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>> Wicked Young Writers winners announced

Wicked Young Writers winners announced

Wicked Young Writers winners announced

Children from over 600 schools in the UK have taken part in the 2017 Wicked Young Writer Awards, with the winners announced today, Friday, at a ceremony at London's Apollo Victoria Theatre, home of the award-winning musical WICKED.

Now it its seventh year, the Awards encourage young people aged 5-25 years to use writing as a way of expressing themselves.

More than 115 shortlisted finalists and their families and teachers attended today's announcement ceremony. The finalists had written stories, poems and non-fiction with a range of subjects covered including mental illness, dementia, kindness to strangers, hope in adversity, forced marriage, the importance of community in the digital age and the value of education to change the world and help us feel compassion.

This year's judges included former Labour MP, Ed Balls, 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, returned as head judge for the third consecutive year. Anna Bassi, editor of The Week Junior is also a guest judge for the For Good Award for Non-Fiction.

Cressida Cowell said of the winners, "This year, my fellow judges and I read poems and stories addressing really big issues - mental illness, hope in adversity, kindness to strangers and the value of education. There was an incredible range of styles and an array of brilliantly original voices, but they all had this in common - they made us as judges feel something."

The winning entries were revealed as:

5-7 Category:
Winner: Adam Rafael Holmes, 7, from Islington, London for Auntie Helen has gone to heaven
The judges said: 'This is an honest and heartfelt poem about life and death. Thoughtful, playful and positive about death and a celebration of life'.

Runner-up: Rosa Little, 6, from Botley, Oxford for The Four Seasons
The judges said: 'A poem about the seasons full of imaginative description and inventive use of words language. It also features a unique and heartfelt welcome to refugees'.

8-10 Category:
Joint winner: Iona Mandal, 10, from Birmingham for Indigo’s Adventures With Love
The judges said: 'A sophisticated and lyrical meditation on the nature of love, both tangible and abstract'.

Joint winner: Miranda Tansley, 10, from Tunbridge Wells for The Suffragettes of Tunbridge Wells.
The judges said: 'This story breathes life into a true episode from the frontline of the Suffragette movement'.

11-14 Category:
Winner: Isla Siggs, 13, from Eastbourne, for A Spot of Bother
The judges said: 'A grisly tale! A meticulously detailed history of a truly disgusting spot that simply will not be defeated'.

15-17 Category:
Winner: Julia McGrattan, 17, from Hemel Hempstead for Perfectly Unstable
The judges said: 'A brave, brilliantly executed, short story tackling a difficult subject of mental health. A calculated deception or the beginning of decent into madness. A satisfying twist forces the readers to draw their own conclusions.'

Runner-up: Ilana Pearce, 15, from Leeds for Why Don't You Just Stop?
'This poem is an insightful account of living with OCD, expressed in language and rhythm that reflects the real struggle that sufferers face every day'.

18-25 Category:
Winner: Claire Joicey, 22, from Cornhill-on-Tweed for The Attic
The judges said: 'A haunting and atmospheric story told in richly descriptive prose, painting a portrait of sorrow and buried grief'.

'FOR GOOD' Category:
Winner: Scarlett Rushton, 25, from Chalfont St Peters for Bus 305
The judges said: 'A surprising true story of community and the beauty and importance of connection in the digital age'.

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