500 Words: Chris Evans, David Walliams and Jacqueline Wilson on the importance of children’s writing – video

The judges discuss the Radio 2 young writers competition

Launched in January, Chris Evans’s writing competition 500 Words asked youngsters to submit (you’ve guessed it) 500-word stories for judging by Chris and a panel of children’s authors, led by head judge David Walliams and also including Jacqueline Wilson, Andy Stanton and Charlie Higson.


Almost 75,000 entries were sifted through by a team of teachers and librarians before the judges got to choose their favourites from what was left. After much deliberation, Gold, Silver and Bronze winners were selected from two age groups, 9-years-and-under and 10-13-years.

The results will be announced, and the stories read out, on Chris Evans’s Radio 2 breakfast show, live from the Hay Festival of Literature from 6:30am on Friday 1 June.

Here, the judges talk about why they love writing for children and why the competition is so important…