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BBC 500 Words writing competition

If you are a regular listener to Radio 2 in the mornings, you will be aware of the evolution of the 500 Words reading and writing competition. Over the last seven years, half a million pupils have written a story for the competition; that’s over 277 MILLION words!
It’s very simple. Entrants write an original story on any subject or theme in 500 Words or fewer, and submit it online. If they win, their story is read live on the radio by a superstar celebrity…like Julie Walters, Tom Hiddleston, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Jeremy Irons, or Sherlock himself – Benedict Cumberbatch. Each year, 10 million Radio 2 listeners hear, read and love these stories.
I have been one of the Radio 2 judges for the past few years. Scripts are sent to me from all over the country, and are judged on set criteria within each age group. Knowing that some of the hard-working children of Wychwood School have been working on stories to enter, we asked the staff to send us their three favourite scripts so that we could run our own mini-judging competition of local writing talent.
We are proud to include the winning entry, and dearly hope that this will be the start of many young, local writers contributing to our magazine.

Sarah Allcock

About the author
Page 45 LilyLily is 10 years old and when she was thinking about her story she wanted to write it from a different type of character’s perspective. She likes helping out in the garden and this is when she had the idea to write about plants because they cannot talk. Lily likes writing stories and in her spare time at the moment she is writing a long story about wolves. Her artwork is very good and she says she also likes to illustrate her stories. Although Lily enjoys writing she would like to look after animals when she grows up, maybe by being a vet. Here is her story…

The Secret Life of Plants

Rachael woke early to go out for the day. She went downstairs to get ready- but as soon as she closed the door behind her, little did she know that her garden was having a huge catastrophe, “I wish I’d get picked soon!” fussed Tilly the Tomato, “I’m as red as a ruby and will soon be left to rot!” “My seeds are being stolen by the birds! They’re only going to waste!” complained Steve the Sunflower. “It’s alright for Olivia the Orchid!” said Roy the Rose, “She’s inside the house and gets all the attention! My leaves need pruning already!” “You’re just jealous!” shouted Olivia, “Now look what you’ve done! I’ve lost one of my gorgeous petals!” “For goodness sake! Will you all shut up!” screamed Tallulah the Tulip.
“I just can’t take this nonsense any longer!” “Shut up yourself!” tutted Steve, “You’re going to pull me off my roots soon!” “Ah! A bee! No! Get away from my nectar! Shoo! Shoo!” screamed Tallulah “Why won’t Rachael get rid of these pests!” sighed Derrick the Dandelion, “I’m swarming with caterpillars!” exclaimed Delilah the daisy. “Would you kindly stop arguing?” moaned Ollie the Oak tree. “No one can get some shut- eye around here!” He swayed his branches in annoyance. “How can ANYONE be quiet in a state like this!?” fussed Penny the Poppy, “we’re not looked after properly and it has to stop!”
“That’s it! I’m retiring!” said Ollie “I cannot stand this any longer!” “Trees can’t retire, you idiot! You’ll just have to beg to be chopped down!” said Matilda the Maple. “Great idea, Matilda!” exclaimed Ollie, “But… when is Rachael coming back?” “THAT’S THE POINT!” shouted Delilah, “We’re not tended to enough and we have to put a stop to this!” “Oh, I see…” said Ollie innocently.
“Rock, paper, scissors!” said Roy and Steve, “Ugh, you always win!” sighed Roy, “Yes!” shouted Steve, “My leaves are too long, that’s what,” moaned Roy, “Nah, I’m just lucky!” laughed Steve, “I don’t know how anyone can be happy in this kind of crisis!” said Tilly. “I know!” admitted Carol the Carrot, “It’s so annoying. I’ve always dreamed of visiting the supermarket, you see, but it will never happen!” “Don’t be stupid, Carol. If you go to the supermarket you’ll be killed! And I couldn’t bear to lose my best friend!” said Tilly, “I know, but it won’t happen!” sighed Carol.
“Let’s play I spy!” said Olivia, “Ok! I’ll start!” said Chloe the crocus, “I spy with my little eye… something beginning with G!” “Grass?” said Ollie, “Yes!” said Chloe, “Your turn!” “Ok… umm… I spy with my little eye… something beginning with R!” “Umm… Roy?” said Olivia.
“Rock?” said Steve.
“Err… Rain?” said Carol.
“Raven…?” said Delilah.
“No… Rachael!”
“WHAT?!” panicked all the plants in the garden, “Yes! She’s coming right now!” said Ollie. “Everyone! ACT NORMAL!” shouted Tallulah. Rachael walked into the garden. “Please chop me down, Rachael!” said Ollie.

Lily Emery

The editorial team are very pleased to print Lily Emery’s story but we also enjoyed the other selected stories by Georgie Pratley and Reuben West – thank you to them and all the pupils that entered this year’s competition.

April – May 2017