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Michael Morpurgo champions children's writing prize

22nd February 2010

Former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo has launched a search to find the UK's best young writers.

The War Horse author told The Times that the Wicked Young Writers' Award is seeking entries from those aged five to 25 and is aimed at children whose parents 'do not go to literary festivals'.

Four categories in the prize will look for original prose or poetry by children from five to 16 years of age, while a fifth is for those between 16 and 25 and accepts well-known stories re-written in a new way.

'I know this sounds just like any other campaign, but it's not. It's about saying that children matter on a national scale. They make art and poetry just like anybody else does,' Morpurgo told the newspaper.

The author also claimed that education tends to stifle children's natural creativity by focusing too closely on the technical side of writing and he hopes the new prize will remedy this.

In a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, Morpurgo explained that he often comes up with new ideas for books when he is away from his writing desk at the weekends.

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