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500 Words 2019

The world's biggest short-story writing competition for kids has returned and we can't wait to read this year's stories! Please read all of the information on this page to find out everything you need to know about this year's competition.

500 Words is back for 2019

Where will you find your story for Radio 2's annual story-writing competition for kids?

How to enter

All stories must be submitted via the online form on our website.

Parents, guardians and teachers can register for a SUBMITTER ACCOUNT, or by following the links at the top of this page. Once an account has been created, it can be used to upload a single story or a whole school's worth of tales with our new top tool! For more information on how to enter a story into this year's competition, please visit our Submit Your Story page.

Teachers and Librarians can also apply to be one of our volunteer judges by registering a JUDGE ACCOUNT. For more information on how to become a judge for this year's competition, please visit our Become A Judge page.

Please read the competition rules before submitting entries, along with the competition Privacy Notice.

What are the prizes?

As well attending a spectacular 500 Words Final from Windsor Castle, where superstar celebrities will read the winning stories live on the radio, this year we're introducing an extra-special prize – Six well-known illustrators: Helen Oxenbury, Tony Ross, Susan Varley, Jarvis, David Roberts, and Briony May Smith – will each be set the task of illustrating one the winning stories.

The winners in each age category will also receive:

Gold Winners - Chris Evans' height in books, 500 books for their school and an invitation to visit the set of a CBBC Production.

Silver Winners - HRH The Duchess of Cornwall's height in books.

Bronze Winners - Their own height in books.

Read more about the prizes here.

Dates for your diary

All entries must be received by Friday 8th March at 7pm.

This year’s 500 Words Final will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 from Windsor Castle, on The Zoe Ball Breakfast Show, on Friday 14th June.

Get started

500 Words is an open invitation to the wide world of imagination, so it's time to get those creative cogs turning!

To help you get started, our website is packed full of helpful hints and terrific tips to bust through the writer's block.

Download a learning pack from the LEARN section, where you can also find advice from our celebrity judges Frank Cottrell Boyce and Charlie Higson in the 500 Words Live Lesson.

Pop over to the 500 Words Blog to discover top tips to create terrific tales written by previous winners, amazing authors and a few of the 500 Words elves.

Watch highlights from the 2018 final

500 Words Final 2018 Highlights

Watch the best bits of the 2018 Final at Hampton Court Palace.