most people are at war. Her owner finds himself at the gas pump, without either money, nor a car. But after a long road trip, she finds a new owner and the former owner finds a new car. All’s well that ends well.

Adam and Jérôme from Mrs Orbann’s class, Institution Saint-Jean, Colmar

Cape Cod Morning, 1950

A woman wakes up in the house in Cape Cod. Her name is Lisa. It is the morning. Her husband is a farmer and he has a field, a wide field. Lisa looks through the window and is surprised because she sees a UFO landing in the field. She sees an alien going down of the flying saucer.

‘What do you want’, says Lisa.

‘TΨi Spun!’


‘TΨi Spun!’

‘What did you say? I don’t understand!’

The alien goes in front of the window and gives a little object to Lisa. She takes the object and discovers that she must put it into her ear so that she can listen to the alien.

‘The Sun! I want the Sun!’

‘What for?’

‘I’m a reptilian. I have cold blood.’

‘You follow the Sun!’

‘Exactly! but I want to refill the Sun in bottle,’ he says.

‘What is this?’ asks Lisa.

‘The Sun in bottle is a bottle for the sun. I need your Sun for my Sun.’


‘My Sun is dying and I’m an agent for the Take a Sun Project, an operation to capture the light of the Suns in the galaxy.’

‘Hmm... I’m an engineer at the NASA, I can help you.’

‘You can help me?’


‘What is your name?’

‘Lisa, and you?’

‘Ien Al. Let’s get aboard’.

Mme Guerin’s class, Collège-Lycée Assomption, Rennes

Automat, 1927

As usual, I started my day by serving my favorite customer, who was waiting in front of an empty chair at her table. She seemed lost in her own thoughts and had a vacant look, like every day. Even though she was wearing colorful clothes, her hat looked like a shield that was protecting her from the outside world. All happiness seemed to be sucked out of her.

The woman was emotionless. She had been waiting for hours, drinking cups and cups of coffee. She became a robot, acting every hour the same way. Was she waiting for someone who would never come? Who was this special person? It was like she was hoping for the event of her life.

Week after week, day after day, cup of coffee after cup of coffee of her sitting there, I was wondering: ‘’What was she waiting for all these hours?’’

I took my courage in both hands and walked towards her. She pointed to the empty seat in front of her, smiled, her gaze lighted up and I finally heard the sound of her voice for the first time telling me: “It was you that I was waiting for.”

She wasn’t acting like an automaton anymore.

Alexandre, Mrs Cayre’s class, Collège Marcel Roby, Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Automat, 1927

It is a Friday, late in the night, in an automat restaurant with the food district distributed by machines….

She is alone, she is sitting at the table and watching her cup of coffee. She’s thinking about her life, and she tries to understand her past, and to find her future. She has started life very well: she was studying in the best school in her town, she was an excellent student in high school. So, what’s happening now, why is she working in this factory? Why does she do the same thing, tirelessly, all day? Boring, repetitive work, like an automaton during weeks, months, years. Is she an automaton? Is she one of these machines that work all day without a break to serve the customers the meal they want? No, she isn’t. She needs to stop this. She needs to do something better, something more interesting. And she has decided to change her life. Today is her last day in the city of New York.

The night train was the cheapest she found. She will take it at 11:30 p.m. The rhythmic sound of wheels will remind her about her past – rhythmic and automatic work. She will spend the longest night of her life.

But at daylight, she will see the wonderful landscapes through the window of her carriage: the countryside with lakes and forests, rivers and mountains. The train will go to Wisconsin. So, she will decide to discover more about plants, flowers, nature, and the environment. She will continue her studies and become a biologist.

Even to this day, her big house stands in a little village close to the forest. It became a museum and it is visited by many tourists, who want to learn more about her work, and her discoveries in the natural world.

Fidan and Eliot, Mme Mahou’s class, Collège La Madeleine, Angers

Compartment C, Car 293, 1938

The Travels of Mary

Mary Chrismouse had been the best detective of Scotland Yard for the last twenty years.

She didn’t have any family, so she was solitary. Her job was all her life. About her appearance, she always wore clothes of one colour from top to bottom and a hat.

It was morning on Friday 13th July, 1938. She was classifying her documents and tidying her desk. Some minutes later, her boss came in and told her, “The painter Edward Hopper has been killed while he was on holiday in Istanbul. Do you want to elucidate this crime?” Of course, she accepted.

She went to Paris and took the Orient Express and sat alone in Compartment C. At the beginning of the journey, she watched the landscape through the window. After a moment as she had started reading the Daily Mirror, she learned about the theft of a painting by Edward Hopper. She immediately thought: “There is a link between the crime and this event.”

She was writing information she had collected about the crime in her notebook, when she heard a big noise coming from the next compartment. Puzzled, she let herself be guided by the noise...

She discovered a face that seemed familiar to her. Then, she remembered that this person was named Anthony Smith and that he was another crime investigator. He would help her.

