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500 words and Oxford Dictionaires for Children

Children's Word of the Year: Find Out More

Oxford Dictionaries for Children has once again teamed up with BBC Radio 2's 500 Words – the nationwide competition to find the most talented young writers!

Children's Word of the Year: Find Out More

Oxford Dictionaries for Children has once again teamed up with BBC Radio 2's 500 Words – the nationwide competition to find the most talented young writers!


500 WORDS has returned for 2018 and is open for entries NOW!

In 2011 BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans had a dream: to get all children, no matter what their ability, excited about reading and writing. Over the seven years of the competition, three quarters of a million kids have picked up their pens and answered the call, making 500 words the most successful story-writing competition for kids in the world!.

It's very simple. Entrants write an original story on any subject or theme in 500 words or fewer and submit it online. If they win, their story will be read live on the radio by a superstar celebrity... like Julie Walters, Tom Hiddleston, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Jeremy Irons, or Sherlock himself - Benedict Cumberbatch. Each year, 10 million Radio 2 listeners hear, read and love these stories.

In 2017 131,798 children entered the competition and at the finale, on 16th June live from the Tower of London, the 6 winning stories from the 5-9 and 10-13 age categories were revealed. The stories were brought to life by a starry list of celebs including Sir Derek Jacobi, Jenny Agutter and David Walliams, while the audience were enchanted by performances from sensational superstar Niall Horan, X-Factor alumni Olly Murs, and the amazing Anne Marie.

The 2018 final is set to be just as spectacular, as 500 Words heads to Hampton Court Palace! Plus this year's competitions introduces a truly scrumptious new prize - winners will be treated to a ride in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang around the palace grounds on the day of the Final, before being driven down to the river to take Tea on the Thames aboard HM The Queen's rowbarge, Gloriana.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall returns once again as the Honorary Judge, alongside an amazing author panel: Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Francesca Simon.

500 Words is open for entries now until 7pm on Thursday 22nd February, and stories can be submitted via the 500 Words website. Teachers and librarians can also head to the website to find out more information about applying to be a volunteer judge for this year's competition.

Classroom support

Looking for classroom support? The 500 Words Learning Resource Pack is packed full of ideas to get your classes writing. Download it now