STRICTLY COME DANCING STAR AND FORMER MP ED BALLS JOINS JUDGING PANEL OF WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS IN SUPPORT OF THE NATIONAL LITERACY TRUST

1 March 2017

STRICTLY COME DANCING STAR AND FORMER MP ED BALLS JOINS JUDGING PANEL OF WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS IN SUPPORT OF THE NATIONAL LITERACY TRUST

ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar and young writer Laura Dockrill also become judges.
Deadline for entries now extended to 27 March 2017.
THE WEEK JUNIOR confirmed as 2017 Media Partner and provides Work Experience Prize.

To submit entries, visit: www.WickedYoungWriterAwards.com.

The acclaimed WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS (www.wickedyoungwriterawards.com), created and sponsored by the award-winning musical WICKED in association with the National Literacy Trust (www.literacytrust.org.uk), are delighted to announce that Strictly Come Dancing star, author, award-winning journalist and former Labour MP Ed Balls has joined the judging panel, alongside ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar and the acclaimed performance poet and writer Laura Dockrill. Author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon books, Cressida Cowell, returns as Head Judge for the third consecutive year, together with long-standing judges Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust and Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of WICKED.

Launched in 2010, the free-to-enter annual creative writing competition for 5-25 year olds raises money for, and awareness of, the National Literacy Trust who campaign to improve public understanding of the vital importance of literacy.

Ed Balls said "I am delighted to be joining the judging panel for the 7th year of the Wicked Young Writer Awards. I've seen the production on seven occasions, and I'm always inspired by the message that Wicked shares with its audiences and so I'm very excited to be able to support such an important initiative. Raising literacy levels, and encouraging young people to express themselves through creative writing is a vitally important mission that this award helps to champion. Everyone has a story to tell, and I can't wait to read what young people across the UK have to share." 

The Awards are also pleased to announce The Week Junior as media partner for 2017. The Week Junior will also sponsor the Award prize for the ‘FOR GOOD’ category - a work-experience placement at the magazine for a young writer of 15-25 years. Editor Anna Bassi will also be a guest judge for the category. 

Anna Bassi, editor of The Week Junior comments, “I’m delighted that we’re involved with this year’s competition. It’s a fantastic initiative, and I’m really looking forward to discovering what the next generation of journalists are writing about.”

To ensure as many people as possible are able to take part, the awards deadline has now been extended to 27 March, 2017. Entrants can submit their writing by visiting www.WickedYoungWriterAwards.com, where they will also find writing tips and resources from the Award judges.

Michael McCabe, Executive Producer of WICKED said, “It is with great pleasure that we welcome Ed Balls to the judging panel of the annual Wicked Young Writer Awards and back to the Apollo Victoria Theatre where, while serving as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, Ed launched Anti-Bullying Week 2007 at an event we hosted in partnership with the Anti-Bullying Alliance. We are delighted to also welcome ITV News Arts Editor Nina Nannar and the extraordinarily gifted performance poet and writer Laura Dockrill as Judges. We’d also like to offer a very big thank you to The Week Junior for agreeing to become our Media Partner. We are all extremely proud of these creative writing awards and absolutely delighted to have so much incredible support”. 

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of the Awards, set up to encourage and recognise excellence in writing, and creativity, and help develop literacy and writing talent in young people. Since launching, over 25,000 young people have entered original and thought-provoking pieces of writing that consistently reflect the interests, concerns and deepest thoughts of young people, providing a first-look at the emerging voices of a new generation.


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