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Wonderful Word Clouds

Every summer our brainy buddies at Oxford University Press beaver away to collect all of the wonderful words that have been used in the hundreds of thousands of 500 Words entries. If you're suffering from writer's block and have come to a sticky stop, then check out these word clouds for some lexical inspiration, and take a look at the variety of vocab that the 500 Words entrants have used in their stories over the course of the competition...

Lions and Tigers and...Leviathans?

Some truly ferocious beasts have stalked their way into 500 Words stories over the years. What do you think these creatures look like? Are there any adjectives here that you could use to breathe life into your own beasts?

I Spy With My Little Eye

We've spotted some excellent espionage terms sneaking around the 500 Words entries. Is your spy so slick that they could give 007 a run for his money? Then you better check out these words to ensure your character is equipped to star in a super spy story.

What's In a Name?

Sometimes a name can make or break the connection your reader has with a character. Think about some of YOUR favourite characters... what is it about their name that fits so well with their personality or behaviour? These are just a few of the names which have popped up in 500 Words stories throughout the competitition.

By Royal Appointment

Princes, palaces and other royal paraphenalia have proved popular over the years of the competition, so here are some words fit for a king or queen.

Fantastic Forests

Forests have featured frequently in 500 Word stories, and are a great place to set your tale. Fantasy writer J.R.R Tolkien describes a number of forests in his Lord of The Rings trilogy, but no two are ever quite the same. Each has a very different atmosphere and feel, that keeps the reader interested and on their toes. We've left no leaf unturned in 500 Words' woodlands to help you to create a unique forest for your own story...

We Need a Hero!

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! These are some of the super words used by 500 Words writers to describe their plucky protagonists.

Meanies, Miscreants and Mischief-Makers

You can't very well have a hero without a baddy, can you? What villainous vocab will you pick out from the word cloud for the scoundrel in your story?

Leading Ladies

We've had a look at the most popular boys' names, so what about 500 Words heroines? Here are some of the top names for girls that have been included in some of the stories over the years.

Under the Sea!

We've fished out some of the wonderful words used in stories about underwater worlds. Will your tale be about a bubbly barnacle at home in the cerulean sea? Or a spooky shipwreck hidden beneath the raging ocean waves?

The Final Frontier

Will you boldly go where no 500 Words writer has gone before? Well, that's not quite true...lots of stories have blasted off to explore space, and here is some of the vocab used on their voyages. What words will you use to transport your reader to another world?

Want to explore more?

If this has piqued your interest and you would like to find out more about Oxford University Press' work with 500 Words' stories, then why not pop over to this page, or take a look through this handy learning pack.

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