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Deadline for 500 Words

Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans urged children to “fire up their creative engines” at the launch of 500 Words in January. But it’s worth remembering that the deadline for the short story competition is fast approaching – as entries have to be submitted by 7pm on Thursday 22 February.

Children aged five to 13 are invited to write stories that are no more than 500 words long. There are two age categories – 5 to 9 and 10 to 13 – and entrants can write about any topic.

“Have fun with it. Don't worry about the spelling or 'wow' words. Just make us laugh, make us cry, make us scared,” said writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce, who is a judge, alongside The Duchess of Cornwall and authors Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon.

The Radio 2 website now has an entry form allowing teachers to submit stories from a whole class. It also features 50 podcasts of 2017’s entries, under headings such as Triumph, Horror and Trumptastic (all about Donald Trump) and videos of celebrities reading stories from last year’s winners.

This year’s final takes place on 8 June at Hampton Court Palace and six winners will receive a ride around the palace grounds in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and tea on the Thames aboard Her Majesty The Queen's rowbarge, Gloriana.

Gold, Silver and Bronze prizes will also be awarded, with the two Gold awards consisting of Chris Evans’ height in books, plus 500 books for the winners’ schools.

Last year’s winning stories and the podcasts will no doubt provide inspiration to pupils. But Red Box Books also recommends Collins Treasure House: Composition Skills as a great resource for teaching primary school children how to write stories. It covers years 1 to 6, and consists of Teacher’s Guides, Anthologies of useful texts and Pupil Books containing enjoyable activities.

The Composition Skills are part of Collins Treasure House, a collection of books and digital resources for teaching English to children from Foundation to Year 6. The other titles are Spelling; Comprehension; Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation; and Handwriting.

Red Box Books can create a bespoke suite of these titles, allowing you to buy exactly what you need for your school. Get in touch today to see how we can help.

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