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Journalists' Charity launch competition to find your inner Dickens

The Journalists’ Charity has launched a competition to create a 21st century Dickens character. 150 years after his death a search has been launched to find the kind of characters the great Charles Dickens would have been describing in the uncertain times of today.

Founded by the great Charles Dickens, the Journalists’ Charity has launched a competition to discover the kind of people living today who might have captured the writer’s imagination and would be his great inspirational characters of the 21st Century.

It asks participants in 300 words – with Dickens’ descriptive flamboyance – to pen a portrait of a 21st-century character that would have deserved his attention.

Launched with the support of the Dickens Fellowship, funds raised from the competition will help the charity assist those journalists who are now facing hardship because the coronavirus pandemic has had a serious impact on their livelihoods.

The competition is open to everyone and although free to enter the charity are encouraging participants and non-participants alike to make a donation to the charity.

Full details and rules can be found at

Judges for the competition will include Dickens’s great, great, grandson and the Dickens Fellowship. The winning character will be brought to life in a unique illustration by one of Britain’s greatest cartoonists.

Dickens began his glittering career as a freelance Parliamentary reporter and helped set up the Journalists’ Charity which, since 1864, has supported journalists and their families in the UK and Ireland who may have fallen on hard times.

Mr. Ramsay Smith, Chairman of the Journalists’ Charity, said: “Our charity is delighted to launch this competition with the support of the Dickens Fellowship. As a pioneer of the charity, Charles Dickens embodied a remarkable charitable spirit that has remained at our core for more than 150 years.

“Journalists the world over are doing a brilliant job reporting the Coronavirus pandemic but the reality is that many, particularly freelance journalists, are facing an extremely challenging time.

“This competition provides a great opportunity for people – journalists and non-journalists alike – to put their creative skills to work in these strange times. We hope everyone who holds the works of Dickens dear will take part.”

Source: Journalists’ Charity