Budding young writers as young as five years old are being invited to enter this year’s Wicked Young Writer Awards.
The awards were created by the producers of the multi award-winning musical Wicked in 2010 in collaboration with the National Literacy Trust. Spearheaded by bestselling author Michael Morpurgo, the aim of the awards is to recognise excellence in writing, encourage creativity and develop writing talent in young people.
Unveiling the details of the 2016 awards, the organisers announced the introduction of a new non-fiction category and welcomed the news that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall has agreed to extend her patronage of the awards for a further five years.
How to Train Your Dragon author-illustrator Cressida Cowell has also confirmed she will return to the judging panel as head judge. She said: “I am thrilled to be asked to be a judge for the second time. It is wonderful to be involved in an award which fires up the imaginations and confidence of these young writers. As an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, I’m a real advocate of anything that gets young people reading and writing.”
As in previous years, entrants can enter into one of five different age categories: 5–7; 8–10; 11–14; 15–17; and 18–25. The 2016 awards scheme marks the launch of the For Good Award for Non-Fiction, 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 category celebrates the Wicked: For Good programme, which supports the charitable causes at the heart of the stage musical.
Pieces of original writing can be submitted, either individually or as part of a school group, until the closing date of 11 March 2016. The 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 of book/eBook tokens and £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 tailor-made writing workshop at their respective school.
A shortlist of 120 entrants from across the UK will see their work published in the Wicked Young Writers Awards Anthology. They will also be invited to an exclusive ceremony at London’s Apollo Victoria, home to the hit musical since 2006, where judges and members of the Wicked cast will announce who has won in each category.
The awards raise money for the National Literacy Trust, which campaigns 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.
Michael McCabe, executive producer (UK) of Wicked said: “All of us at Wicked are incredibly proud of this project and greatly indebted to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, Michael Morpurgo and Cressida Cowell for their support. Their passionate commitment to encouraging creative writing and improving literacy standards amongst young people in the UK is an inspiration to us all.”
Entry details can be found at www.WickedYoungWriters.com.
Book tickets for Wicked: www.musicaltheatrereview.entstix.com/tickets/wicked
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Wicked Young Writer Awards winners revealed – and show confirms new charity partnerships – News