500 Words Winning Stories Read by David Tennant, Jim Broadbent, Alfred Enoch, and More
Since 2011, 500 Words has been encouraging kids to get creative and write. Write about what, exactly? Just about anything! Every year, the United Kingdom-based competition creates a new theme for kids between the ages of 5 and 13. Children submit their stories in relation to the said theme. Judges review the stories anonymously but do not judge based on grammar, punctuation, or spelling.
This year’s theme for 500 Words is Black Lives Matter. After weeks of nonstop protests have swept the nation, it’s more than appropriate to see what children have to say about the issue. After announcing the topic for 2020, the organization received a whopping 134,709 entries from children from around the UK. It seems impossible, but six winners were chosen from the giant pool of entries. Winners are broken down into two categories of 5 to 9 years of age and 10 to 13 years of age. Once the winners were chosen, their stories were read aloud by some very special celebrities. The final winners were presented on Zoom, and the whole event was hosted by The Radio 2 Breakfast Show.
Roary and the Giant Bloomers by Taylor F. (age 5–9 category) read by Jodie Whittaker (who plays the thirteenth Doctor in Doctor Who)
Shoo! by Lola B. (age 10–13 category) read by Alfred Enoch (who plays Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter series)
Bronze winners received an original illustrated copy of their stories and a stack of new books as tall as they are.
The Old Rabbit by Lenny T. (age 5–9 category) read by Joanna Lumley (who played Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous)
For the Last Time by Ellie A. (age 10–13 category) read by Mwaksy Mudenda (presenter for the BBC’s Blue Peter)
Silver winners received an original illustrated copy of their stories and a stack of new books as tall as Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall.
The Winning Goal by Shachar A. (age 5–9 category) read by Dua Lipa (singer/songwriter)
The Diary of a £5 Note by Vishal S. (age 10–13 category) read by David Walliams (comedian/TV personality)
Gold winners received an original illustrated copy of their stories, a stack of new books as tall as 500 Words founder Chris Evans (no, not Captain America), and 500 books for their school library.
Other notable stories were read aloud as well and can be accessed at home for everyone to hear. If you ask your Amazon Echo, “Alexa, read me a 500 Words story,” she will read from the selected list of entries:
- I Feel out of Control written by Sara and read by David Tennant (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
- Martin Luther King Had a Dream written by Lani and read by Shobna Gulati (Doctor Who)
- Love Is Colourblind written by Evie and read by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (The Morning Show)
- Computer Says No written by Eleanor and read by Jim Broadbent (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
- Something You’re Not written by Katherine and read by Amanda Abbington (Sherlock)
- Kristofer Was Quiet in School Today written by Lucy and read by Rob Brydon (Gavin & Stacey)
- Grandpa Is written by Emerson and read by Stephen Graham (The Virtues)
- Bapa written by Samuel and read by Sanjeev Bhaskar (Yesterday)
The reading of I Feel out of Control from David Tennant brings to life the recent stories and experiences of the Black Lives Matter movement from the mind of Sara, who has learned to cope with the scary stories she hears about police brutality by drawing her feelings. Her story includes not only her own thoughts about people like George Floyd dying at the hands of police officers but also the first-hand experiences of her neighbors, friends, and schoolmates.
You can check out these stories and so many more on the 500 Words website.