The 500 Words competition, created by Chris Evans, and now hosted by Zoe Ball on the Radio 2 Breakfast Show, is one of the most successful story-writing competitions for kids in the world, and helps to get children excited about reading and writing.
The shortlisted stories for this year have now been revealed, and you can read them all on the BBC website, or listen to them being read aloud. There are two different age categories (5-9 and 10-13), and these tales make great bedtime stories, which are fun for all the family.
The winners will be announced on Friday 12 June!
There are no limitations on what children can write about, as long as the stories are 500 words or fewer. This means the creativity and originality is amazing.
From anthropomorphised vegetables to portly pirates, from space adventures to animal antics, these top stories are all great fun!
Over 100,000 children take part in the competition each year, and all of the stories are first read by brilliant teachers and librarians. Then, the team at The Reading Agency read around 5,000 of the top stories and help the BBC decide which will go through to the final. We love reading the funny, exciting and creative stories that kids from the ages of 5-13 have written.
Below we have some of our amazing team of judges sharing why they like to be a part of 500 Words. Find more of our judges on our Instagram page.
Kimberley Sheehan, Assistant Programme Manager, Children's Reading Partners:
"Every year I look forward to reading the stories - 500 Words is an opportunity for children to write freely and for fun. This means they are so creative and the stories are always a pleasure to read"
Annie Robinson, Programme Manager, Reading and Health:
"It's impossible to feel cynical when reading a 500 Words story. Each one is a beacon of curiosity and creativity that provides a much-needed escape from reality"
Sharon Hardwick, Production Manager:
"I've been reading for 500 Words for five years and every year I'm excited to see what themes run through the stories"
Last year's winners were announced at a fantastic live show at Windsor Castle. Their stories were read by a starry list of celebrities including David Walliams, Michael Sheen and Konnie Huq.
Each year, 10 million Radio 2 listeners tune in for the live final.
Read or listen to the stories that have made the final.
Do you know any children who entered the competition this year? Which of the stories on the shortlists would you like to see win the competition? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #500Words.