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So for anyone who doesn’t know, Radio 2 run a creative writing competition for children. The tricky part? They must be 500 words or less.

My nephew (now a strapping 12 year old) told me about the competition 3 years ago and suggested I sign up as a judge and so I did and have now been involved in 3. There are a lot of entries – last year there were 118,632! So judges are essential for the sifting and selecting. Well known authors get to select the winners from the top 50 in each category (9 and under, 10-13 years).

It has always been a pleasure to judge – it is an opportunity to read 30 or so stories. You have to carefully consider them against the criteria and remember that each one of those stories has been crafted and cared for.

This year has been especially exciting for 3 reasons.

  1. It was on Blue Peter (my favourite programme).
  2. For the first time all judges got a certificate to download (it is very nice to be appreciated for a voluntary thing). It is proudly displayed alongside my children’s achievement certificates from school 🙂
  3. OK – this is the MOST exciting reason. Every year some of the judges are randomly chosen to go to the final which, this year, is at St James’ Palace. It was my turn this year. I got a swanky invitation and everything.

Here is my certificate:


And here is my very exciting invitation:


The final takes places this Friday morning, so do tune into Radio 2 to hear it.

Here is a bit more about the competition: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00rfvk1

And if you are considering judging, GO FOR IT!