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500 WORDS competition launches to find 2018’s Children’s Word of the Year


We have teamed up with BBC Radio 2’s 500 WORDSstory competition for a seventh year, and The Duchess of Cornwall will return as an Honorary Judge. 

Each year, the competition invites children around the UK aged between five and 13 years of age, to get creative and submit their short stories. Our language experts then analyse the entries to track children’s evolving use of language, before revealing the Children’s Word of the Year. Previous words selected have included ‘trump’, ‘refugee’, ‘hashtag’, and ‘minion’.

Speaking about our involvement in the initiative, Vineeta Gupta, our Head of Children’s Dictionaries, said: ‘we are always fascinated by the distinctive vocabulary, inventive plots, and original settings children use to tell their stories. We can’t wait to see what imaginative creations the future generation of writers will surprise us with in 2018. We learn an incredible amount about children’s literacy by analysing their stories and we use these findings to create resources to help children become even better writers.’

Last year, 131,798 children entered the competition and the winners of the gold, silver, and bronze medals were announced at the Tower of London. This year’s competition launched on 15 January, and the live final will take place on Friday 8 June at the Hampton Court Palace Festival.

Read more about our involvement in 500 WORDS

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