University Life Write your own obituary

ASH graduate Andrea Keller receives Segeberger Award for her writing group concept

The writing pedagogue and author, art and culture worker and cultural mediator Andrea Keller (Thalwil/Switzerland) received the Segeberger Prize of the Segeberger Kreis - Gesellschaft für Kreatives Schreiben e.V. on March 17, 2023. Andrea Keller was honored for her outstanding writing pedagogy project entitled „Das letzte Wort voraus. Write your own obituary“. The Segeberger Prize is awarded for projects that contribute to the further development of creative writing in groups as part of a cultural practice.

Andrea Keller is a graduate of the master's program in Biographical and Creative Writing (BKS ) at the Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin (ASH), which is now in its 17th year of training writing educators. One of the focal points of the course, which is both artistic and pedagogical, is the development of a concept for accompanying people who write in groups. Andrea Keller's concept was developed during her studies at ASH Berlin.

Here - in the opinion of those of us who teach at BKS and are involved in the board of the Segeberger Kreis - a wonderful connection between university, civic engagement and local cultural practice can be seen. The award also honors the work of the BKS, which is unique in the German-speaking world with its aesthetic-practical as well as social and cultural education orientation.

The award ceremony took place for the first time in 2023. The top-class independent jury consisted of the writing researchers Katrin Girgensohn (Berlin), Kirsten Schindler (Wuppertal) and Gerd Bräuer (Freiburg), the children's and youth author Susan Kreller (Berlin) and the former ARD correspondent Werner Sonne (Berlin). 44 submissions from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were to be reviewed. The choice fell on the writing group concept of Andrea Keller.

The jury was convinced by the existentialist idea of writing one's own first obituary in the middle of life and not letting death have the last word. For this Andrea Keller combines writing in groups with reference to various disciplines to create a convincing integrative approach. In addition to creative writing, journalism, the church context and palliative work (dignity-centered therapy), she also incorporates approaches from biography work and the targeted examination of literary role models.


The Segeberger Kreis - Society for Creative Writing was founded in 1982 in Bad Segeberg by writing teachers from universities, schools and adult education as well as authors. The headquarters of the association (since 1987) is Kassel. The chairman since 2011 is Prof. Dr. Norbert Kruse (Kassel). The Segeberger Kreis holds an annual conference and publishes the Segeberger Briefe - Zeitschrift für Kreatives Schreiben twice a year.