Third Year Hamptonian Vishal Saha has been named as a finalist in the prestigious BBC 500 Words 2020 competition.

The 500 Words competition, created by Chris Evans on his Radio 2 Breakfast Show in 2011, is now one of the most successful story-writing competitions for children in the country. This year there were a staggering 135,000 entries – a new record!

Vishal’s story, The Diary of a £5 Note, was shortlisted in the 10-13 age group category as a wildcard entry for showing extraordinary creativity and imagination. The 500 Words‘ panel of judges made up of acclaimed children’s authors Malorie Blackman, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Charlie Higson and Francesca Simon, alongside Honorary Judge, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall, will have the difficult task of selecting three winners in each category.

Vishal was delighted to hear that he’d been shortlisted as a finalist:

I have always followed this competition and I was really pleased to find out I had been selected in the top 56! It is wonderful to know that famous authors will now be judging and reading my work because I have made the final round!

Take a look at Vishal reading his story here:

Helen Thomas, Head of Content Commissioning for Radio 2, praised this year’s entries:

Now in its tenth year, the entries to BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show’s 500 Words have proved to be even better than ever! I’d like to say a huge thank you to each and every child who took part. Selecting these finalists was incredibly tough, so huge congratulations to all who’ve made it through.

Whilst current circumstances mean that it is no longer possible to hold the live final at Buckingham Palace, a virtual celebration will take place on 12 June 2020 when the winners will be announced. You can read all of the shortlisted stories for this year in the 10 to 13 years category on the BBC website.

Well done Vishal!


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