500 Words 2023

500 Words, the UK’s most successful writing competition run by the BBC is back! The competition is open from Tuesday 26 September to Friday 10 November 2023.

Since the competition was first launched in 2011 by Chris Evans on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, it has received over one million stories from children throughout the UK.

This year, the two age categories will be 5-7 year-olds and 8-11 year-olds.

Children of all abilities are encouraged to use their creativity and imagination to write a story they would love to read without the pressure of having to worry about spelling, punctuation and grammar.

The brilliant 500 Word judges are back: award-winning and best-selling authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Francesca Simon, Charlie Higson, and former Children’s Laureate, Malorie Blackman. This year there will be a new addition to the panel, TV legend and children’s author, Sir Lenny Henry.

Prizes for the winners include books, book tokens and for their stories to be recorded and published on the BBC website. The winner stories will also be shown on a special 500 Words programme on BBC1 on World Book Day, 7 March 2024.

Find out more about 500 Words.

The Reading Agency

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