Sykes, 74 years old from Purston, England, an hour outside Manchester, won overall champion in the 2013 U.S.-based international World Handwriting Contest.
He also won Senior Best Artistic Handwriting in just his second year of competition.
“I was really thrilled to win, and receiving the second certificate was a lovely surprise,” said Sykes.
In the 2012 world contest, Sykes’ first year of competition, he came in second in the same category for over-65 year olds. That was the first time Sykes, who is chairman of the Pontefract Calligraphers, had entered any kind of writing competition, and he said: “It was a pleasant surprise to do so well.”
As Terry Sykes describes it: “They sent a script, a block of text that we had to copy down the words in whatever our idea for an artistic handwriting style. It didn’t necessarily have to stick with one style – copperplate or gothic for example – and my calligraphy tutor said a script that I was doing a piece of work in, a combination of flourished italic and my own personal handwriting style, looked attractive on the page, so I did it in that.”
“It was similar to the style I used in last year’s competition, but with a few little changes here and there,” Sykes said.
Sykes joined the Pontefract Calligraphers eleven years ago. “We stress that people don’t need to have any experience at all and we give the first session free of charge so they can have a go,” said Sykes.
In this day and age when handwriting of any kind is in a sharp decline, Sykes is a shining light.
The World Handwriting Contest is sponsored by Handwriting for Humanity, Albany, New York, and is open internationally to anyone who chooses to enter. Age categories range from under 8 years old to over 65.