Staffordshire’s lead on learning and skills, County Councillor Ben Adams, is urging schoolchildren aged 13 and under to enter a top national short story competition and win Chris Evans’ height in books for themselves and 500 books for their school.
BBC Radio 2’s ‘500 words’ short story competition is now in its sixth year and budding young authors only have until Thursday 25 February to submit their entry.
The Chris Evans Breakfast Show is once again appealing to the nation’s children to compose an original work of fiction in no more than 500 words. This year’s competition is marking Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary, by staging the final live from the home of British story telling, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London, on the Friday 27 May.
The winning stories will be read aloud on stage and broadcast live on the radio by superstar celebrities … like Sir Kenneth Branagh, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Bonneville or Sherlock himself – Benedict Cumberbatch.
According to the 500 words website, winners will rub shoulders with the world’s biggest celebrities and massive pop-stars performing at the final. HRH the Duchess of Cornwall, who hosted last year’s final at St James’s Palace, returns in 2016 as an honorary judge.
County Councillor Ben Adams said, “Any initiative which gets children, of all abilities, excited about reading and writing gets my support. So, I’m urging anyone with the writing bug to make good use of their free time and the February school break to have a go at this cracking competition and have their talent recognised.
“Staffordshire’s libraries are well placed to help any youngster seeking inspiration with book shelves filled with the best children’s and teen fiction titles.”
Staffordshire has already tasted success in this competition with Uttoxeter schoolgirl Olivia Norton, who won first prize for her age group in 2011.
There’s also an opportunity for the county’s teachers and librarians to become volunteer judges to help the organisers whittle this year’s submissions down to a shortlist. Last year’s 500 Words attracted over 120,000 stories from children throughout the UK.