Are Your Students Taking Part in BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Competition?

To help inspire your students to write their own short story, we’re going to tell you about a few pieces of content we have on EducationCity that will be perfect for this occasion!

First though…

How did the BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Competition come about?

It all started in 2011, when Presenter, Chris Evans, had a dream to get children excited about reading and writing.

500 Words is now one of the most successful story writing competitions, with 131,798 children taking part in 2017!

How do I enter?

It’s super easy! Students write a story on a subject or theme of their choice, in 500 Words or fewer, and submit it online.

The three finalists in each age category will be awarded with lots of goodies and will have their story read live on the radio by a star celebrity… who will it be? We’re super intrigued!

Closing date?

Entries are open today, Monday 15th January, until Thursday 22nd February, so why not give it a go?

Want to find out more about this fab competition and how you can get your students involved? Take a look on the BBC Radio 2’s website for further details.

Now, let’s take you through a few of our resources you could use to support your students…

Brainstorm Ideas

It’s good to create a plan before starting a story. Your students might want to consider their target audience, the theme of the story and characters and their traits.

We’ve a Mind Map Topic Tool to help your students do just that.

  • Mind Map Literacy (English/Literacy): #2092 – Organise ideas and concepts.


Have a Clear Beginning, Middle and EndSandy Stories Activity

Brilliant stories always have a clear structure and a beginning, middle and end are easily defined as the three parts that make up a story.

We’ve a great Activity to help students with this!

  • Sandy Stories (English/Literacy): #25685 – Identify the beginning, middle and end of a story and consider the purpose of each.


Writing Prompts

If students are stuck for a bit of inspiration, we’ve got two Topic Tools which provide ideas to help with creative thinking as well as how to start a story.

  • Idea Generator (English/Literacy): #5784 – Generate a range of creative and critical thinking exercises, using idea bank B.
  • Story Starter Machine (English/Literacy): #5775 – Generate a range of fiction writing ideas, using idea bank A.


Don’t forget to take a look at our brilliant Story Starter Machine Topic Tool to motivate your students to write their own short story. You can see how to use it in our video…

We wish everyone taking part the very best of luck! We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled when the Top 50 stories are announced in early May.

Don’t have EducationCity in your school and would like to take a look at the EducationCity content mentioned? Start your free trial today by calling +44 (0)1572 725080 or emailing