A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.

How to be a wicked young writer

I was lucky enough to watch the Wicked Young Writers’ Awards last week. My son was one of 120 shortlisted writers aged 5 to 25, who gathered in London for an afternoon of performances, storytelling and an awesome writing workshop run by Sam Gayton.

Judge Cressida Cowell gave a great speech, urging the young writers to see making stuff up as a very real career option. Then it was time for the prizes. Actors from the Wicked cast read winning stories and poems from six categories: 5-7, 8-10, 11-14, 15-17, 18-25, and a new Sugarscape award for fan fiction.

My son was thrilled to win his category! I asked him for his top tips for the six-year old writer…

1.”Think about the ideas, you need to think of loads of different stories”

2. “Choose the best one”

3. “Think really hard if it might be funny for other people”

4. “Just use your imagination”

5. “I got to have a day off school”

I think number 5 is encouragement to enter next year’s competition!

If you are (or know) a keen young writer, look out for news of the 2016 competition, it’s such an inspiring experience.

And it reminds wicked old writers like me that you don’t need to wait for the right moment, the right desk space or the right training to bring that book to life… just raid your parents’ printer for paper, grab the nearest felt tip, and get writing!

About Isabel Thomas

Isabel Thomas studied Human Sciences at Oxford University before becoming a writer. Her books for young people include HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD (OUP), shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize 2016, and SELF-DESTRUCTING SCIENCE: SPACE (Bloomsbury). Isabel lives in Cambridge, where she is zookeeper to three young sons. Website: Twitter: @raisingchimps


This entry was posted on July 8, 2015 by .

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