BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show host Chris Evans today launched his children’s story writing competition 500 Words for 2014.
Returning to BBC Radio 2 for its fourth year, the competition will ask children aged 13 and under across the UK to put pen to paper to compose an original work of fiction using no more than 500 words.
500 Words provides a glimpse into the brilliant minds of kids around the country. These stories will amuse, thrill, delight and inspire you. So please: spread the word about 500 WORDS. And if you’re aged 13 and under, get writing! -Chris Evans
Children should submit their stories via the entry form on the 500 Words website . Here they can also find an array of tools to help inspire their story – including the all-new Alphabot, which when pressed will generate five random words to help kids get over writer’s block. All 500 words in his databank are taken from previous entries, with over 250 billion possible word combinations to inspire young minds!
There is also a video where celebrities including Kylie Minogue, Gary Lineker, Tom Odell, Rob Brydon and a whole host of other famous faces reveal their favourite words and writing tips. This can be viewed below. And there are colourful downloadable lesson plans full of advice on penning the perfect tale.
As well as these online tips and tools, Radio 2 will be beaming 500 Words classrooms around the country, when Alex Jones – the first lady of 500 Words – interviews judge Frank Cottrell Boyce in a special webcast on Friday 7th February.
If anything sums up Radio 2’s commitment to being totally distinctive, it is 500 WORDS. Putting a children’s short story writing competition at the heart of the nation’s best and favourite music breakfast show is the perfect definition of public service broadcasting at its best and boldest. I take my hat off to Chris and the team. – Bob Shennan, Controller of BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music
Every single story submitted will be read by a book-loving army of librarians and teachers from around the UK. Last year’s competition attracted over a staggering 90,000 entries. The 40 million words used by the children in their stories provided a fascinating insight into the way British children use English today, thanks to the word-crunching wisdom of the Oxford University Press.