A shortlist of 120 finalists from across the UK will see their work published in the WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS anthology. Finalists are also invited to an exclusive ceremony at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, home to the hit musical since 2006, where judges and members of the Wicked cast will announce who has won in each category.
As in previous years, there are five different age categories; 5-7, 8-10, 11-14, 15-17, 18-25.
This year there is also a For Good non-fiction award, encouraging 15–25 year olds to write essays or articles that recognise the positive impact that people can have on each other, their communities and the world in general. The new award celebrates the WICKED: FOR GOOD programme, which supports the charitable causes at the heart of the stage musical.
How to Train Your Dragon author-illustrator Cressida Cowell will be returning to the judging panel as Head Judge.
New judge, award-winning poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz took part in the WICKED Young Writer Story Surgery and Poetry Workshops at the Imagine Children’s Festival at Southbank in February half-term. Writers and poets were at the surgery throughout the day, giving advice to young storytellers.
About The Awards:
The WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS were created by the producers of Wicked in 2010, in collaboration with the National Literacy Trust and spearheaded by bestselling author Michael Morpurgo, to recognise excellence in writing, encourage creativity and develop writing talent in young people. Since launching, over 20,000 young people, aged between 5 and 25, have entered original and thought-provoking pieces of writing that consistently reflect the interests, concerns and deepest thoughts of young people, providing a first-look at the emerging voices of a new generation.
The WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS raises money for the National Literacy Trust, who campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy. Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust will be returning as part of the judging panel.
Pieces of original writing can be submitted, either individually or as part of a school group, until 11 March 2016. The overall winners from each category will win a VIP family experience to the West End production of Wicked, including an exclusive backstage tour and cast meet-and-greet, £50 book/eBook tokens, plus £100 worth of books for their school library donated by Hachette Children’s Books. The individual school with the highest number of entries will receive a bespoke writing workshop at their respective school.