The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)

Search is on for today’s Dickensian characters

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A charity founded by Charles Dickens has launched a competitio­n to find the colourful characters of today who could have inspired one of the beloved author’s largerthan-life creations.

Dickens – a former political reporter – was among the founders of the Journalist­s’ Charity in 1864, to help others of his trade who had fallen on hard times.

To mark 150 years since the death of the Great Expectatio­ns author, the charity has tasked writers with penning a portrait of a modern-day Dickens character.

In 300 words and using Dickens’s typically colourful style, entrants are asked to bring to life a contempora­ry figure to stand alongside the likes of miser Ebenezer Scrooge, spinster Miss Havisham and unscrupulo­us thief Fagin.

The competitio­n, launched by the Journalist­s’ Charity with the support of the Dickens Fellowship, is open to all and free to enter, although organisers have encouraged entrants and supporters to donate to the charity.

The winning entry will be brought to life in a unique illustrati­on by Fleet Street veteran cartoonist Stanley McMurtry, also known as Mac.

Ian Dickens, president of the Dickens Fellowship and the author’s greatgreat-grandson, will be on the judging panel.

Mr Dickens said: “This is such a wonderful competitio­n, full of rich potential and modern-day relevance.

“The joy of Dickens is the range of characters that inhabit every page.

“And such rich pickings continue to place themselves firmly in front of us every day, if we bother to stop, listen and imagine. I can’t wait to meet them.”

Entries can be submitted online before 5pm on June 9 to Dickens@ journalist­scharity.org.uk

“Joy of Dickens is the range of characters that inhabit the page”

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 ??  ?? This year marks 150 years since the death of Dickens
This year marks 150 years since the death of Dickens

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