500 WORDS 2015 Rules

Terms and Conditions

1. The competition is organised by the BBC in association with Hay Fever, the family and children's programme of the Hay Festival.

2. The BBC's Code of Conduct for Competitions and Votes applies to this competition. You can read more about it here: BBC Competition Policy.

3. Entry to this competition is open to persons who will be aged between 5 and 13 years on the 29th May 2015 who are full time residents of the UK (including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) except the children or close relatives of BBC employees, employees of the Hay Festival, the Reading Agency, or the children or close relatives of any person closely connected with the competition. Proof of age, identity and eligibility may be requested. Entry will be in two age categories – ages 5 to 9 years (on 29th May 2015) and 10 to 13 years (on 29th May 2015).

4. Entrants must write a fictional short story (no more than 500 words in length). Entry is via an online entry form available at www.bbc.co.uk/500words. Entrants will be asked to provide their name, gender, region and their age. They must enter the story in the text box provided for submission. All stories should be submitted in English.

An adult will be required to approve the entry and agree to these Terms and Conditions (including the BBC’s use of the story submitted and the fictional nature of the story) on behalf of the entrant, by way of a check-box in the online form. The adult may be the child’s parent, guardian or teacher. The adult must provide their own contact details (not the child’s) and the region in which the child lives.

For the top 50 shortlisted entries, if permission to enter was given by a teacher, the BBC will contact the teacher and ask for confirmation of permission from the entrant’s parent or guardian.

The personal data provided will be used for the purposes of administering the competition and in accordance with the BBC’s Privacy and Cookies Policy. The BBC will use the contact details provided by the adult to send general updates as to the progress of the competition by email. For further information please see the BBC’s Privacy and Cookies Policy

Limited information, which cannot be used to identify any individual, will be passed to Oxford Children’s Corpus for use in Corpus research (age, gender, region, story text & title).

5. Entry opens on Monday 19th January 2015 at 06:30. Entry closes on Thursday 26th February 2015 at 19:00. Submissions received outside of this timeframe will not be considered, so please do not wait until the last minute to upload your entry.

6. Entrants can only enter individually. Only one entry per person is permitted. If more than one entry is submitted, only the entrant's first submission will be considered.

7. Entries must be an original piece of fiction and not an account of real events – either historical or current. However, stories can feature well known public figures from present day or from history (e.g. Wayne Rooney or Charles Darwin) take place in historical eras (e.g. the English Civil War) or use real-life experiences as a creative springboard as long as the story is FICTIONAL. If you are unclear on whether the content of a story contradicts these Terms and Conditions email the competition administrators at 500words@bbc.co.uk. The entrant warrants that they have not used material or depicted events that actually took place or used the personal details of any living persons in the story. As the stories will be published it is important that entrants do not include any personal details about themselves.

8. Entries cannot be returned so please remember to retain a copy. Unsuccessful entrants will not be contacted in respect of their entry and no feedback on any entry will be provided.

9. All entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not infringe the rights of any other party. The BBC accepts no responsibility if entrants ignore these Terms and Conditions and entrants agree to indemnify the BBC against any claim by any third party from any breach of these Terms and Conditions.

10. Entries must not contain defamatory, obscene, offensive, or any other unsuitable material. Entries must be suitable to be broadcast, published or used online by the BBC for audiences of all ages, but in particular for a child audience. Please see the following for further information: BBC Editorial Guidelines, If the story has troubling content the BBC may if required take advice from the NSPCC, and may refer the Troubling Content to the relevant authorities BBC Child Protection Policy.

11. Entrants retain the copyright in their entries but grant to the BBC a perpetual non-exclusive royalty-free licence to publish, broadcast (across all media) and post the entry online and on any other platforms yet to be envisaged. This licence will be deemed to include all the necessary rights and permissions to enable such use by the BBC, to fulfil the prizes and to complete the administration of this competition.

12. By submitting a story the entrant agrees that the BBC may at its sole discretion edit, adapt, abridge or translate the entry for the purposes listed in clause 11 above.

13. In the event that the entry is published online at www.bbc.co.uk/500words, for the avoidance of doubt, this will not be part of, or influence in any way, the judging process. Only the story title, entrant’s name and age will be published with an entry.

14. Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

- Originality

- Plot

- Characterisation

- Language

- Enjoyment

15. The first round will be judged by teachers and librarians across the UK. Each teacher and librarian will receive a batch of anonymised stories, from entrants located in a different area of the UK, to read and score using the criteria above. Each teacher and librarian will be emailed the all stories (via a secure login) along with details of the criteria and how to score the stories. The highest scoring entry from their batch is the story that will be put through to the next round. This process will be overseen by a BBC Editorial Figure.

16. All teachers and librarians taking part in the judging will automatically be entered into a draw, the winners of which will be randomly selected, to receive a pair of tickets to attend the broadcast of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Friday 29th May 2015.

17. The highest scoring entry from each batch will be collated and a judging panel from The Scottish Book Trust, in partnership with a BBC Editorial Figure, will read and score these anonymised stories using the criteria above, to produce a shortlist of the top 50 entries comprising the top 25 entries from each of the two age categories.

18. These top 50 entries will be read and judged by a guest panel chaired by Chris Evans. 3 finalists with 1 overall winner will be selected in each age category (gold, silver and bronze – gold being the overall winners).

19. The Top 50 shortlisted entrants (25 in each age category) will be invited to attend the final at St James’ Palace in London on Friday 29th May 2015 for the live broadcast of the BBC Radio 2 Chris Evans Breakfast Show. The full names of the 6 finalists and the overall winners will be announced during this live broadcast, subject to parental consent. We will request subject to parental consent pictures of the Top 50 children for use during the broadcast. These pictures are not for online publication.

20. The entries from the 6 finalists will be performed by an actor or well known figure and broadcast on Radio 2. In addition, the entries of the 6 finalists may be published in a national newspaper. An anthology of the top 50 entries (25 in each age category) may also be published.

21. Prizes will be awarded to the 3 finalists in each age category: the 2 Gold winners will win Chris Evans' height in books (6.2") and 500 books each for their school. The 2 Silver winners will win Alex Jones' height in books (5.6"). The 2 Bronze winners will win their own height in books.

22. The parents or guardians of the top 50 successful entrants will be contacted by a member of the production team at the beginning of May 2015, further proof of age, identity and eligibility may be requested at this stage. The BBC will pay reasonable travel expenses and endeavour where possible to provide one twin hotel room to share for the child and a parent or guardian to attend the broadcast of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Friday 29thMay 2015; however the BBC cannot cover any additional travel and accommodation that may be incurred by any other family or friends of the entrant.

23. The BBC's decision as to each stage of this competition, the top 50 (25 in each category), the 6 finalists and the choice of gold, silver and bronze in each category is final. No correspondence will be entered into.

24. The BBC reserves the right to disqualify any entry which breaches any of these Terms and Conditions, or to withhold a prize if in its opinion entries do not reach the required standard.

25. The BBC reserves the right to amend these Terms and Conditions or cancel this competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.

26. The BBC, its sub-contractors, subsidiaries, agencies and/or any other organisation associated with this competition cannot accept any responsibility whatsoever for any technical failure or malfunction or any other problem with any server, Internet access, system or otherwise which may result in any entry being lost or not properly registered or recorded. Proof of sending is not proof of receipt.

27. These Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales.

Any reference made in these Terms and Conditions to "Hay Festival" or "The Hay Festival" refers to Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts being staged at Hay on Wye in 2015.