Almost 6,000 children, aged between 5-13, submitted stories expressing their personal experiences, tales of empathy, learning and respect, building on the international conversation around Black Lives Matter. Originally devised by Chris Evans, the 500 Words competition has a rich 10-year heritage, giving children of all ethnicities and backgrounds a platform to express their imaginations and creativity through storytelling.
The illustrious judging panel, chaired by Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood, reviewed thousands of submissions from which they have shortlisted eight finalists. The two overall winners of the competition will be announced live on The Chris Evans’ Breakfast show on Friday 17th July from 6.30am.
‘We’re proud to publish this fantastic celebration of creativity and diversity, giving young voices an even bigger platform to be heard.’
Perminder Mann, CEO, Bonnier Books UK
Perminder Mann, CEO of Bonnier Books UK, said: ‘As a long-term admirer of this inspirational storytelling competition, the offer to publish the next generation’s perspectives on this important topic was a no brainer. While everyone has a unique story to tell, many have no opportunity to share it. We’re proud to publish this fantastic celebration of creativity and diversity, giving young voices an even bigger platform to be heard.’
‘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.’
Judges Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood
Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood said: ‘Being part of 500 Words: Black Lives Matter 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.’
500 Words: Black Lives Matters (ISBN 9781787419605) will hit the shelves on 3rd September 2020 and is published by Studio Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK. World rights were acquired by Helen Wicks. The retail price will be £6.99.
All royalties will be matched by the publisher and donated to children’s charities dedicated to ensuring young people of all backgrounds are given the best opportunities in life.
More information about 500 Words: Black Lives Matter can be found here on the competition website.
Judges Bell and Underwood were joined by Malorie Blackman OBE, Charlie Higson, Francesca Simon and Frank Cottrell-Boyce on the high-profile judging panel.
The competition was widely supported from both the entertainment and publishing industries, with supporters including David Tennant, Shobna Gulati, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jim Broadbent, Amanda Abbington, Rob Brydon, Stephen Graham, Sanjeev Bhaskar.