FOR WORLD BOOK DAY: TWO GREAT WRITING COMPETITIONS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
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The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition is open now and anyone under the age of 19 can enter. Entrants are invited to complete a story begun by the winner of last year’s Branford Boase Award, author of Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, Horatio Clare:
‘The night we left was wild, clouds dashing across the moon and trees rocking and shushing in a wind so strong it seemed to make the stars blink and spin...’
The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition runs in conjunction with the Branford Boase Award, set up in memory of Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, who both died of cancer in 1999.
The story should be no longer than 1000 words, must follow on from the starter paragraph, and have a title. All entrants must live in the UK and be under 19 years of age. Entries will be judged by Prue Goodwin, consultant and lecturer in children’s literature. She says: ‘We are looking for stories that keep the reader wanting to know what is going to happen from beginning to end, are imaginative and unpredictable, and are written with a genuine reader in mind’.
Six winners will be invited to attend the Branford Boase Award celebration party in London in July. There they will meet Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Horatio Clare and the authors shortlisted for the 2107 award as well as editors, publishers, agents, and other professionals in this field. They will receive a copy of each of the books shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and be able to have their books signed. The closing date for the competition is 22 April 2017.
Plus, the deadline for the Wicked Young Writers Award has been extended to 27 March, 2017. The Wicked Young Writer Awards are separated into six categories, for entrants between the ages of 5-25. They allow young people from across the UK and Ireland to enter a piece of writing on a theme or subject of their choice. Young people are free to submit entries written at home or at school, and teachers are encouraged to enter writing on behalf of their pupils. Exclusive teachers’ resources can be found online including tips for inspiring and encouraging writing in the classroom. Schools and individuals can download entry forms and find tips and videos about the award here.
The 2017 Awards sees the second year 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. This category celebrates the Wicked: For Good philanthropic programme, which supports the work of multiple charities.
120 finalists from across the UK will see their work published in the Wicked Young Writer Awards Anthology, which will be published in association with Young Writers. The 120 finalists are also invited to an exclusive ceremony at London’s Apollo Victoria, home to the musical Wicked since 2006, where judges and members of the Wicked cast announce who has won in each category.
This year 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.