They arrived together in Istanbul, and they separated. She walked to her hotel. Then, she started enquiring, and visiting the city at the same time. After a few days of work and many unforeseen developments, with the help of Anthony Smith and some clues, by the means of her insight, Mary finally discovered that the killer and the robber was her unknown brother, Mike.

They had spent so much time together during that week of investigation that, Anthony, who was not the best detective, she thought, was nevertheless a perfect match for her. She would not be alone at last!

 Anaïne, Anaëlle and Antoine from Miss Flachet’s class, Collège Irène Joliot Curie, Wittenheim 

Gas, 1940

It was in 1940, in the USA. The name of the hero was Jack. Jack had been working in a gas station in the countryside for several years. He only worked at night. But every night, when he left at 03:01 a.m., he saw that the gas level had decreased. What was most troubling for him was that he neither saw nor heard a car.

One night, he decided to hide and wait the arrival of this mysterious person who stole gas every night. So, he hid and waited. At 03:01 a.m., he heard a noise coming from the forest. He saw something very strange; a can of gas was moving alone in the air. Jack was surprised, he couldn't believe his eyes. Suddenly, the pump lifted and filled the can. When it was filled, it returned in the forest. Jack rubbed his eyes because he thought he was dreaming. But no, he hadn't dreamed.

The next night, Jack returned to his hiding place and waited. At

03:01, the can appeared again, but this time, Jack followed it, went into the forest, and arrived in front of a car: the can emptied into it. Jack was surprised, he didn't understand. A few years earlier, a man had a car accident after running out of gas and it was said that every evening at the same time, the ghost of this man comes to get gas to fill up his car. But now there was a witness, so he had to be eliminated. Jack continued to stare at the car in amazement. Suddenly, the car took off and rolled over Jack who didn't make it out alive. So, when you are in the US countryside, be careful when you go to fill up with gas at night, because Jack is still watching over his gas station.

Laure from Mrs Capelle’s class, Collège St Etienne, Sens

Two Comedians, 1965

Amy always wanted to be a comedian, but her parents didn’t agree.

Unfortunately, a few years later, disease took them away, and she was orphaned at 14.

So, two years later, when she met Julian, a comedian, who asked her to go with him and his family around the world, she accepted without thinking.

Today, Amy is 19 years old. She has lived with Julian’s family for three years. She has learned a lot from their work and knows she is cut out for it.

She also became very close to Julian, who became her best friend, and with whom she wrote a play about her story.

And that night she was getting ready to go on stage to perform it for the very first time.

So, accompanied by her best friend, and surrounded by her new family, she steps through the red curtain, and begins to speak with immense joy and pride in her heart.

Edward Hopper, Two Comedians, 1965
Edward Hopper, Two Comedians, 1965

Roméo Mme Mokhtari’s class, Collège St Dominique, Vichy

Manhattan Bridge, 1925-1926

My great-grandchildren are sitting around me, watching all the pictures I have kept for all my life and listening to my comments. My wife is next to me, smiling tenderly at us. And now, this is the last picture, my favourite, my best-loved and dearest one.

The photo was taken in New York in front of the Brooklyn Bridge, which was our meeting place. I was twenty years old and my then girlfriend, your grandmother was nineteen. This photo is important to me because this place marked me a lot, it was  the place where I proposed. In addition to the beautiful view over the bridge and the blue sky and the sun, that moment was beautiful, magical. This view reminds me of all these delightful memories: my marriage proposal as well as all the thrill and excitement of this memorable moment. Now, we are an old couple who is celebrating eighty years of marriage. Thankfully, after all those years, nothing has changed.

This moment is also part of your story. So, when you will visit New York City and see the Brooklyn Bridge, don’t forget to think of your great-grand parents’ magical moment.

Radea from Ms Alem's class, Collège St Exupéry, Rabat, Morocco

Apartment Houses, 1923

"Hey!" someone yelled. I maintained my pace, shouting "sorry!" without turning around or looking back, fearful of falling or stumbling. Camden is emptier than usual, which helps in running without causing too much damage. That's also a liability, seeing as there were less opportunities to hide between the crowd, or sneak into one of the many small streets this part of New Jersey provides. I ran faster, I heard them behind me shouting, threatening, insulting. I finally reached the alley I was aiming for and sprinted into it, ran up the steep stairs hidden in the corner, and took a deep breath, trying to calm my racing heart. I heard the men’s confused yells, and knew I succeeded. I walked slowly to the apartment room, expecting to find my mom in her usual place, sitting on her rocking chair, staring at the wall, but she was nowhere to be found. I called for her, searched the rooms; nowhere. Feeling stress and worry creeping in; I went to stick my head out the window to breathe some fresh air, to try to calm my nerves, when, suddenly, I saw the window opposite our house open, for the first time since the last owner moved out, 14 years ago. Being as curious as I was, I stared, trying to catch a glimpse of who our new neighbors were. Instead, I saw the last person I had ever expected to see: my mom.

