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Competitions & Challenges

500 Words 2020

The UK's largest story writing competition for kids is back for its tenth year. Here's everything you need to know to get involved.


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Good luck St Peter & St Paul School, from Guy Bass.

As you may already be aware, BBC Radio 2 run an annual story writing competition, ‘500 words’, for children aged 5-13 years old, and this year is their tenth anniversary. We are working hard across the school to develop not only the children’s writing skills, but their passion for storytelling, and therefore will be giving the children an opportunity to submit their stories to this nationwide competition. This project is not compulsory... however we would love to receive as many stories as possible!

Your child’s story must be:

  • A maximum of 500 words (but it can be much shorter than this).
  • Completed at home. Class teachers will be happy to discuss ideas and inspiration with the children, however this is primarily a homework project.
  • The child’s own work. They can use ideas from their favourite stories or from work done at school, however, the story should be written by the child themselves with minimal adult influence. (The winning stories are chosen based on creativity rather than spelling or grammar.)
  • Typed up. We appreciate that typing is especially difficult for the younger children, however Miss Brown can only enter electronic copies of each story into the BBC submission form. A solution could be for the child to hand write the story themselves, and an adult to help them type it up at home.
  • Sent to Miss Brown on PurpleMash. This has been explained to children in an assembly; once they log in to their PurpleMash account, they will see a ‘2Do’ called 500 words, in which they simply need to enter their story and click ‘Save and exit’. It may be easier to type the story first on a program with a word count tool (e.g. Microsoft Word or Google Docs), then copy and paste this into the PurpleMash template. If your child does not have their PurpleMash login, please ask their class teacher.
  • Completed and submitted to Miss Brown via. PurpleMash by Monday 24th February.

How the competition works:

Stories are submitted by children across the country, and judged anonymously by a panel of teachers and librarians. The BBC will announce the top 50 stories from all entrants across the country in April or May, followed by an announcement of 6 overall winners (3 from the age 5-9 category, and 3 from the age 10-13 category). The overall winners will not only win an enormous stack of books as their prize, but will get the amazing opportunity to attend the final at Buckingham Palace, get their story read on the radio by a celebrity, and illustrated by a famous illustrator. Not only that, but one entrant chosen at random will also receive 500 books for their school, so the more stories we enter, the more chances we have of winning this extraordinary book prize for our library!

The most important thing is that you are creative with your story ideas, and that you have fun with this project! We look forward to reading all your fabulous stories.

Reminders and extra information will soon be available on the school website and school app. In the meantime, please speak to us if you have any queries.

Thank you for your continued support,
Miss Brown and Mrs Hare


Previous Competitions & Challenges

December 2019 –
Book in a Box –
Diorama Challenge Y1 – Y6 (optional for EYFS)

Book in a Box Challenge / Competition






Winner Livia Year 4
Our finalists at The Bank

Congratulations to Livia in Year 4 who won our diorama competition with her clever and creative design, celebrating her book choice of 'Spiderwick Chronicles'. 

Thank you to all children who entered the challenge and all the adults who gave their support.

The children of St Peter & St Paul CofE Primary School were set a challenge. Bring to life your favourite scene from your favourite book to inspire others to pick it up. Over 100 children entered and the results were truly fantastic. Thank you to all those who made donations, all will go towards buying new books for the School.