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Kids to write for Radio 2

Radio 2 has launched a short story writing competition to inspire children under 13 to put pen to paper as part of the Hay-on-Wye Literature Festival.

The panel of judges will be headed by breakfast presenter Chris Evans, who'll take his show to the Hay Festival later in the year.

Called 500 Words, the competition aims to inspire children to get creative and write a story with a maximum of 500 words about any fictional topic they choose. Entries can be submitted at the Radio 2 website from today until 9.30am on Thursday 3 March 2011 – World Book Day.

The competition is part of the BBC Year Of Books, a pan-BBC year-long celebration of literature which invites audiences to free their imagination through the exploration, enjoyment and discussion of books.

Chaired by Chris, a remarkable and inspiring panel of expert judges will select five finalists from a shortlist of 50, all of whom will be asked to attend the Hay Festival on Friday 3 June, where The Chris Evans' Breakfast Show will be broadcasting. The five finalists will have their story read out live on the programme by a celebrity, and the overall winner will be announced at the climax of the show.

Chris said: "I can't wait for all this to start. From the first words being dreamt up by our budding scribes, to the five finalists and our star studded panel of glittering talent declaring the winner. It's going to be a blast!"

The expert judging panel will be helping to captivate imaginative young minds and inspire would-be authors. They will be speaking to Chris at 8.15am across this week and will also feature in short films on the Radio 2 website, giving their invaluable tips to young writers.

Other judges include children's writer Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Little Britain star David Walliams who has published three children's books.

Controller of Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music, Bob Shennan, said: "Radio 2 is proud to produce such rich programming within the breakfast schedule, and I hope that Chris inspires thousands of children to tell their own unique stories."

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