The former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo is championing a children's writing award which is being launched today with the support of West End musical Wicked.
The award, a variation of the WH Smith Young Writer's competition which stopped 20 years ago, is aimed at children whose parents "do not go to literary festivals", Mr Morpurgo told The Times.
"I know this sounds just like any other campaign, but it's not," he told the paper. "It's about saying that children matter on a national scale. They make art and poetry just like anybody else does."
Staff in teaching jobs
could encourage their pupils to enter the competition, just like more than a million children did from 1959 up until two decades ago.
The Wicked Young Writer's Award will be open to all British young people aged between five and 16, with an extra category for those aged up to 25 who can master a clever twist on a well-known story perfect for younger teachers and classroom assistants with a passion for writing.
The children's categories are 5-7 years, 8-10 years, 11-13 years and 14-16 years. Entrants can choose what they write about and can submit prose or poetry. There will be 20 winning entries in each age group with one overall winner from each category.
The judges will be looking for quality of writing and storytelling, imagination and originality. The final date for entries is July 23rd and a selection of winners' stories could be published in an anthology.