23 JUNE. – Apollo Victoria Theatre, London. Home to the hit musical Wicked and host of the prestigious Wicked Young Writer Awards ceremony. Now in its seventh year of celebrating young writers, this was the first in which I entered so I could not have been more surprised or pleased at getting shortlisted.
After the three and a half hour journey from Cardiff, fuelled by four hours of sleep and empty stomachs, we arrived in London. Already late for the event, we were mis-led by Google maps to waste another fifteen minutes trying to locate the venue. But alas, we made it. I may have missed the writing workshop at the beginning but at least I managed to find my seat just as the awards ceremony was about to begin.
Opening and closing with musical performances by the cast of Wicked, the judges’ made speeches reiterating how good the quality of writing was this year (unless they were Cressida Cowell who proudly assured the 5 – 7 year olds that “the quality was so bad!”)
Being in the older age group, I was one of the last to be called on stage. As I anticipated to hear my name, I felt incredibly inspired listening to the winning entries of the younger categories. Not only were they read out by the cast of Wicked, but they were completely brought to life. To this day, I can no longer look at a spot the same way. It was definitely one of the highlights of the afternoon!
Unfortunately, I didn’t win in my age category but the overall experience has just been WICKED. Considering my short story was entered on a whim because I cut it so close to the deadline that I didn’t have time to write anything new, I am so proud to be published amongst some incredible young writers in the anthology, tackling an array of topics from witches and dragons to grief and mental health. You can purchase a copy here.
If you are a young writer living in the UK, I’d highly recommend entering this award when it next opens for submissions. And if anyone is interested in reading my shortlisted entry, I may share it soon on the blog!