BBC Radio 2 500 Word Competition: FINAL


Yo nerds! Over the last couple of days we have been looking at the finalists for the BBC Radio 2 500 Words competition. (5-9 Years Old stories | 10-13 Years Old stores) I genuinely love this competition and have enjoyed listening to the finals over the last few years. This morning we had 2018s final broadcast live on Radio 2! And oh boy, what a great show it was.

The show was live from Hampton Court Palace (home of Henry VIII). We had live music from John Newman, Bastille, and Alexandra Burke. 3000 visitors were in attendance, including some of the volunteer judges and all 50 finalists. One volunteer judge told us how she had judged over 1800 stories!

Chris Evans announced this years expert judges that selected the winners were Malorie Blackman, Francesca Simon, Charlie Higson, and Frank Cottrell-Boyce (plus Chris himself). Honorary judge HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was in attendance and gave a speech.

“I want to encourage everyone here to keep reading, to keep writing, and to keep saying a big fat ‘yes’ to adventures.” – HRH The Duchess of Cornwall

Other celebrity guests included Dara O’Briain, Jason Isaacs, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Abbington, Candice Brown, David Walliams, and Shobna Gulati.

There is always such a great party atmosphere and the show is a lot of fun to listen to. You can listen to the show on the iPlayer Radio from anywhere in the world (iPlayer Radio does not have a region lock) for the next 29 days.

So, who won? Well, I’m glad you asked. These wonderful future authors did:


Bronze champions win their own height in books!

5-9 Years Old Category
Agent Ramsbottom and the mysterious fish and chips by Francesca Wade. Francesca was overjoyed and gobsmacked! Dara O’Briain read the story.

10-13 Years Old Category
AI by Arthur Edmonds. Arthur said he loves Sci-Fi and Horror, which is easy to see in his story. Also, his grandad was the artist of the actual Tony the Tiger from Frosties. Jason Isaacs read the story.


Silver champions win 5 foot 6 inches in height of books (the height of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall).

5-9 Years Old Category
The Little Messenger by Fionn Mcann. Fionn explained that he took inspiration for the story from his morning journey to school. A mascara warning was issued and twitter blew up with people saying they were in tears. Jim Broadbent read the story.

10-13 Years Old Category
A God Vacancy by Aoife Maddock. Aoife said the inspiration for the story came during an ICT lesson at school. Amanda Abbington read the story.

Gold champions win 6 foot 2 inches in height of books (Chris Evans’ height) and 500 books for their school!

5-9 Years Old Category
The Poo Fairy by Evan Boxall. Evan told us how The Poo Fairy is based on a real person that lives on his street. David Walliams read the story.

10-13 Years Old Category
Dancing on the Streets by Sadhbh Inman. Sadhbh told us how he got inspiration from a visit to India. Another mascara warning was issued. Shobna Gulati read the story.

Images of winners and celebs taken from the BBC website.

All of the winners also got to take a trip on the Queen’s Row Barge, Gloriana. And got a tour of the Hampton Court Palace in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Photo – @Sion_Junior

This year 134,470 stories were submitted! That’s incredible. The Oxford University Press is sent each and every story that is submitted. This means they have received 658,477 stories since 2012, which also means they have the largest collection of children’s writing in the world. The OUP produces a lot of the learning materials etc that are used by teachers and librarians. The OUP also does analysis of the stories submitted each year. If you are a linguaphile like me and enjoy the evolution of language, (OMG NEEEEEERRRRRD!) then you can read their Oxford Corpus Children’s Language Report 2018. It’s a fascinating read about language and how children are using it.

Photo – @HRP_palaces

Overall, this year has been a great success and the stories on show are excellent. I said it previously, but I’ll say it again, I never fail to be blown away by the skills and talent of children. If you haven’t read the 56 finalists I highly recommend you take a couple of hours out and do so. They really are fantastic, entertaining, thought provoking and emotional stories. Each one is deserving of a top prize. Golden pips to them all! Every child that took the time to write and submit a story (all 134,470 of them) should be proud of their achievement! Now, I should take note of their dedication, and get back to my own WIP. Until next time, Peace and Love!

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