Yesterday we had a look at the 25 finalists in the 5-9 years old category of the BBC 500 Words competition, and tomorrow I will post a rundown of the grand final. But for today, we need to have a look at the 25 finalists (and 3 wildcard entries) in the 10-13 years old category.
Hey ho! Let’s go!
==[ JUST THREE WORDS ]== by Adam John – A coffee machine is programmed to make the world a better place, one coffee at a time. But the coffee machine takes this a little too literal, and decides to teach humankind a lesson in waste and the need for reusable cups.
Anne Wilson by Logan McElfresh – A horror short, which is unusual to see in this competition. Anne Wilson is a quiet child, introverted and shy. This makes her an easy target. It means she doesn’t have a protective circle around her. She’s vulnerable, and there is a dark force on the lookout for her type.
A Walk in the Park by Beth Helliwell – And straight into another horror! Be careful when walking in the park at night. Bad things happen in the park at night. Charlie didn’t listen to those warnings though and one night during a walk through the park he encounters a pale girl begging for help. With a crazed, baseball bat wielding, white van man, rapidly approaching, Charlie must do what he can to help. But is everything as it seems?
Bamboo Magic by Grace Chapman – A melancholic fairytale set in a small village (possibly Eastern?), about an old woman who carves wooden animals for the local children. She is so good at it that the emperor demands she is brought to the palace, where she is kept in a single room and forced to make animals all day. That is until she rests her head for the final time, and gets to fly with dragons.
Blue Cool by Katy Sarah Gunning – Sometimes the most helpful of items are underappreciated. Blue Cool is a powerful tool, used by many. But they also have a cheeky side where they like to play at night when nobody is in the school.
The Boy Who Wished to Be a Girl by Jasmine Yeomans-Hughes – The title sort of says it all really, doesn’t it? Louis, desperate to be Louise, but too afraid to challenge the gender given to her by those around her, is visited by the spirit of powerful women. She learns to accept herself.
Clot and the Antibody Army by Benjamin French – There is a war to be fought! General Red and his Antibody Army are tasked with defeating a giant bug. But soon, after plenty of battle action, it may look like the war is lost. Can clumsy Corpuscle Clot save the day?!
The Day the Door Opened by Emily Gibson – Thrown into a world of darkness and spinning water. There is a battle taking place here, where there must be a winner and a loser.
Hamish the Tap Dancing Sheep by Jessica Burns – Hamish is a tap dancing sheep, as you probably guessed from the title. But he comes from a family of world championsheep highland dancers, and he is expected to follow in their hoofsteps. So when his family enters him in Sheep’s Got Talent, he has to decide whether to follow the family wishes, or flourish as the black sheep. So many wonderful puns. Puns everywhere!
I Should’ve Stayed at Home… by Henry Doust – A cold February day, and our MC must hide. They must stay still, listening for noise, but not making any. Surrounded by friends once lost and now found again. But what’s that coming nearer? Is this the end?
Is This the Real Life, or is This Just Fantasy by Shaun Townsley – Something tells me Shaun is a Queen fan. Our MC, triggered by the call sign on the radio, Galileo, must now use their superior fitness and skills to save the Killer Queen from the hands of the tyrant, Figaro. One point for each Queen song title you find.
Left by Hannah Hope – Hidden away in a crowded, dark, and dull prison, our MC is forgotten. They dream of the day they will be released. They dream of the day they will be needed again. But will that day ever come. Well, the WIFI just went down, and maybe now is their time to shine!
Medusa’s Makeover by Cissy Bailey – I love a good poem, I do. And this is excellent. Medusa wakes one morning, feeling a bit glum, and just wants her hair done. Problem is, Medusa’s hair is snakes, and finding a hairdresser that will go near snakes, or even outlive her stone-turning gaze, is a little harder than expected.
My Brother is Magical by Evie Baker – The boy referred to as ‘my brother’ is remarkable indeed. He has many super powers, and hypersensitive senses. He can fly and spin, and time travel. But other people don’t see his super powers. They don’t call it super, they have a different term for it.
My Time Again by Rosy Riley – Being 100 years old is tough. There are many things one can no longer do at that age. But for our 100 years old MC, stitching a new dress for their great granddaughter reminds them of their youth, and the music takes over, for one last dance.
