500 Word Story Challenge

After the success of last year, RISS is proud to announce the launch of its second 500 Word Story Challenge. This is for Foundation Years students only and is based on the successful model of the BBC Radio 2 500 Words competition in the UK. We are inviting budding writers to be creative and come up with their own fictional stories. 

500 Word Story Challenge 2021

Congratulations to everyone who entered the 500 Word Story Challenge this year. The standard was incredibly high and the judges had a tough job deciding on the final four.

However, we would like to announce our final four stories, a wonderful mix of styles and genres. These have been recorded for you to listen to and enjoy. Kim Lloyd, our head judge, will be announcing the winning story very soon. 

A Moment  by Vanessa Chan (grade 8). This has been recorded by Sam Fraser, a TV and radio presenter for BBC South (and Mrs Ricketts' old teacher).

Red Eyes Like Slits in Paper by Swapna Nair  (grade 7 and last year's winner). This has been recorded by Tom Sherman who is a professional actor and course leader Performing and Production Arts (Salisbury). 

A Soul for a Soul by Vidhi Singhi (grade 8). This has been recorded by Lorenzo Vantaggiato, teller of stories, including that of his own life. "Nothing is written in stone, and if it is, it can easily be changed into speech."

The Beginning - by Anushri Nair (grade 6). This has been recorded by Simon Meredith. Simon has been a Drama teacher for  20 years and has been acting in theatre since he was a teenager. He especially likes doing voice work and so is delighted to have the opportunity to read 'The Beginning' for us.

The challenge?

The story written must be no more than 500 words in length! Ideas must be original and stories written individually. Stories will be judged on:

  • originality;
  • plot;
  • characterisation;
  • language and
  • enjoyment.

Three finalists and an overall winner will be selected.  The entries from the finalists will be performed by professional actors and/or broadcasters, before being broadcast on Instagram, FlipGrid and on this website. The winner will also have their story published in the RISSUE magazine (shared with the local community and on-line). Stories will initially be judged by teachers and then by a guest judge - Kim Lloyd. She is a professional writer with an MA in Writing for Young People, and has just submitted her third novel for publication. 

500 Word Story Challenge 2020

The first edition of the 500 Word Story Challenge winner:
Chapter 1 - Swapna Nair - recorded by Sam Fraser, a TV and radio presenter for BBC South (and Mrs Rickett’s old teacher)! Swapna has her story published in the Winter edition (2020) of the RISSUE for you all to enjoy. 

Kim Lloyd (guest judge) announces the winning story

Guest Judge - Kim Lloyd

Kim has spent her life reading and writing stories, some in a radio newsroom, some on the prestigious MA Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. There, she met amazing storytellers and was taught by the likes of David Almond, honing her craft and signing with a leading literary agent. She is currently working on a YA novel which will be submitted to publishers in the coming months. She works in a first school and loves nothing more than helping young storytellers find their voice. She is a great advocate of free writing in schools and the benefits it has for young people, their mental health and their creativity.

RISS 500 word story
RISS 500 word story
RISS 500 word story
RISS 500 word story

Get Creative! Get Writing! Get Started!