Children’s Writing Competition 500 WORDS to return to the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 have launched the children’s writing competition 500 WORDS. To enter children are asked to compose a 500 word or less original fictional work. This is the second year the competition will run following its success last year.

Chris Evans has announced on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show that Children’s Writing competition 500 WORDS is to return for the second year running. Last year’s inaugural competition was a great success with almost 30,000 entries from kids across the UK.

The Chris Evans Breakfast Show is once again appealing to listeners aged 13 and under to compose an original work of fiction in no more than 500 words. There are two categories – for children aged nine and under and those aged between ten and thirteen, with three winners in each category.

The Gold Medal winner in each category will win Chris Evans’ height in books (6ft 2”) plus 500 books for their school library; with the runner up Silver Medal winner receiving Chris’s One Show co-host, Alex Jones’ height in books (5ft 6”). The Bronze Medal winner will pick up their own height in books.

The writers of the Top 50 stories (25 from each age category) will be invited to attend a live broadcast of The Chris Evans Breakfast show from Hay Festival on Friday 1st June. The six lucky winners will be announced live on air and read out by celebrities during the show.

Five leading children’s authors will be judging the entrants – Dame Jacqueline Wilson, David Walliams, Lauren Child, Andy Stanton and Charlie Higson. The celebrity judges will pick their six favourites from a short list of the Top 50 from each age group, who will have been chosen initially in the competition by a team of volunteer teachers and librarians. Last year 900 teachers volunteered to help with the initial selection. The National Literacy Trust will adjudicate the second stage of the process.

Judge Dame Jacqueline Wilson said:
“I’m delighted to be a judge for the 500 Words competition once again.  I found it great fun last year.  It’s exciting that so many children are keen writers and it’s great that this competition encourages them.  I’d have entered like a shot when I was a child – though I’m not sure I’d have been short-listed, as the standard is so high.  I’m glad there’s a sensible limit to the number of words, so that reading the long-listed entries is a treat instead of a task.”

Last year’s winners were nine year old Angus Barrett who triumphed in the Under 9 category for his story ‘The Death Channel’, and Olivia Norton, aged 12, who came first in the 10 to 13 years age group for her emotive story ‘Stable’.

Hopefuls can apply via the BBC Radio 2 website http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/500words/2012
which also has full details on how to enter, volunteer as teacher judges and all terms and conditions. Closing date for entries is World Book Day, Thursday 1st March.

Posted by Lucy Cook

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