National Literacy Trust

The National Literacy Trust is a national charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK. We run projects in the UK's most disadvantaged communities, support schools, and campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians and parents. The National Literacy Trust believes that taking part in writing challenges and awards can have a lasting impact on pupils' attitudes, motivation and enjoyment, which in turn can help to boost attainment and support them to reach their full potential. Schools can find out more about the charity's programmes, training and resources in our Support for Schools guide.

CLPE 5-7 years Category Partner

The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is an independent UK charity that promotes the effective teaching of children’s literacy. We are a well-established and highly renowned organisation with a nationally and internationally recognised reputation and research background. Our work emphasises the importance of children’s literature in enabling children to become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers with all the benefits this brings.

Children's University 8-10 Category Partner

Described by the Sunday Times as 'The University of Fun', Children’s University (CU) is a critically-acclaimed, extra-curricular programme which takes education far beyond the confines of the classroom. If you are between 5-14 and your school is a member, you can use our Passport To Learning to collect hours of learning towards bronze, silver and gold Children’s University Awards.

Take note! Why not get busy on your own or with a group of friends and gain 3 hours for your passport when you show your completed entry to your school co-ordinator.

The Literacy Shed 11-14 Category Partner

Rob Smith is the creator and curator of The Literacy Shed website and until recently was a member of the leadership team in a large Manchester primary school. As the teacher leading English, Rob was able to develop and embed the use of film in the classroom in order to enhance existing practice, which led the children to be inspired and engaged whilst raising attainment in reading and writing.

Since its inception in 2012 the award winning Literacy Shed website has grown. It now has hundreds of films and animations that can be used to enhance existing units of work or form the basis of exciting reading and writing topics. Rob now travels the world delivering training to teachers about the value and impact of film on learning. He regularly goes into schools to present exciting writing workshops with groups of children across the primary phase. You can find The Literacy Shed online at www.literacyshed.com and you can find Rob on Twitter @redgierob

First Story 15-17 Category Partner

First Story changes lives through writing. We believe that writing can transform lives, and that there is dignity and power in every young person’s story. First Story brings talented, professional writers into secondary schools serving low-income communities to work with teachers and students to foster creativity and communication skills. By helping students find their voices through intensive, fun programmes, First Story raises aspirations and gives students the skills and confidence to achieve them.

Our interventions have achieved some remarkable results. Teachers report First Story students have improved confidence, self-esteem and aspiration as well as stronger writing and reading skills. First Story students also tend to perform beyond expectations in exams and have improved school attendance and engagement.

NAWE 18-25 Category Partner

The National Association of Writers in Education’s (NAWE) mission is to further knowledge, understanding and enjoyment of Creative Writing and to support good practice in its teaching and learning at all levels.

The Week Junior Media Partner

With its unique combination of current affairs, science, sport, animals, environment, books, entertainment and activities, The Week Junior feeds 8–14 year-olds’ natural appetite for information. Since its launch in November 2015 it has been acclaimed by children, parents and teachers alike, and has already won a number of industry awards including a British Society of Magazine Editors award in recognition of its editorial excellence.

Young Writers

Young Writers has been working with schools, parents and children across the world since 1991. Their aim is to promote the enjoyment of poetry and creative writing through exciting annual competitions, producing poetry and creative writing collections and providing free resources for teachers, parents and young writers.


Pobble’s mission is to create a more literate world, by giving teachers a means to inspire young writers and providing children with a global audience for their work. By showcasing schoolwork on a worldwide digital classroom wall, Pobble boosts imaginations and confidence, giving children personal motivation to write and be creative. Teachers also benefit from having access to tens of thousands of student writing samples, as well as a platform for sharing teaching ideas. Used in more than 100 countries, Pobble is endorsed by authors, politicians and school leaders - find out more about Pobble’s work in classrooms all over the world by visiting their website.



Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall is Patron of the Wicked Young Writer Awards. Her Royal Highness is passionate about the benefits of literacy both to children and adults alike. She regularly reads aloud to children, and meets adult readers keen to improve their reading skills. The Duchess is Patron of the National Literacy Trust, BookTrust, First Story and Beanstalk, all of which help to promote literacy.


Michael Morpurgo Honorary Judge

Michael Morpurgo, OBE, is the best-selling author of over 130 books for children, including Private Peaceful, The Butterfly Lion and Kensuke's Kingdom.

The theatrical production of his award-winning novel War Horse was first performed at the National Theatre in 2007, and continued to run at the New London Theatre to packed audiences until March, 2016. War Horse was released as a film directed by Steven Spielberg in January 2012.

