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500 words 2015

Radio 2 launches fifth anniversary of 500 Words competition

22nd January, 2015

Earlier this week, listeners of the Chris Evans’ Radio 2 Breakfast show woke up to some exciting news: this year’s 500 Words competition is now open for entries.

Having worked with BBC Radio 2 team to create the online submission website for 500 Words last year, magneticNorth are delighted to have continued our work with the competition, which challenges children under the age of 13 to write a short story in no more than 500 Words.

In the five years since it began, 500 Words has encouraged hundreds of thousands of children of all abilities to get creative with writing. Head judge Richard Hammond announced that this year, there are some lovely prizes on offer for the three finalists in each age category, for example ‘Gold’ winners will win Chris Evans’ height in books; that’s a height of 6ft2 – yikes! All six winning entries will be read live on Radio 2 by well-known acting talent. And if that wasn’t enough, on the 29th of May the top 50 entrants will be invited to attend the finale of the competition at the one and only St. James’ Palace!

2014’s edition was a great success, with close to 120,000 entries resulting in six happy winners. Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch and Paddington’s Hugh Bonneville were among the celebrities who voiced the winning stories. All six stories are available to listen to online via the 500 Words website along with lots more entertaining and inspiring content to get those creative juices flowing.  

Back with a brand new look for 2015, the 500 Words site now comes with several updates to its core features and functionality. It has a simplified entry form, making the competition more accessible than ever. Already capable of generating billions of fun word combinations, our trusted random word generating ‘Alphabot’ has also had a makeover and now features a synonym and antonym generator. The new feature hopes to inspire even more creativity with budding writers.

It’s time to get writing. Entries can be submitted any time from now until 7pm on Thursday 26th of February. As you can probably tell, we are very excited about this year’s competition. Who knows, we may be about to find the next Dickens or J K Rowling. Watch this space!