‘We received many thousands of entries and only 5000 go to the Reading Agency for the second round of judging. You should be very proud!’ read the letter from the 500 Words judging team.
The final shortlist of 50 stories will be selected over the coming weeks and an announcement of those selections will be made in May. We look forward to hearing news of the shortlist and wish to congratulate Amelia and Yoanna on their success in getting through the first round.
You can read both their stories here:
The Tale of the Loch Ness Kelpie
“The strange tale about the Loch Ness Kelpie was an old one and had intrigued many children over the years. However for Sarah on her first Brownie trip the story was going to take on a whole new meaning.
Sarah yelled “Come on Mum, I’ll be late and won’t get to sit next to Clara”. She jumped in the car and beeped on the horn! Mum came out looking very harassed but didn’t say a word. They pulled up just in time, as Clara was being unloaded by her Mum. She spotted Sarah and ran to give her best friend a hug. The girls were super excited and a little nervous about their first overnight adventure. The girls leapt on to the bus to get the best seat possible.
As new Brownies Sarah and Clara had a lot to learn. When the Brown Owl whistled, they ran to the campfire as the smell of sizzling sausages had been driving them mad. It was quiet as everyone ate, they gathered round to toast marshmallows and tell stories. Brown Owl told the story of the Loch Ness Kelpies, famous for saving people’s lives. She said there was a little girl who had been playing on the shore, she threw her ball and it landed in the Loch. The girl went to get it, but she couldn’t swim. Her parents couldn’t swim and the girl disappeared beneath the waves. Her parents were shouting and weeping on the shore feeling helpless. There was something in the water, a silver horse appeared carrying the little girl to the shore. She spluttered back to life. In all the commotion the horse disappeared but the parents reported seeing a silver haired woman.
Sarah went to bed and fell asleep dreaming of the fascinating tales. The next day the girls went to Loch Ness to get their kayaking badge. It was a beautiful day. Sarah and her friend Clara climbed into their kayak. They paddled out to the middle of the glistening loch. They were practicing away, when suddenly the wind started to pick up, dark clouds over took the sky and the sunny day disappeared. The sky was black and the wind howled. Sarah and Clara lost sight of their friends and the waves lashed against their kayak.
Suddenly Sarah was in the dark freezing loch, she couldn’t see Clara anywhere. Sarah was screaming for help. She could hear her friends screaming at her to swim to shore. Sarah swam on and on she ducked under the water one last time but still no Clara.
Once on shore Sarah couldn’t believe her eyes as a stunning silver horse rose up from the waves with Clara on its back. The horse laid Clara on the beach and she gasped for air. Everyone raced to her aid, Sarah looked around but the magnificent creature had vanished. Walking back to the bus, Sarah spotted a silver haired lady watching from the shore. She raised a finger to her lips.”
Amelia van Vliet
Playing With Minds
“Hello. My name is Hope—Hope Malloy. I am a 12-year-old girl, but still not normal. No one else knows this, but I have more than one side to me. Or, in other words, more than one personality. My parents don’t actually understand what happens, so I tend not to tell them what goes on—although they do question a lot. I change personalities every hour, every day.
Wake up. Get ready for school. Leave the house. CHANGE. I become the gossip girl of the school, but I don’t know how people don’t realise that I’ve changed. It’s odd really, but I kind of like it.
There, sitting at the back of class, when all of a sudden I feel a tickling tingle crawling all the way up my spine. And, immediately, it happens. CHANGE. Now I’m standing in the crowded school corridor, facing an open locker, almost trying to hide myself from the rest of the world. Oh, I know what I’ve become. I’m the quiet, shy girl who never talks to anyone and is scared of everything.
Standing outside on my own, still in my shy body, when: bam. CHANGE. I’m this popular girl standing with a bunch of girls around me. This absolutely gorgeous boy starts walking towards me. He stands there, flipping his hair, thinking, ‘I am stunning, aren’t I?’ Oh, I can’t stand people like that. Just get me out of here. These are the times in my life where I hate being able to change…but, I mean, if I didn’t, I would just be a normal girl.
There I was walking home, with a tonne of boys staring at me, when this time a sizzling happens. I CHANGE into a geek, tutoring one of the boys from my school. I look up and see his bright blue eyes staring into mine. He leans in to kiss me, and I feel as though I have woken up from some sort of dream or sleep. I’m lying there in my bed feeling like a new person (in my case, probably true), when I look in the mirror. Normally, I am the same person every morning—but, today, I look different.
I wait for hours during the day to change, to be someone different. But no. Nothing happens. I was thinking back to the kiss the other day and that sleep I awoke from. Maybe fairy tales were true and real. Maybe true love’s kiss, or just any kiss, really can help you. And maybe that was the medicine I needed to get better.
My name is Hope Malloy. I’m a 12-year-old girl. Now I am a normal girl, but I still have a secret.”