On Monday 29th June in London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, home of the hit musical Wicked, the 2015 Wicked Young Writers Award winners were announced. The ceremony involved 120 shortlisted finalists all aged between 5 and 25.
This is the fifth year the award has run, and sets out to encourage young people to express themselves, reflecting the musical Wicked whose themes and values are about looking at life in a different way.
This year had a new addition to the five age categories with the Sugarscape Fan Fiction Award, a brand new category created to celebrate the growing genre of fan fiction amongst young people.
The ceremony was hosted by Wicked stars Emma Hatton (Elphaba) and Savannah Stevenson,(Glinda) with prizes presented by Award judge author Cressida Cowell. It included songs from the musicals and readings from the winning entries.
Cressida Cowell said of the winners, “These stories and poems address vital concerns, the really big questions. War, mental illness, love and the forging of identity are just a few of the issues explored with clarity and imagination. As a judge, I was looking to be moved, amused, stimulated and entertained, and I was not disappointed.”
Championed by Patron Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, judges also included Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of Wicked, Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, and Henry Smith, Director of Lend Me Your Literacy.
The winning entries and categories were:
Wacky Tuesday by Harry Sample age 6, from Cambridge
King Henry’s Wives by Kiersten Johnson, age 10, from London
The Orphanage 1915 by Anoushka Das, age 14, from Guildford
To My Future Daughter by Aashna Nithianandan, age 17, from Wimbledon, London
18-25 Category – Gregory Maguire Award
The Starlight Staircase by Luke Thomas, age 20, from London
Sugarscape Fan Fiction Award
The Hunger Games – Alternative Ending by Evie Buller, age 14, from Northamptonshire
You can see more about the ceremony at www.wickedyoungwriters.com