500 Words: Black Lives Matter competition announced

The Virgin Radio 500 Words Black Lives Matter competition
Image from Virgin Radio UK
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
23 June 2020

A special edition of the 500 Words competition for children, focusing on themes related to the Black Lives Matter movement, was announced on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio UK this week.

500 Words is the world’s largest story-writing competition for kids. More than a million stories have been submitted since 2011, in response to everything from technology to climate change. Now, they’re asking children to write about themes and issues emerging from the Black Lives Matter movement.

The competition is inviting children aged between five and 13 to respond with a story of no more than 500 words. Children should draw on their own experiences and feelings to create a story that can be as imaginative as they like. 

500 Words has brought together school teachers and librarians, as well as some well-known names to create 500 Words: Black Lives Matter. TV presenters Angelica Bell and Michael Underwood are hosting the competition this year and spoke on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show about what the theme means to them.

Former children’s laureate Malorie Blackman is on the judging panel for the competition. She has written more than 60 books for children and teenagers and is best-known for her critically-acclaimed young adult book series ‘Noughts & Crosses’, which addresses racial injustice.

Also on the judging panel are authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon.

The competition opens at the start of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio UK on Monday 29 June at 6.30am. Entries will be accepted until 11.59pm on Friday 3 July. Visit 500 Words to find out more.

Virgin Radio also recently announced The Big Thank You Tour to celebrate the hard work and dedication of keyworkers during the COVID-19 pandemic.