The West End musical Wicked has launched a brand new writing competition for young people.
Wicked author Gregory Maguire and former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo will judge the entries in the Wicked Young Writers’ Award 2010, which is designed to encourage writing talent across a broad age range.
The main award is split into four age categories covering the ages five to 16. Entrants are invited to submit a piece of writing – it could be a story, poem, drama or illustrated piece – on a subject of their choice to a maximum of 750 words, before 31 July.
A separate prize, the Gregory Maguire Award, is open to 17 to 25-year-olds and asks participants to write a piece that takes a well-known story and examines it from a different perspective, as Maguire did with Wicked.
Speaking about the Wicked Young Writers’ Award Morpurgo said: “I hope the award will bring the passion and energy of Wicked’s amazing theatrical show and its ability to reach across age-ranges and backgrounds, to young people and their writing. With the encouragement of their teachers and families and the excitement of this kind of challenge, we will see original and creative writing coming through from children of all backgrounds and abilities. Let’s hope that many, many young people will be encouraged to begin their own storytelling journeys.”
Judges will select 20 writers from each category to come to a prize-giving ceremony this autumn at the Apollo Victoria theatre, the home of Wicked. A winner from each category will receive four tickets to Wicked and a writing masterclass from one of the award judges. All shortlisted pieces of work will be published in an anthology.
Based on the characters from L Frank Baum’s famous story The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, Wicked centres on two college girls – one blonde and popular, one green-skinned and misunderstood – whose destiny is to become Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.
More information about the competition, as well as resources for schools who wish to enter their pupils, can be found on the website www.wickedyoungwriters.com