The Wicked Young Writer Awards, created and sponsored by the award-winning acclaimed musical in association with the National Literary Trust, have announced the names of the 115 finalists in the running for prizes.
The full list of finalists can be found on the Awards’ website, with young people represented from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Championed by Patron Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall, this year’s judges include former Labour MP, Ed Balls, ITV News Arts Editor, Nina Nannar, and performance poet and writer Laura Dockrill. Author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell, returns as Head Judge for the third consecutive year, together with long-standing judges Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust and Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of Wicked. Anna Bassi, Editor of The Week Junior is also a guest judge for the FOR GOOD Award for Non-Fiction.
This year’s panel of judges reviewed and confirmed the finalists that sifting judges (teachers from both primary and secondary sectors) had earmarked. They then selected their winners, who will be announced on 23 June 2017 at an awards ceremony at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, home of the much-loved musical.
The awards are now in their 7th year, encouraging young people aged 5-25 years to use writing as a way of expressing themselves to produce unique and original pieces of prose and poetry.
Jonathan Douglas said, “Well done to everyone who took part in this year’s awards and congratulations to the worthy finalists! We hope that the awards will continue to inspire children and young people to give their thoughts, ideas and passions a voice.”
Wicked is based on the acclaimed novel by Gregory Maguire that re-imagined the stories and characters created by L Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. It tells the incredible untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two girls who first meet as sorcery students, with their extraordinary adventures in Oz ultimately seeing them fulfil their destinies as Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.