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Wicked Young Writer Awards 2016 - winners announced

Theatre news

THE WINNERS of the 2016 Wicked Young Writer Awards were announced during a ceremony involving over 100 shortlisted finalists and their families and teachers at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, home of the multi award-winning musical Wicked.

The ceremony was hosted by TV and radio presenter Gaby Roslin, with prizes presented by Head Judge Cressida Cowell, bestselling author of the How to Train Your Dragon series of books.

Wicked cast members also performed songs from the hit musical, as well as readings of the winning entries, which were:

5-7 Category

Joint winner: Aoife Stewart, 6, from Ealing London for Problems in Potland

Joint winner: George McGivern, 6 from Kent for The King Who Hated Christmas

Joint winner: Isla Whitford, 6 from Kent for William and the Dog Catcher

8-10 Category

Joint winner: Angelina Thakrar, 8 from Lewes for The Day of the Dead

Joint winner: Matilda Collins, 11 from Eastbourne for Night Step

11-14 Category

Joint winner: Eilidh Laurie, 12 from Stirling, Scotland for As White as Snow

Joint winner: Harry Watson, 14 from Enfield, London for Prison Life: A Teenage Convict’s Perspective

15-17 Category

Joint winner: Amber Marino, 15 from Sutton, Surrey for The Journalist

Joint winner: Charlotte Morgan, 16 from Bridport, Dorset for Desire of the Soul

18-25 Category

Winner: Fabiana Conte Luque, 25 from London for Unforgettable Sounds

For Good Category

Joint winner: Isabelle Emma Stokes, 21 from Brighton

Joint winner: Sophie Arthur, 19 from Cheltenham, Glos

Amongst this year’s finalists were stories, poems and non-fiction writing showing the beginnings of real social awareness and conscience. Highlighted concerns included environmental disasters, the rights of women, arranged marriages, the plight of refugees around the world and more immediately, the homeless. A powerful and realistic cautionary tale showed the dangers and difficulties of life in a young offender’s prison. Fantastical ghost stories, wildly funny pet stories and great flights of imagination made the younger entries a joy to read.

Cressida Cowell said of the winners: “This year, my fellow judges and I read poems and stories that are poignant, amusing and captivating. They addressed really big issues, war, homelessness, prejudice, and abuse. There was an incredible range of styles and an array of brilliantly original voices, but they all had this in common: they made us judges feel something.

“As an author, one of the main messages I want to get across to the young people in this country is that a career in writing or the Arts is an option open to them. Did you know that last year the Creative Industries made £10 million an hour for the UK economy? These young writers whether finalists or winners need to carry on writing.”

Wicked’s Executive Producer, Michael McCabe, commented: “Created in 2010, with the passionate support of Michael Morpurgo and our Patron HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, these Young Writer Awards were designed to promote literacy in the UK and encourage young people to explore their creativity. Six years later, the many thousands of entries received annually continue to inspire and amaze us all. We remain exceptionally proud that Wicked has provided the platform from which the extraordinary gifts of so many young people have been discovered and celebrated.”

Read more about the Wicked Young Writer Awards.