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Welcome to this year’s Patrick Tolfree essay competition, open to students of any academic level over the age of 18 and living anywhere in the world.

The theme for this year’s competition is ‘Hardy and Travel’. Essays of not more than 4000 words in length are warmly invited. They may focus on, but are by no means limited to, the following:

Movement within Hardy’s literary oeuvre
‘Hardy the European’
‘Hardy and World Events’
Advancements in travel pertinent to Hardy’s work

Any aspect of Hardy’s prolific output may be focussed upon, whether it be novels, short stories, poems, essays, or his contribution to architecture. Please note that entries should conform to the THS Journals style guide which can be accessed via the Journals website. In particular, please note that we use the endnote system for referencing.

The author of the best entry in the opinion of the judges will receive £250, and one-year’s free membership of the Thomas Hardy Society. The winning entry will be published (following the usual process for feedback and amendments) in the Thomas Hardy Journal.

Please send your entry by email to students@hardysociety.org

or by post to TOLFREE ESSAY COMPETITION, Thomas Hardy Society,

c/o Kingston Maurward College, Dorchester, DT2 8PY.


The closing date for submissions is 15th December 2022.


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