This morning [Friday] saw the final of the brilliant 500 Words: Black Lives Matter children’s writing competition, supported by Chris Evans on the Virgin Radio Breakfast Show, with the winning two stories read out by Hollywood stars Nicole Kidman and Mark Strong.
It was the culmination of an amazing amount of work done over the last month by the 500 Words and Virgin Radio teams, as well as The Sun, The Sunday Times, Times Radio, HarperCollins and many others who got behind the initial idea, which came from Chris Evans.
Chris dreamt up 500 Words while he was at BBC Radio 2 a decade ago. Since then it’s inspired over one million creative contributions and the Black Lives Matter competition has provided a real focal point for the UK’s young people to join the conversation about Black Lives Matter.
The competition, hosted by Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood, sought to engage young people of all ethnicities and backgrounds across the UK in creative expression. The judging panel also included Malorie Blackman OBE, Charlie Higson, Francesca Simon and Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
Angellica said, “Being part of 500 Words: BLM has been a whirlwind from start to finish; from getting the competition off the ground in only a few days, to seeing the positive response from young people submitting entries, as well as the general public up and down the country volunteering to be judges, has truly been incredible. By allowing our young people to have a voice and to share their thoughts on this issue we have uncovered some truly talented writers who have produced some outstanding, emotive pieces of work. We have been honoured to be part of it.”
The eight brilliant finalists were:
- “I Feel Out Of Control” by Sara
- “Martin Luther King Had A Dream” by Lani
- “Love Is Colourblind” by Evie
- “Computer Says No” by Eleanor
- “Something You’re Not” by Katherine
- “Kristofer Was Quiet In School Today” by Lucy
- “Grandpa Is” by Emerson
- “Bapa” by Samuel
The eight finalists were showcased on air throughout the course of the week, with celebrity readings from David Tennant, Shobna Gulati, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Abbington, Rob Brydon, Stephen Graham and Sanjeev Bhaskar. And the judges named I Feel Out Of Control and Kristofer Was Quiet In School Today as join winners.
You can read all the finalists’ stories here: https://500words.me/finalist-stories/.
You can also listen to the star-studded readings on a special Virgin Radio podcasts here.