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Wicked Writers: Be the Change

Wicked Writers Be the Change web banner

Our 2024 Wicked Writers Winners

After another excellent year of the Wicked Writers: Be The Change writing competition, we had 1,600 entries from across the UK and our judges were overwhelmed by the talent and the passion.

This year's theme was the environment and the winners and runners-up have been announced on Earth Day (22 April) to celebrate pupils' passion for nature and our planet.

Thanks to everyone up and down the country for taking part – join us again next year for another round of Wicked writing!

Sebastian Kesley image 2

9 to 11-year-old Winner

Sebastian Kesley, 10 from Hiltingbury Junior School

The winner in the 9 to 11 age group is Sebastian Kesley from Hiltingbury Junior School in Hampshire, who wrote an inspiring tale about plastic pollution told from the perspective of the ocean.

Sebastian said: “I am excited and flabbergasted that I was chosen as the winner, I didn't expect it. I enjoyed the thrill and suspense of the competition. I am enthusiastic about this topic and I thoroughly enjoyed writing as the sea to share this message.”


11 to 14-year-old Winner

Luo Chen, 13 from Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent

The winner in the 11 to 14 age group is Luo Chen He, 13, from Co-op Academy Stoke-on-Trent, who impressed the judges with a creative tale about the importance of activism and the struggle to change the world.

Luo Chen was thrilled to be chosen as the winner, saying: “From all the fabulous applicants, I am amazed and grateful that I have won this competition. I tried to make my approach to the theme unique by focusing on human thoughts about the environment. I totally recommend anyone to enter this competition next year, and to be original with their piece.”

Our runners-up

The runner-up in the 9 to 11 age category is 10-year-old Arthur Stock from Stanford Junior School in Brighton, who wrote a tale about a lonesome turtle caught in plastic.

The runner-up in the 11 to 14 age category is 14-year-old Samsritha Vakani from West Bromwich Collegiate Academy, with a poem about planet earth’s two potential futures – one positive and bright, and one destroyed without intervention.

A huge congratulations to all our winners and runners-up, all shortlisted pupils and everyone who submitted their wonderful writing.

To read the full shortlist, including the winning entries, read our full announcement.

A paperback version of this year's Wicked Writers Anthology is also available on Amazon.

"Thanks for organising such an inspiring competition; all the children were motivated and highly engaged in writing a piece that meant something to them."

Teacher, 2023 Competition

About the competition

We are proud to partner with the acclaimed stage musical Wicked for a persuasive writing competition open to young people aged 9 to 14.

For Wicked Writers: Be the Change this year, we asked your students to write a piece of persuasive writing about any environmental issue that is important to them, for example, the climate crisis, pollution or endangered species.

Making a positive change is a key theme in Wicked and the subject of the song For Good.

Furthermore, our research on writing has shown that for young people writing to support causes and issues that they care about acts as a strong motivator.

Taking part in our Wicked Writer Competition

The competition came complete with a full set of learning resources combining engaging persuasive writing lesson plans and content to inspire your students.

Entry to the competition was open to all UK schools and entries were judged anonymously in two age categories:

  • ages 9 to 11 (KS2/P6, P7)
  • ages 11 to 14 (KS3/S1, S2, S3)

The competition included a chance of winning a range of exciting prizes to be awarded to winners, runners up and shortlisted students.

The closing deadline for entries was 11 March 2024.

Key information

  • Eligibility

    Open to all UK schools, for students aged 9 to 14.

  • Theme

    Entries must engage with the environmental theme.

  • Entry submission

    Teachers can submit an unlimited number of entries

  • Format

    Entries must be submitted in a typed Word document or PDF. Do not include students' names on the entry.

  • Length

    There is a word limit of 300 words for the younger age category (9 to 11), and 500 words for the older age category (11 to 14)

  • Winners

    A winner and runner up will be chosen in each age category. Shortlisted students will have a chance to be published in the Wicked Writers Anthology.

"When I heard I had come first in the competition, I was overjoyed… I am so excited to see Wicked with all my classmates."

Winner, Younger Category, 2023
Wicked Writers: Be the Change 2023 Winner class trip


  • Four schools received free class tickets to see the stage musical Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre in London, including a travel subsidy.
  • The two winning schools will receive free writing workshops in school.
  • 16 shortlisted schools received a book bundle.
  • 16 shortlisted students have had their writing published in print in an anthology which will be distributed to their schools.

Entries were judged this year by a fantastic judging panel, including children's author M. G. Leonard, teacher-influencer Holly King-Mand, Wicked Executive Producer Michael McCabe and National Literacy Trust CEO Jonathan Douglas CBE.


If you have a question about the competition, please email Wicked Writers.

You can also read more about last year's winners.

In partnership with Wicked Active Learning

Praised by educators as “the gold standard for West End shows reaching out into education” and “enriching, engaging, and easy to use”, Wicked Active Learning is the London stage musical’s cultural and social education programme.

“Packed with content that mirrors the framework for personal development” (Belleville Primary School), Wicked provides a range of free classroom resources and lesson plans, a popular programme of official workshops, and post-show Q&As to maximise the educational value and learning potential of school trips to experience the award-winning musical.

The in-house Wicked Active Learning education team are on hand to provide expert advice and school trip planning support, including materials to assist in the completion of risk assessments.

Explore Wicked Active Learning