Bonnier Books UK is releasing 500 Words: Black Lives Matter, a book featuring short stories children have submitted to a Chris Evans-devised Virgin Radio competition this month.
The 500 Words competition has been running for 10 years and this year was given the theme of Black Lives Matter. Almost 6,000 children, aged from five to 13, submitted stories expressing their personal experiences, tales of empathy, learning and respect, building on the international conversation around the movement and the issues it raises.
A judging panel, chaired by Angellica Bell and Michael Underwood, reviewed the submissions and shortlisted eight finalists. The two overall winners of the competition will be announced live on Chris Evans’ breakfast show on 17th July from 6.30 a.m.
500 Words: Black Lives Matters will hit the shelves on 3rd September 2020 and is published by imprint Studio Press. World rights were acquired by executive director Helen Wicks.
Perminder Mann, c.e.o. of Bonnier Books UK, said: “As a long-term admirer of this inspirational storytelling competition, the offer to publish the next generation’s perspectives on this important topic was a no brainer. While everyone has a unique story to tell, many have no opportunity to share it. We’re proud to publish this fantastic celebration of creativity and diversity, giving young voices an even bigger platform to be heard.”
Bell and Underwood said: “Being part of 500 Words: Black Lives Matter has been a whirlwind from start to finish; from getting the competition off the ground in only a few days, to seeing the positive response from young people submitting entries, as well as the general public up and down the country volunteering to be judges, has truly been incredible. By allowing our young people to have a voice and to share their thoughts on this issue we have uncovered some truly talented writers who have produced some outstanding, emotive pieces of work. We have been honoured to be part of it.”
All royalties will be matched by the publisher and donated to children’s charities dedicated to ensuring young people of all backgrounds are given the best opportunities in life.