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Become a judge

Registration to become a judge for the 2020 competition is now open!!

Thousands of teachers and librarians offered up their time to judge the sensational stories that we received in 2019. Find out how you can sign up to help us in 2020.

Who can be a judge?

We're looking for volunteer teachers and librarians (retired and in training too!) to help us judge this year's amazing stories!

The question we ask is whether our judges can “assess the written work of children aged 13 and under?" - if this applies to you then please register for A JUDGE ACCOUNT once registration opens.

If you would like to be a judge but also need to submit stories, sign up for a judge account and it will allow you to do both!

How to register to be a judge

Judges can register for an account using the online registration form.

We need you to provide a referee who can confirm that you meet the competition's requirements. We must have received a response from your nominated referee in order for your application to be accepted.

On registering for an account you will also be asked to select which age group you wish to mark: 5-9 or 10-13.

What happens next?

Approved judges will receive a batch of randomly allocated stories (around 20) once the competition has closed, which you’ll have just over 3 weeks to mark. We make sure that our judges don’t receive any stories from writers in their own region, so there’s no chance of you accidentally being asked to mark a story from your child or class!

2020 judges will also get the chance to enter a random ballot to receive tickets to attend the 500 Words Final.

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If you are still having trouble, do drop us an email and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

For more information about the 500 Words competition, please read our FAQ and Rules pages.