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Wicked writing competition returns

Published 14 January 2015

For the fifth year running, the West End’s most magical musical Wicked is inviting creative young people aged between five and 25-years-old to kick their imagination into gear and enter its Wicked Young Writers’ Award.

Budding writers have until 18 April to submit their pieces on any subject or theme of their choosing, either as an individual or as part of a school group. A shortlist of 100 entrants will then see themselves become published authors when their work appears in 2015’s Wicked Young Writers’ Award Anthology and be invited to a special prize ceremony at the musical’s home at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in July.

Split into five age categories, the overall winners from each group will win a money-can’t-buy Wicked experience including a family ticket to see the show in London, a backstage tour and meet and greet with the cast. On top of this exclusive West End treat, the winners will also win £50 of book tokens and £100 worth of books for their school library.

Championed by Patron Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall and spearheaded by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, 20,000 people have entered the writing competition since its inaugural year in 2010.

Fresh for 2015, the award has announced two new exciting changes. Cressida Cowell, the author of the hugely popular How To Train Your Dragon series, will join the panel of judges alongside Michael McCabe, UK Executive Producer of Wicked, and Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, and there will be a brand new category entitled the Sugarscape Fan Fiction Award.

Created by teen entertainment website www.sugarscape.com, this new category invites entrants aged 14 and older to submit a piece of fan fiction to be in with a chance of winning lunch with the Sugarscape editor before their special Wicked experience.        

For any young people debating whether to take part in this year’s award, former winner Scott Wilson has some inspiring insight, saying: “I was pretty insecure about my writing and didn’t show it to anybody and this competition gave me such a confidence kick. I’d tell anyone that loves to write to enter… it really is such a confidence boost and I think that I write more than ever now because of it.”

Beginning life as a novel and boasting an inspiring storyline, Wicked is a fitting production to join forces with the National Literacy Trust to promote the potential for such creativity in children and teens. Speaking about its continued passion for the award, Wicked’s McCabe, said: “Wicked is a musical with literary roots, based on Gregory Maguire’s best-selling book that re-imagined the fantastic characters first brought to life in The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz. We are delighted and proud that the success of Wicked has enabled us to support the Wicked Young Writers’ Award for a fifth incredible year, and we are honoured to once again be working with the next generation of writing talent.” 

For full information and details of how entrants can submit their work, including helpful tips and videos, visit www.wickedyoungwriters.com

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