Monday 24 April 2017

Camilla plays Fairy Godmother of boy in video for 500 Words writing contest

The Duchess of Cornwall will return as an honorary judge
The Duchess of Cornwall will return as an honorary judge

The Duchess of Cornwall appears as a Fairy Godmother encouraging a little boy to explore his imagination in an animated video to launch BBC Radio 2's 500 Words writing competition.

The short story contest, which was announced on Chris Evan's breakfast show, encourages children aged between five and 13 to attempt creative writing.

Camilla, who will return as an honorary judge, features in a special animation as the 500 Words Fairy Godmother who encourages the boy to explore his imagination filled with pirate ships, dragons and giant gingerbread men, which then inspires him to write.

The competition, created by Evans, is now in its seventh year and encourages children to send in stories of no more than 500 words.

It is now open to entries and will close at 7pm on February 23.

Camilla will be joined on the judging panel by writers Malorie Blackman, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon, who will determine the bronze, silver and gold winners in the two age categories - five to nine years and 10 to 13.

The winners will be announced during a live broadcast of Evans' breakfast show on June 16 at the Tower of London and all those attending will be given free entry to the tourist attraction for the day.

Stories written by previous winners have been read out by stars including Julie Walters, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sir Kenneth Branagh.

BBC Learning will celebrate the launch with a fun-fair themed Live Lesson hosted by Blue Peter presenter Barney Harwood and BBC Breakfast's Naga Munchetty from 11am and available to all schools as a webcast.

The lesson will see celebrity guests from Lego computer games, Harry Potter and Revolting Rhymes take part in activities covering different aspects of story-writing.

Lewis Carnie, head of BBC Radio 2, said: "We're very excited to welcome back Radio 2's 500 Words competition for the seventh year.

"From 30,000 entries when it first launched in 2011 to over 123,000 in 2016, I'm so proud that Radio 2 is able to inspire so many children to get involved, writing their fabulous stories."

Last year 123,436 children entered the competition.

Information and terms and conditions are at bbc.co.uk/500words.

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