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The BBC 500 Words Competition is back for 2023 and Pobble is delighted to be an official partner!

In today's digital age, where screens dominate our lives, the joy of writing among children is diminishing. According to the Literacy Trust, only 1 in 3 children enjoy writing in their free time. This concerning trend has reached a crisis point, as reported by The Guardian. However, amidst these challenges, initiatives like the BBC's 500 Words Competition and partners like our team at Pobble are working tirelessly to reignite the spark of creativity and empower young writers. Are you ready to inspire your young writers with the 500 Words Competition and Pobble? 

What is the BBC 500 words competition?

The BBC's 500 Words Competition is the UK's most successful children's writing competition and has become a beacon of hope for young writers across the United Kingdom. Launched in 2011, this annual competition aims to encourage children to unleash their imagination and showcase their writing skills. With a limit of precisely 500 words, participants are challenged to craft captivating stories that charm the judges and ignite the imaginations of readers. This year, the two age categories will be 5-7 year-olds and 8-11 year-olds with children of all abilities encouraged to enter. 

Who are the 500-word judges in 2023?

Every year, the BBC brings together a panel of renowned judges who have made significant contributions to the world of literature and storytelling. In 2023, the panel includes literary icons such as award-winning authors Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson Frank Cottrell-Boyce, and Francesca Simon. As well as TV legend and children's author, Sir Lenny Henry. Their expertise and passion for storytelling ensure that the competition maintains its high standards and provides a platform for young voices to be heard.

You can find out everything you need to know about the competition, including all the important dates and exciting prizes by visiting the 500 words website. 

How can you use Pobble to support your class with their 500 words entries?

Pobble is on a mission to inspire young writers and support teachers to improve writing outcomes. As a proud partner of the BBC's 500 Words Competition, we've produced some exclusive resources to inspire your class with their 500 Words entries. They are designed to nurture creativity, develop essential writing skills and make writing exciting and engaging for students!

First up, we've created two free sets of story prompts for 5-7 year-olds which include incredible images and engaging activities that spark imaginations. Download your free copies below:

Pobble + BBC story prompts 5-8

Download story prompt set 1 for 5-7-year-olds.

Download story prompt set 2 for 5-7 year olds.

Next, we've got two sets of story prompts for 7-11-year-olds which include incredible images and engaging activities that spark imaginations. Pobble + BBC story prompts 7-11

Download story prompt set 1 for 7-11-year-olds.

Download story prompt set 2 for 7-11- year olds.


We've created three free activity sheets, each with 25 fun and engaging activities to kickstart children's creativity in preparation for writing their 500-word entries. Download, print and share with your class to complete and see their writing skills improve!

BBC + Pobble activity sheets

Click to download 25 fun literacy tasks for ages 5-7

Click to download 25 fun book-based tasks for ages 7-11

Click to download 25 fun writing tasks for ages 7-11


Finally, if you want even more writing inspiration, you can access a free inspiring writing prompt, every day on Pobble. Each one comes with an incredible image and ready-made writing activities to engage and motivate your class.

Pobble writing activites

Reignite the joy of writing!

The BBC's 500 Words Competition, supported by Pobble, offers a remarkable opportunity for young writers to showcase their talents and ignite their passion for storytelling. Children can develop crucial writing skills, unleash their creativity, and gain confidence in their abilities. With Pobble's support, teachers can create stimulate and support a love for writing, empowering young minds to become skilled wordsmiths of the future.

The competition closes at 8 pm Friday 10 November 2023. For more details and to read the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Notices, go to the 500 Words homepage.

Have you discovered Pobble yet?

We help teachers inspire their young writers, foster a love for writing across schools, and reach accurate assessment judgments. 

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