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Wicked, The National Literacy Trust and the award-winning author Sharna Jackson, invite UK schools to take part in a brand-new writing competition that challenges students to change our world for the better.

Be the Change, inspired by the themes in one of the most well-known songs from the musical, For Good, challenges students aged 9 – 14 to write persuasively about something they want to change for the better in our society.

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About the competition

“With 1 in 3 children in England leaving primary school without being able to write well, Wicked Writers is a brilliant programme to engage children and young people with one of the most important skills they’ll need to thrive in life,” says Tim Judge, Head of Schools Programmes at the National Literacy Trust.

“But the competition also leads the way in showing pupils that writing can help you engage with your society. Whether it’s advocating for a cause you believe in on social media or writing a letter to your MP, Be the Change can start young writers on their journey of using writing to change something they passionately believe in.”

Including members of the Wicked cast and author Sharna Jackson this star-studded judging panel will select the winners from each of two age categories.

The winners will receive tickets to see for their entire class to see Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria. Plus they will win a writing workshop with Sharna Jackson, and a bundle of books for their school’s library.

“I’m delighted to be not only be part of the judging, but also working directly with schools on the Wicked Writers: Be the Change competition – a fantastic initiative that gets young people thinking about ways to make a difference, and then gets the writing, applying their words to matters that are meaningful for them. I can’t wait to read and most of all be persuaded to follow their causes. I’m looking to see what tools they use from persuasive writing toolboxes – I’m partial to the rule of three, alliteration and a powerful, punchy ending that stays with you,” adds Sharna Jackson, author of the award-winning High-Rise Mystery series of children’s books.

How to enter

They have provided a free resource pack you can download to use in your classroom which includes:

  • Lessons plans with lots of ideas about creating a positive change
  • Engaging content from Wicked and Sharna Jackson to motivate your students
  • Practical information about how to run the competition in your school

To enter this competition simply:

  • Download the resources, including the lesson plans and other materials for your class. The resources contain everything you need for your students to explore and analyse persuasive writing, and to plan their own piece of persuasive writing engaging with the theme Be the Change.
  • From your class’s final pieces of work, select two to enter in to the competition. Students may use the student template provided.
  • Read the terms and conditions before entering.
  • Email your two selected pieces of writing and a completed competition entry form to wicked.writers@literacytrust.org.uk They can’t accept submissions without a competition entry form unfortunately.
  • Entries must be submitted by 31 March 2023. The competition is open to all UK schools.

Have a question about the competition? Email wicked.writers@literacytrust.org.uk

About Wicked

Wicked Active Learning, the acclaimed production’s new education resource, connects teachers directly with the in-house sales team and provides web-hosted classroom resources (including free Anti-Bullying and Diversity, Inclusion + Wellbeing lesson plans and an interview with composer and lyricist Stephen Schwartz, discussing his musical themes and inspiration behind many of the show’s iconic songs, including ‘Defying Gravity’, which is a set work for Pearson Edexcel GCSE Music).

In support of learning outside the classroom and the delivery of cultural capital and personal development, Wicked provides more than 60% savings on tickets, free teacher ratios (with extra tickets purchasable) and a free 20-page guide to planning an education trip, including information to support a school’s risk assessment.

“With themes of self-esteem, discrimination, and identity, Wicked delivers an enriching live theatre experience that supports both the quality of education and personal development elements of the Ofsted framework and enhances our students’ level of cultural capital.”

Head Teacher, All Saint’s School, Sheffield
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Wicked Writers: Be The Change is a brand new creative writing competition to encourage your students to think about their place in the world and changes they can make to improve it. It’s a great opportunity to get your students excited to write!

Entries must be submitted by 31 March 2023.

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