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Bbc Essay Competition 2014

Here's a few tips to help you on your way.

First: don't worry. People often worry about their poems; it's as though they're going to visit a fearsome auntie and they think they're going to do the wrong thing or speak too loudly or knock something over.

Don't worry: poetry is often about doing the wrong thing or speaking too loudly or knocking things over.

In other words: be bold with your work. Don't forget that in a competition it's often the startling poems, the ones that are a bit different, the ones that lead the reader down the garden path before surprising them with a treat that do well, because it's the unusual poems that float to the top.

So, think about the piece of music. How does it make you feel? Does it remind you of a place you've been to, a person you know? Does it feel like a story or a description or simply a bunch of words thrown into the air?

Any of those are fine: what I'm looking for is your personal response to a piece of music in the Proms. You don't have to tell me the tale of how the music got written or what the composer meant by it, unless you really want to.

Think outside the box as marketing people in bright ties and designer glasses say.

And remember: I want to be startled!

Two more things: It doesn't have to rhyme, but it can.

My personal challenge to you is: try hard to avoid the word music. That's not in the rules, that's just to make you think.

After a record 120,421 entries, six young authors have been crowned winners of Chris Evans' 500 Words competition.

The Radio 2 competition challenges under-13s to write a story in just 500 words.

This year's winners included stories about heroic pigeons, warring cake-bakers, and living with a stammer.

Gold Medal winners won a stack of books as tall as Chris Evans, Silver won a pile as tall as Alex Jones, and Bronze won their own height in books.

Here are the winners:

10-13 years category

Gold: Amabel Smith (10) - It's A Wide World

Silver: Hannah Sennouni (12) - Londoner Pigeon

Bronze: Lara Akhurst (11) - Blue

5-9 years category

Gold: Sofia Zambuto (9) - Fight For Life

Silver: Robyn Fielding (8) - The Word That Wouldn't Come Out

Bronze: Emily Potts (9) - Cake Wars

Sofia, whose story won the 5-9 years category, missed the deadline for the 2014 competition by 30 seconds.

"I'm kind of pleased I missed it now," she laughed.

On the judging panel were kids' authors Malorie Blackman and Charlie Higson, as well as former Top Gear and Wipeout presenter Richard Hammond.