500 Words: Red Riding Hood retelling leads winners

The Duchess of Cornwall and Chris EvansImage source, PA / Chris Evans
Image caption,
The Duchess of Cornwall announced the winners on Chris Evans's show

A retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and the story of a kind-hearted homeless man are among the winners of this year's 500 Words competition.

Now in its seventh year, the BBC Radio 2 contest challenges under-13s to write a story about any fictional topic.

Winners were announced by the Duchess of Cornwall on Chris Evans's breakfast show, which was broadcast live from the Tower of London.

This year had a record 131,798 entries, up from last year's 123,436.

Image caption,
David Walliams was one of the celebrity narrators at the event

David Walliams and Noma Dumezweni were among the celebrity narrators who read the stories out at the event on Friday morning.

Evans said: "Each year we never fail to be astonished, surprised and moved by the weight of effort that the kids of the UK put into producing their own unique 500 Words magical creations."

The Duchess of Cornwall, an honorary judge for the second year in a row, presented the winners' prizes, and there were performances from Niall Horan, Olly Murs and Louisa Johnson.

Other judges included Malorie Blackman, Charlie Higson, Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Francesca Simon.

The winners' list in full:

Image caption,
Actress Noma Dumezweni presented the bronze prize to Evie McKeon

5-9 years category

Gold: The Kindest of Strangers by Lauren Cook (aged 9)

Silver: Professor Sluggo and the Prosthetic Limbs by Lucinda Levene (8)

Bronze: The Lady Who Grew a Beard by Jed Wherlock (9)

10-13 years category

Gold: Mr B B Wolf vs. Miss R R Hood - Evidence for the Courts by Livia Turner (13)

Silver: Jack and Jill by Ashleigh May (13)

Bronze: My Saviour by Evie McKeon (12)

Image caption,
Louisa Johnson and Olly Murs performed live

Speaking about Mr B B Wolf vs. Miss R R Hood, which won the 10-13 years gold prize, judge Francesca Simon said: "I loved this story. There are many fairy tale re-tellings, but this one managed something fresh and different.

"The character development is also superb. Fun, thought-provoking, threatening and sophisticated."

Malorie Blackman said of The Kindest of Strangers, which won the 5-9 years gold prize: "This is such a beautifully written, moving story with a killer twist.

"It managed to convey so much in a mere 500 words. I loved it."

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