A competition in honour of one who tirelessly promoted education and personal creativity


A competition in honour of one who tirelessly promoted education and personal creativity

Welcome to the launch of the Thomas Hardy Society's Faysal Mikdadi Poetry Competition, memorialising the previous Academic Director of the THS. Faysal was committed to sharing his vast knowledge of Hardy with readers of all ages and capabilities, he believed in inclusivity as being a necessary part of any appreciation of literature and life. Faysal's work with schools around the country was inexhaustable; he encouraged responses from students to Hardy's work in whatever medium they felt comfortable with, resulting in the two anthologies of student work printed and sold by the Society. His true love was poetry, as was Hardy's. Thus to honour Faysal's dedication to both Hardy and education we inaugurate this competition in his name in conjunction with his soulmate Susan Walpole.

The theme will change each year but there is no limit to creativity and interpretation. This year, at the special request of Susan, the theme is 'Identity and Belonging', a subject which was very close to Faysal's heart. There is no restriction on word length or style, but we would ask that entrants submit one poem per person. The Council of Management, along with Susan, will pick the winner of each of two categories – submissions from students up to 18 years of age and submissions from anyone over the age of 18. The winning entries will receive a cash prize of £50 for students up to 18 years of age, and £100 for those over 18 years of age. This will also include Waterstone's book tokens in order to promote reading, a cause Faysal was dedicated to. Winning entries will be pubished in the Hardy Society journal.

The deadline for submissions to the competition is 31st December 2023 in order for the poems to appear in the Spring 2024 issue of the journal.

Please submit to info@hardysociety.org  All entries will be treated in confidence.

If you have any queries please don't hesitate to contact Dr Tracy Hayes – THS Secretary at info@hardysociety.org 

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