In 1976, Michael and his wife, Clare, started the charity Farms for City Children. The charity runs three farms around the country, in Gloucestershire, Pembrokeshire and North Devon. Each farm offers children and teachers from urban primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week, gaining hands-on experience and contact with nature.

Michael was appointed Children's Laureate in May 2003, a post he helped to set up with his friend Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, 2007.

Michael Morpurgo lives in Devon with his wife Clare. He has three children and seven grandchildren.

His latest novel is Pinocchio, illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark, published by Harper Collins in 2016.

Cressida Cowell Head Judge

Cressida Cowell grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland. She was convinced that there were dragons living on this island, and has been fascinated by dragons ever since. Cressida has written and illustrated twelve books in the popular How to Train Your Dragon series which has sold over 7 million copies worldwide, and is published in 37 languages. How to Train Your Dragon is also an award-winning Dreamworks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix. Also the author of picture books, Cressida has won the Nestle Children's Book Prize and has been shortlisted for many others. She has been a proud Ambassador for the National Literacy Trust for almost ten years. Cressida lives in Hammersmith with her husband and three children.

Check out Cressida's website

Laura Dockrill

Named one of the top ten literary talents by The Times and one of the top twenty hot faces to watch by ELLE magazine, Laura is a young, talented writer/illustrator who is a graduate of the BRIT School of Performing Arts. She has performed her work at the Edinburgh Fringe, Camp Bestival, Latitude, Bookslam and the Soho Theatre and on each of the BBC's respective radio channels, 1-6. She has been a roaming reporter for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, run workshops at the Imagine Festival on the South Bank, and is on the advisory panel at the Ministry of Stories.


Jonathan Douglas

Jonathan Douglas was appointed Director of the National Literacy Trust in January 2007. Previously he was Head of Policy Development at the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, where he also worked as Head of Learning and Access. Prior to that, he was Professional Adviser for Youth and School Libraries at the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. He has also worked as a librarian and in children’s services for Westminster Libraries. Jonathan is the Non Executive Director at the Consumer Finance Education Body. He sits on the Advisory Committee of the Man Booker Prize and is the Chair of Governors at his local primary school.

Michael McCabe

Michael McCabe is a four-time Olivier Award-winning theatre producer in the UK and Tony Award nominated on Broadway. He is currently represented by Wicked at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre as well as by its record-breaking UK/International Tour, and by the new musical An American In Paris (Dominion Theatre). His previous producing credits include: Spring Awakening, Million Dollar Quartet; Sweeney Todd and, on Broadway, How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and Promises, Promises. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Michael is also renowned as one of the theatre industries most highly regarded marketing practitioners and was the original Marketing Director of Mamma Mia! (overseeing the first 14 international premieres) and is the co-founder of the marketing company Joe Public Limited. He is Trustee of English Touring Theatre, listed in Who’s Who and by Debrett’s (being named one of their ‘People of Today’ in 2010), and is a member of the Broadway League and the Society of London Theatre.

Rt Hon Ed Balls

Ed Balls is Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, Visiting Professor at King’s College London and Chairman of Norwich City Football Club.

He was UK Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (2011-15) and served in the UK Cabinet as Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families. He was the UK Minister for Financial Services (2006-07) and the Chief Economic Adviser to the UK Treasury (1997-2004) during which time he was Chair of the IMFC Deputies and UK G20 Deputy. While Shadow Chancellor he was co-Chair with Larry Summers of the Center for American Progress Inclusive Prosperity Commission.

He was a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Economics, Harvard University (1989-90) and a leader writer and columnist at the Financial Times. (1990-94). Ed studied economics at Keble College, Oxford and the Kennedy School of Government (MPA) where he was a Kennedy Scholar.

Nina Nannar

Nina Nannar is a British Asian journalist who is a correspondent for ITV News, specialising in arts and entertainment news. She frequently covers the Oscars and other major entertainment events. Interviewees include Daniel Craig, Karl Lagerfeld and Helen Mirren. She is a Patron of Norfolk Young Arts Festival.


Anna Bassi Judge for the For Good Award for Non-Fiction

Anna Bassi has been creating magazines for young people for more than 20 years. From TV tie-ins to educational titles on subjects ranging from Roald Dahl to the Royal Ballet, she’s now added last year’s most successful new launch to the list. As editor of The Week Junior Anna is at the helm of a superbly innovative and award-winning title, which has proved not only that children are interested in current affairs but that they want to read, write, think and talk about what’s going on in the world.