Challenging children’s imagination in 500 Words

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Lucille Barrett
Lucille Barrett
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500 Word winners

“You are managing something this is nearly uncontrollable – kid’s imagination.”
That’s the critique of Richard Hammond, chair of the mega star-studded judging panel, which had the venture of choosing the winners of this year’s BBC Radio 2 500 Phrases competition.
The contest demanding situations for kids to jot down a whole story in only 500 words, and this year, there was a report of 118,632 entries, with judges having to select a pinnacle 3 in two age classes: nines and below and 10-thirteen.

The 50 shortlisted kids were invited to the Hay Festival for the live unveiling of the victors, with the gold winners receiving a stack of books the same peak as DJ Chris Evans – 6ft 2ins (1.88m).

The extensive-ranging topics tackled the six winners variety from minotaurs to International Warfare One, with feelings and mind of loss and mourning a major theme.


13 and below

  • Gold Susannah Ames, thirteen, – All the Time in the Global
  • Silver Nicholas Lockhart, 12, – Diary of a Minotaur
  • Bronze Owen Storer, thirteen, – Albert Onions and Me

9 and beneath

  • Gold Daniel Martlew, 9, – Lost Underground
  • Silver Robert Jordan, 7, – No Ideas George
  • Bronze Juliette Lea, 9, – Ought to Bes
  • The competition is the toddler of DJ Chris Evans, who released it 4 years ago and has visible it grows into a group.

“I assume that things which might be contemplated and take longer to do are combating in opposition to the soundbite mentality of the sector,” stated Evans at the importance of the competition.

“We’ve been given to hold pushing the door open just to keep the balance degree. It is not as though this is going to make more human beings write than ever before; however, as a minimum, it can maintain a positive degree of humans writing and studying.”

The judging panel capabilities include several award-winning kid’s authors, including the children’s laureate Malorie Blackman; Frank Cottrell Boyce – who was also co-writer of the 2012 Olympic establishing ceremony; creator and actor Charlie Higson; and Horrid Henry writer Francesca Simon.

Higson, who has been worried in the competition for three years, stated: “We’re constantly being advised that kids don’t like reading or writing or something to do with faculty and are idiots and that I saw that there was this big response and that I idea I would like to be involved in that.”

Higson, who has written several books primarily based on the younger James Bond as well as the Enemy collection of kid’s novels, has labored with many kids via 500 Phrases and education programs.

Of the styles of kids who get worried in 500 Phrases, he said: “They are all extraordinary, a number of them say ‘my instructor or mum mentioned this factor and that I notion I might have a pass, however, I do not usually write,’ others say ‘I write All the time.’

“The kids are as varied because the tales are. That’s what I really like about this – no two tales are identical, and no children are identical.”
Heated debate

A crew of three,500 book-loving instructors and librarians helped examine each tale, whittling them down for the second spherical. The Scottish ebook Trust then had the unenviable mission of sifting those down to the very last 50 in each class.

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