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The Wicked Young Writer Awards are now open

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

If your child is a young writer then this competition could be just for them.

Wicked, the West End musical telling the untold story of the witches of Oz, has opened its eighth Young Writer Awards. The competition closes on 12th March 2018.

The launch of the awards was announced last week at Leys Primary School in Dagenham, East London.

Headteacher, Grant Krog, said: “Participating in the Wicked Young Writer Awards has been fun, engaging and an all-round positive experience for Leys Primary School. The children have enjoyed being part of a national competition, which has seen their talents celebrated beyond the classroom and school community. They’ve learnt a lot about writing for a specific audience and from my discussions with many of them they are also keen to continue to write for pleasure.”

Entrants can enter one of five different age categories:

  • 5–7
  • 8–10
  • 11–14
  • 15-17
  • 18-25

The 2018 Awards also sees the third year of the For Good Award for non-fiction. This category celebrates the Wicked For Good programme that supports the charitable causes at the heart of the musical. It encourages 15 to 25-year-olds to write essays and articles recognising the positive impact that people have on the world.

Encouraging the young writer in each child

The Awards were created by the producers of Wicked in 2010, in collaboration with Michael Morpurgo (of War Horse fame) and the National Literacy Trust. Its aim is to recognise excellence in writing, encourage creativity and develop writing talent in young people. Over 25,000 young people have entered the awards since they began in 2010. And over 600 primary and secondary schools and colleges entered last year’s awards.

A shortlist of 120 UK entrants will have their work published in the Wicked Young Writer Award Anthology. Each will be invited to a ceremony at London’s Apollo Victoria, home of the musical since 2006. There, judges and members of the Wicked cast will read the winning stories and poems and announce the winners.

Pieces of original writing can be submitted, either individually or as part of a school group. The overall winners from each category will win a VIP family experience to the West End production of Wicked. This also includes an exclusive backstage tour and cast meet-and-greet. Plus £50 book/eBook tokens and £100 worth of books for their school library donated by Hachette Children’s Books. The school with the highest number of entries will receive a bespoke writing workshop at their respective school.

Go to for details on how to enter.