The 500 Words competition, created by Chris Evans on his Radio 2 Breakfast Show, launches today, Monday 15 January. It is one of the most successful story-writing competitions for kids in the world, and helps to get children excited about reading and writing.
This year, the amazing live final event will be held on 8 June at Hampton Court Palace! Every child who takes part, and every teacher and librarian who helps with the judging, will be entered into a draw to attend the event.
How it works
It's very simple. Children write an original story on any subject or theme in 500 words or fewer and submit it online. Over 130,000 children took part in the competition last year, and the winners have their stories read live on Radio 2 by a superstar celebrity! Each year, 10 million Radio 2 listeners hear, read and love these stories.
There are two age categories, 5-9 and 10-13, and stories can be entered from now until the deadline on Thursday 22 February.
Last year's winners were announced at a fantastic live show at the Tower of London. Their stories were read by a starry list of celebrities including David Suchet, Noma Dumezweni and David Walliams.
At The Reading Agency we are so excited to be a part of this brilliant competition. We will read around 5,000 of the best stories and help the BBC decide which stories go through to the final. We love reading the funny, exciting and creative stories each year that kids from the ages of 5-13 have written.
Are you a teacher? Don't miss the Live Lesson this afternoon at 2pm, hosted by Blue Peter's Barney Harwood and Helen Skelton. It can be watched live in classrooms today.
Do you know any children who would like to take part in the competition this year? Encourage them to write their story and submit it online. It's a really fun activity to do as a family - why not all write a story and then read them to each other?
Are you a teacher or librarian? Sign up as a judge and be part of this fantastic competition. Every judge will be entered into a draw to attend the brilliant live final event.
Has your school, library or youth group taken part in the competition before? Do you know anyone who has made it through to the final 50 stories? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter using #500Words.