School Logo

BBC 500 Word Story Competition

BBC 500 Word Writing Competition 



The 500 Words writing competition is designed for children to have fun writing their stories, be as creative as they can and make the judges laugh, cry or just be blown away by what they are reading.


There are very few rules on 500 Words but a few points to remember:


All the stories must:


Be 500 words or less (title is not included in the number)

Be written by an individual and not a group

Be a child’s own original idea

Be prose, not rap or poem



Stories must not:

Give any personal details of the child, including their name

Recount an historical event (but they can use a real person or historical character as a source of inspiration)



All stories will be judged on the following criteria:







The Prizes


The grand final will take place in end of February next year with the top 50 finalists
being invited, along with a parent or carer. The event will be shown on a 500 Words special programme broadcasted on BBC One on World Book Day (7 March 2024).

The two gold winners will receive the height of Sir Lenny Henry in books. The two silver winners will receive the height of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Camilla in books and the two bronze winners will receive the average height of a 7 or 11 year old in books.

On top of this, BBC 500 Words have teamed up with six of the biggest and best
children’s illustrators to each design one of the six winners' stories. Axel Scheffler will design the gold winner of the 5-7 category, whilst Fiona Lumbers & Joelle Avelino will design the silver and bronze designs.

Jamie Smart will design the gold 8-11 winner, whilst Sue Cheung & Steven Lenton are on board to design the silver & bronze winners respectively.

Not only will they have their story bought to life, the six illustrated stories will be framed and each child will get a 500 Words winners’ book to take home.



How to Enter


Entries can only be accepted if they have been typed up and submitted through our online form by your parent or guardian. Submissions for entries open from 8am on Tuesday 26 September to 8pm on Friday 10 November.