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Monday saw the launch of the Radio 2, Chris Evans 500 words competition for children.  You can find all details of the competition on the website, here.

This is the third year this competition has been run.  Our school took part in it last year, and we are hoping to get some entries in this year too.

Children are asked to write a story that can be a maximum of five hundred words long. It can be shorter, if they wish, but no longer.

Entries can be submitted electronically on the website, and the entry form has a word count checker, just to make sure children don’t go over their allotted number.  The entries must be approved by a responsible adult; parent, carer or teacher.  There are certain restrictions on what a child is allowed to enter. The work must be entirely fictional, although it can use real people as characters, like David Beckham or Charles Darwin for example.  The material must not be obscene, defamatory, pornographic or in any other way offensive. If material is submitted which the judges deem to breach one of these guidelines or which causes concern in any way, there is a reporting process which flags up and deals with such entries.

It is open to children aged thirteen and under. There are two categories, nine and under and ten to thirteen.

The website includes lots of hints and help for encouraging children to make the most of their stories. There are downloadable PDFs as well as podcast by famous authors such as Frank Cottrell Boyce.

Judges include; Richard Hammond, Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon amongst others.  Radio Two are also looking for teachers and librarians to help with the judging process, and there is a page where, if you are interested, you can sign up to take part yourself.

The competition closes on Wednesday 26th February 2014 at 7.00 p.m.

There are three prizes in each category. The first prize is Chris Evans’ height in books. The second prize is Alex Jones’ height in books, the third prize is the winner’s height in books.  Winning stories will also be recorded by celebrity readers and broadcast both on the radio and via the 500 words website.

Get writing!