I was so confused; until I saw the housekeeper’s uniform she had on. My brain could not process this, everything I had ever been told was a lie. I was supposed to go out, risk my life every single day to provide for us, for my deathly sick mom- or so I thought.

I don’t know what compelled me to come home early today, to rush home. As a pickpocket, thief, and house burglar, it was unheard of. You should never rush, or hurry, lest you want to end up with policemen and people chasing after you and ending up in jail. In all my 10 years of being a crook, I had never once come home earlier than I was supposed to. This must have been a sign of some sort, a warning. I watched my mom hum contentedly, dusting, cleaning, without a hint of illness in sight. With disbelief still clouding my brain, the next 2 scene shocked me even more. I watched as my mom discreetly picked up a watch from the dresser and pocketed it. I watched as a smile grew on her face. I watched as she twirled around like a ballerina. She was in her own world, oblivious to being watched.

It was her idea for me to start stealing to help get food and water. This might be surprising, but I was the one who strongly protested. I didn’t want to get sucked up into that kind of life, but after she fell ill, I had no choice. I never could have fathomed she could think up this whole sham just for her to get her way; but then again, she had always been a narcissist. I thought it was the parents’ responsibility to care for the children, but here I was, in this twisted version of reality. Here I was, sacrificing my freedom and liberty just to care for us. And here she was, landing a job in under a day, and stealing without any form of regret or uncertainty. She seemed to enjoy it, to relish it. It was like she had been doing this her whole life. She could have earned an honest living this whole time, but preferred faking being sick and risking her son’s safety. This was the last straw. I’d been patient with her my whole life, feeling guilty for being upset, using her illness and the fact that she was my mother as an excuse. It was time to do the thing I had sworn not to do ever since I’d been old enough to talk, the thing I’d been expressly forbidden against, it was time to break one rule that should never be broken – It was time to call my father.

Matteo from Mme Leignel’s class, Collège Thérèse d’Avilla, 59000 Lille

Compartment C, Car 293, 1938

The Night Train

My name is Jane and this is my story.

I lived alone in a nice neighbourhood in a big house in Washington. I worked as a journalist at the Washington Post. I’m not someone with many friends, and I did not have time for anything except work.

One day, on June 12th, 1936, a postman came by my house and said he had a letter addressed to me. I said, “A letter for me but from who?” I went back inside and opened the letter, it read:

Dear Jane,

I am writing this letter to you because you’re a very good journalist and I wanted to ask you something. Please, meet me in New York at 7 a.m. tomorrow. I beg you to accept.

Your friend, E.H.
Ps: read the magazine

E.H. I did not know any E.H. “Read the magazine”, what magazine? I thought someone was playing me. Then I asked myself “What should I do? maybe it’s important. It’s decided, I’m going.” I packed my stuff and went down to the train station.

I bought a one-way ticket for New York on the night train. While waiting on the platform, I looked at my ticket: Compartment C, Car 293. A white mist wrapped the station, it looked creepy and abandoned. The platform was empty no one was there. When the train arrived, I said to myself “if I board this train there is no turning back”. I took one deep breath and rushed in.

In the train I started to look for my compartment, I found it soon, it was cosy with a green coach and a lamp, I sat down and the train departed, I was alone.

For a while I just watch the last light of the sun on the countryside by the window. Then I wondered if I was really alone in the car. I looked around in the train but no one was there. I really was alone. I came back to my compartment, there was a magazine on the seat, I’m sure it wasn’t there when I left. My curiosity took over. I sat down and opened the magazine: it was about Edward Hopper’s paintings. They were beautiful, extraordinary, you could feel the life of the people in them. I was amazed. Suddenly a picture caught my attention it was a woman in a train compartment reading a magazine. This wasn’t just any woman it was me …

Kiara and Coline from Mme Garcin’s class, Collège Roger Ruel, St Didier-en-Velay

Night Windows, 1928

It’s been three weeks now... Maybe I’m being paranoïd but I have a weird felling, like if someone was watching me.

I arrived in Paris three weeks ago, and I was planning on staying one month for my job. I’m a painter and I came here to have the inspiration of this wonderful town.

The night I arrived, I tidied my room and I put everything in order, but then, when I tried to fall asleep, I had the impression that someone was watching me. But maybe was it just because it was all new to me and I wasn’t so comfortable.

Next day, I went to a restaurant and I heard a camera taking a picture behind me, I turned around and I saw a man with a black leather jacket leaving the restaurant. I saw him again following and I started being really afraid so I locked myself in my room for an entire day. But the feeling remained.

It’s been three weeks that I live in fear so now, I’m leaving.

10 years later:
Today, in my postbox, I received an envelope. And what I found in it terrified me.

It was a picture of me taken ten years ago packing my stuff to leave Paris...

Edward Hopper, Night Windows, 1928