I was far from imagining that two years after seeing the musical Wicked in London, I would be returning to the same venue, the Apollo Theatre, but this time, be invited on stage as one of the finalists for The Wicked Young Award Writer’s competition.
On 6th December, I travelled to London with my parents, my six year old sister, two friends from CVC and Mr Walker, my English teacher.
It was a truly incredible and amazing day with prizes presented by best-selling author, former Children’s Laureate and Wicked Young Writers’ Award Chair Judge, Michael Morpurgo. The only person missing from the ceremony was Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall, who is the patron of this competition but who couldn’t be with us. There was an opening performance by a member of the 2012/13 cast of Wicked followed by an interactive literacy workshop hosted by performance poet, Dean Atta. We all had two minutes to come up with a poem about friendship. There were some amazing pieces compiled almost on the spot by other finalists. I must admit that I was lost for words at that point.
After a general introduction by Michael Morpurgo, there were some truly magical and most inspiring moments when the winners in the different age categories were announced. This was followed by a superb reading of the winning entries in each age category by the principal members of the Wicked cast. The whole atmosphere was awe inspiring as I was surrounded by other children who shared my passion and love for writing.
All finalists were then escorted onstage for a group photo with the Wicked Young Writers Award judges and principal members of the Wicked cast to commemorate our achievement. This was the tedious bit for me and it seemed to go on forever ! As we left the stage, we received our own copy of the Wicked Young Writers Award 2012 Anthology where our piece was published. The highlight of the day was when I had the privilege to talk privately with Michael Morpurgo. He happens to be a good friend of Anthony Horowitz with whom I spent a day at his house last May discussing his and my writings. This extraordinary encounter was followed by a less exciting one when I was asked to be interviewed by a journalist about my piece. Having had unsatisfactory experiences with journalists in the past, I must admit I did not have much trust in this one either ! I was to find out later on that the piece I had been shortlisted for ‘The lyrics of music’ was not in fact that one which had actually been published so no wonder the journalist looked a little surprised throughout the interview! The following day, Mr Morpurgo’s PA emailed me to say that because all my pieces had made it to the final, there was a mix up and a different one to the one I had originally been told had got me shortlisted was published in the anthology. This was a blessing in disguise as The Alien Toy Maker (short story aimed at young children) is certainly much more entertaining than The Lyrics of Music. What a wicked ending to the day !
Alexia Sloane 8C