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Poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz to join judging panel for Wicked Young Writer Awards 2016

7 January 2016

Poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz to join judging panel for Wicked Young Writer Awards 2016

The award-winning poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz is joining the judging panel in the sixth year of the prestigious WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS. The WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS were set up by the team behind the award-winning musical to recognise excellence in writing and encourage creativity. The closing date for entries is 11 March 2016.

Since launching, over 20,000 young people, aged between 5 and 25, 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. 

As in previous years, entrants can enter one of five different age categories; 5-7, 8-10, 11-14, 15-17, 18-25. In addition, the 2016 awards scheme marks the launch of the FOR GOOD Award for Non-Fiction, encouraging 15-25 year olds to write essays or articles that recognise the positive impact that people can have on each other, their communities and the world we live in. The new category celebrates the WICKED: FOR GOOD programme, which supports the charitable causes at the heart of the stage musical. 

Sabrina Mahfouz writes plays, poems and librettos for theatre and television including: Paines Plough; BBC3; Kate Whitley; Futures Theatre; Theatre Centre and Aakash Odedra. She has been a Sky Arts Academy Scholar for Poetry, a poet in residence for Cape Farewell and an Associate Playwright at the Bush Theatre. Her creative work has been recognized with a number of awards including a 2014 Fringe First Award; a 2013 Sky Arts Futures Fund Award; an Old Vic New Voices Award and a Westminster Prize for New Playwrights. 

Sabrina Mahfouz comments on the Award, "Young people's writing is what makes me optimistic and excited about the future, so being involved in anything that encourages more of it is a huge honour, especially alongside such legendary judges. I can't wait to spend cosy nights in reading the stories from the stars of tomorrow!" 

A shortlist of 120 entrants from across the UK will see their work published in the WICKED YOUNG WRITER AWARDS Anthology. They are also invited to an exclusive ceremony at London's Apollo Victoria, home to the hit musical since 2006, where judges and members of the Wicked cast will announce who has won in each category. 

Pieces of original writing can be submitted, either individually or as part of a school group, until 11 March 2016. The overall winners from each category will receive tickets to the West End production of Wicked, £50 book/eBook tokens plus £100 worth of books for their school library donated by Hachette Children's Books. The individual school with the highest number of entries will receive a bespoke writing workshop at their respective school.