500 words competition 2013

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED – Good luck to all the entrants

Do you know someone aged 13 or under? Would they like to win a lot of books? Could they write an amazing story in no more than 500 words?  Then read on…

It’s the final week of Radio 2′s 500 words competition. Back for it’s third year, this epic short story contest inspired no less than 74000 under 13s to put pen to paper – or rather finger to keyboard – last year and submit their tales of Cows on Buses, Remote Controlled Mums and Al Cappuchino to name but a few.

There are two age groups in the 500 WORDS competition – one for children aged 10 – 13, and another for children aged 9 and under. Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes are up for grabs in each age group! Gold will see the winner walk away with DJ Chris Evan’s height in books plus 500 for their school library. The Silver prize will measure up to The One Show’s Alex Jones, while the Bronze tale-teller can take home their own height in books.

This year joining Chris to judge the entries are children’s literary favourites, multi award winning Dame Jacqueline Wilson who has delighted millions with Tracy Beaker’s antics , Charlie Higson (Young Bond books), Malorie Blackman and Frank Cotterell Boyce, all headed up by CBBC and Top Gear presenter, Richard Hammond. They will be helped by an army of teachers and librarians who will have the tough job of finding the Top 50 stories to go through to the final round at the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts on May 31st 2013.

Writing tips and advice have been collected from an array of 500 words supporters including past judges

  • “Don’t worry if you are not good at writing – we are looking for a brilliant story, not the best spelling!” – David Walliams
  • “Write for yourself. Write a story that you would want to read” – Charlie Higson
  • “Think of a good ending that is surprising. But make sure it grows out of the story.” – Andy Stanton

Popstars Tulisa and Harry Judd feature in a short video with Blue Peter’s Helen Skelton to help motivate youngsters to shape their original story and develop characters to make for a really interesting read.

It’s also well worth reading through the winning stories and the tremendously talented runners up from last year to get a real clue as to the standard. A real celebration of what kids can achieve.

So time is running out, the competition closes next Friday 22nd Feb at 7pm but then there is a week of half term holiday in between now and then. Visit the library, read some short stories together, practice making up stories from things found around the house, the park or base it upon some amazing character that you bump into at a museum – then get the kids to write their best one down in no more than 500 words and hit submit.


By the way this article is 479 words

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