BBC Radio 2’s short story competition ‘500 Words’ has been running for 8 years now- this year headed by Radio 2 Breakfast host Chris Evans. The competition is for children aged between 5 and 13 years, and this year was supported by Oxford University Press to reach over 20,000 schools.
500 Words 2018 has set another record for entries: this year saw over 135,000 people enter with their stories. The stories were read by a team of 5000 volunteers- librarians and teachers from around the UK- before being pared down to the Top 50 by The Reading Agency. The panel of judges, Charlie Higson, Francesca Simon, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Malorie Blackman and Honorary Judge, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, had the gruelling task then of selecting three winners from two age categories (5-9 years and 10-13 years).
The final was presented by BBC’s Chris Evans, and was an exciting and glamorous day of live music and story-telling. The six winners were announced on BBC Radio 2 by British and Irish funnymen, David Walliams and Dara O’Briain. There was also music from John Newman, Alexandra Burke and Bastille to round off the celebrations.
Shobna Gulati reads the gold winner for the 10-13 years category- Dancing on the Streets by Sadhbh Inman
David Walliams reads the gold winner for the 5-9 years category- The Poo Fairy by Evan Boxall
Amanda Abbington reads the silver winner for the 10-13 years category-A God Vacancy by Aoife Maddock
Jim Broadbent reads the silver winner for the 5-9 years category- The Little Messenger by Fionn Mcann
Jason Isaacs reads the bronze winner for the 10-13 years category-AI by Arthur Edmonds
Dara O’Briain reads the bronze winner for the 5-9 years category-Agent Ramsbottom and the Mysterious Fish and Chips by Francesca Wade