No Bear-Shirt Tall by Annabel Davies – Another wonderful poem! In our tales of old, where dragons terrorise the men, and amass a lair of gold and precious jewels, we often hear of the men that come, the knights in shining armour to win the day. But that is not how it happened. The battle with the dragon was not won by braun and muscle, but by the wit of a maiden. Now we know.
The Office Party by Jacob Harrington-Worrall – The less said the better, in fear of too many spoilers. But there is a night time cleaner who lives with two receptionists, and a party. Oh, did I mention, the cleaner is called Cindy. wink
Period 3 with William Shakespeare by Alexandra Ashton – Mr Queripel is unwell, meaning the class has a substitute teacher, Mr William Shakespeare. Revered and loved by all. Quoted by many, and a benchmark in the history of storytelling. But can he really compete with modern technology and Kardashians?
The Problem with Being Invisible by Molly Jane O’Reilly – A magical realism tale of friendship told in verse. Some people go through life being unseen, because some things are only seen when we close our eyes.
The Supermarket Scamp by Eleni Malandrinos – Like a bull in a china shop… or… a dog in a supermarket. Chaos and mayhem everywhere. Dogs should not be in supermarkets because they just create a mess. Or, are they just trying to help?
Tyrannos-Oral Hygiene by Millie Robinson – Tyrone the T-Rex hasn’t been to the dentist in 65 million years. So it’s reasonable that he has a tooth that hurts. But dentistry on an animal the size of a T-Rex is not easy. Luckily, Dr Gummeridge is prepared for the challenge.
The Terrible Claw by Amelia Cloake – Let me just give you the opening few lines. That should be enough to grab your attention.
I live in a rather odd place. An enormous glass house and there’s a pile of us living here. It’s quite cramped, but there’s no place like home! There’s a bunch of yellow fluffy things all called Bob and my bunch of rainbow coloured bears. We are all content enough together, but we live in fear.
The Thief of Wishes by Jessica Noble – The thief of wishes is a nasty fella. He goes around, like a reverse santa, stealing joy from the folks of the world. Planting doubt and destroying dreams. He’s just doing what he does. If only something, or someone, could show him a different way.
What Am I? by Katie Savage – Powerful. An ominous warning to all. What has been and gone, will come again.
Why Did the Chicken… by Esme Harrison-Jones – Turns out playing chicken when you are a chicken is a bad mistake. Today I learned that chickens are daft creatures with no brain at all, and this story confirmed it. I laughed out loud.
Reality by Harry Martin *wildcard entry* – A warning of modern technology. A short horror story of sorts, set in a dystopian world where comfort can only come from reality. But what kind of reality?
Something’s Scon Wrong! by Ruby Allen *wildcard entry* – In adulthood we are often confronted with challenging debates about society, humankind, and life itself. But the biggest question of them all is, is it ‘Scon’, or ‘Scone’. I mean, it’s definitely ‘scone’. But this could cause world war 3. And don’t even get me started on cream and jam.
Speaking With No Words by Isabel Kershaw *wildcard entry* – I felt this story. The blank page is by far the scariest thing in the world, and having to fill it with a tale can be so overwhelming. Writing is hard. Writing quickly under the gaze of a teacher is even harderer.
And those are the stories! Such a strong collection of stories from budding authors there. The quality of all 56 stories in both categories has blown me away. Picking just three for each has been a really tough decision and I do not envy the judges for the job they have. But, this is a competition, and so there must be winners.
My bronze goes to Medusa’s Makeover by Cissy Bailey
I love it! Funny and witty, with a great little story and a wonderful message of accepting oneself in our natural forms. It’s cleverly written, and made me laugh out loud.
My silver goes to The Boy Who Wished to Be a Girl by Jasmine Yeomans-Hughes
We need more stories like this in the world. And to be written by someone so young is just marvellous. I cried, as I often do when my heart is touched. I also smiled a lot.
My gold goes to The Problem with Being Invisible by Molly Jane O’Reilly
Come on! It’s like it was written for me. Oh boy! This is magical, and wonderful, and heartwarming, and just beautiful. So well written, with so much creativity and out of the box thinking. I need more stories from this upcoming world famous author.
I am so excited for the final tomorrow. You can listen live, around the world, by tuning in to the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 from 7.00am (UK time). I will be listening, and writing up a summary of everything that happens, including the who wins what. Until then, Peace and love!