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BBC ‘500 Words’ Story Writing Competition

Where will you find your inspiration for Radio 2’s story-writing competition?

How to enter

All stories must be submitted via the online form on our website.

Parents, guardians and teachers can register for a SUBMITTER ACCOUNT, or by following the links at the top of this page. Once an account has been created, it can be used to upload a single story or a whole school’s worth of tales with our new top tool! For more information on how to enter a story into this year’s competition, please visit our Submit Your Story page.

Teachers and Librarians can also apply to be one of our volunteer judges by registering a JUDGE ACCOUNT. For more information on how to become a judge for this year’s competition, please visit our Become A Judge page.

Please read the competition rules before submitting entries, along with the competition Privacy Notice.

What are the prizes?

As well attending a spectacular 500 Words Final at Buckingham Palace where superstar celebrities will read the winning stories live on the radio, six amazing illustrators: Tony Ross, Fiona Lumbers, David McKee, Sue Cheung, David Roberts, and Margaret Sturton – will each be set the task of illustrating one the winning stories.

The winners in each age category will also receive:

Gold Winners – Chris Evans’ height in books and 500 books for their school.

Silver Winners – HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s height in books.

Bronze Winners – Their own height in books.

There is also a BRAND NEW Prize for 2020 and it doesn’t matter how good your story is just that you enter one. One entrant will be selected at random to receive a fabulous book bundle and an invite to the final (for child plus a parent or guardian). They will also win 500 books for their school – so the more pupils a school has that has entered the more chances they have of winning a brand new library.

Read more about the prizes here.

Dates for your diary

All entries must be received by Thursday 27th February at 8pm.

This year’s 500 Words Final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 from Buckingham Palace, on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, on Friday 12th June.

Get started

500 Words is an open invitation to the wide world of imagination, so it’s time to get those creative cogs turning!

To help you get started, our website is packed full of helpful hints and terrific tips to bust through the writer’s block.

Download a learning pack from the LEARN section, where you can also find advice from our celebrity judges Frank Cottrell Boyce and Charlie Higson in the 500 Words Live Lesson.

Pop over to the 500 Words Blog to discover top tips to create terrific tales written by previous winners, amazing authors and a few of the 500 Words elves.

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