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500 Words Final 2020

Celebrating its 10th birthday, the UK's largest story-writing competition for children aged between 5 and 13 attracted a staggering 134,709 entries in 2020. Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, a special virtual final was organised with some amazing celebrity guests taking part.

The winners and finalists celebrated in a virtual Zoom Party hosted by Radio 2 Breakfast Show’s traffic and travel presenter, Richie Anderson. The party was attended by special guests including Zoe Ball, David Walliams, Dick & Dom, Oti Mabuse who hosted a surprise dance work-out, The Bolds’ illustrator David Roberts who led a live art session, and Gareth Malone who conducted the group in a rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

The 500 Words 2020 Virtual Final highlights

The winning stories (in the 5-9 years and 10-13 years categories) were chosen by an expert panel composed of 500 Words creator Chris Evans and Radio 2 Breakfast Show presenter Zoe Ball, along with award-winning authors Malorie Blackman, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon. Now in its tenth (and final) year, over 1 million stories have been submitted to the competition since 2011, making it the largest children’s writing competition in the UK.

Each of the winners will receive an original illustration of their story by one of six top children’s illustrators, as well as a specially printed book containing all six winning stories and illustrations.

You can listen to the special 500 Words Grand Final edition of the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Sounds, or watch all of the winning stories being read by our fabulous celebs right here.

Bronze winners

The bronze winning story in the 5 - 9 age category was Roary and the Giant Bloomers by Taylor F and was read by none other than The Doctor herself, Jodie Whittaker.

Jodie Whittaker reads Roary and the Giant Bloomers

Jodie reads the bronze winner in the 5-9 age category by Taylor F.

© Fiona Lumbers

Read Taylor's full story here.

The bronze winning story in the 10 - 13 age category was Shoo! by Lola B and was read by Harry Potter star Alfred Enoch.

Alfred Enoch reads Shoo!

Alfred reads the bronze winner in the 10 - 13 age category by Lola B.

© David Roberts

Read Lola's full story here.

Silver winners

The silver winning story in the 5 - 9 age category was The Old Rabbit by Lenny T and was read by the super-talented Joanna Lumley.

Joanna Lumley reads The Old Rabbit

Joanna reads the silver winner in the 5 - 9 age category by Lenny T.

© Margaret Sturton

Read Lenny's full story here.

The silver winning story in the 10 - 13 age category was For the Last Time by Ellie A and was read by Blue Peter's brand new presenter Mwaksy.

Mwaksy Mudenda reads For the Last Time

Mwaksy reads the silver winner in the 10-13 age category by Ellie A.

© Sue Cheung

Read Ellie's full story here.

Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall

500 Words fairy godmother and honorary judge Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cornwall delivered her annual speech from her home at Birkhall in Scotland inside a Wendy house originally built in 1935 for the then Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret.

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall delivers her annual Grand Final speech

Her Royal Highness delivered the message from a Wendy House built for the Queen.

Gold winners

The gold winning story in the 5 - 9 age category was The Winning Goal by Shachar A and was read by pop megastar Dua Lipa.

Dua Lipa reads The Winning Goal

Dua reads the gold winner in the 5 - 9 age category by Shachar A.

© Axel Scheffler

Read Schachar's full story here.

The gold winning story in the 10 - 13 age category was The Diary of a £5 Note by Vishal S and was read by actor, children's author and 500 Words Grand Final regular David Walliams.

David Walliams reads The Diary of a £5 Note

David reads the gold winner in the 10 - 13 age category by Vishal S.

© Tony Ross

Catch up with all of the action from this year's 500 Words Virtual Final on BBC Sounds.

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