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Jigsaw Student Charlotte Hessey reaches BBC Radio 2 500 Words Final

In our last week’s Blog we covered a story about our talented Performing Arts and Drama teacher, Luke Harding, who has recently published his first book (50 Things We All Take Too Seriously)

This week we have learnt that it’s not just our Jigsaw teachers who are putting pen to paper, but our students as well! Jigsaw Performing Arts School Stevenage student, Charlotte Hessey, recently reached the BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words Final, one of the most successful story writing competitions for children in the world!

For the competition, entrants write an original story on any subject or theme in 500 Words or fewer and if they win, their story will be read live on the radio by a superstar celebrity. Now in its eighth year, this year’s competition attracted a colossal 135,000 entries of which 6 winners were selected from the 5-9 and 10 -13 age categories. Charlotte was amongst the 50 shortlisted entrants (25 in each age category) who were invited to attend the 500 Words final at Hampton Court Palace on Friday 8th June 2018. What a fantastic achievement! Following the big day, we caught up with Charlotte to find out more about her story and what it was like to be at the final.

How long have you attended Jigsaw Stevenage and what’s your favourite discipline?

I will have done 5 years at Jigsaw this September.  It’s difficult for me to choose my favourite discipline but I think I’d have to pick dance.

What inspired you to enter 500 words?

I love reading and writing stories and it was my teacher who encouraged me to enter the 500 words competition.

Tell us about your story?

My story is about a chicken called Charles that has a very unique talent. It’s difficult for me to say much more without spoiling the story but you can read or listen to it here.

How did you feel when you found out that you were a finalist?

My mum told me that I’d made the final when she came to collect me from after-school club. I was so excited I ran around the hall screaming and shouting.

What was it like attending the final at Hampton Court Palace?

Being at Hampton Court was amazing. It’s not every day you get to visit a palace, and to meet all the celebrities and bands was fantastic. I had such a great day.

Has the experience inspired you to keep writing?

Yes, it has. Reaching the final has given me lots of encouragement to keep writing. I’m already working on ideas for next year.

We look forward to reading them! To find out more about the 500 Words competition you can visit the BBC Radio 2 website.

Jigsaw Performing Arts is dedicated to developing performance skills, promoting self-expression and building confidence. We offer performing arts classes for children aged between 3 – 18. Find your nearest school by entering your postcode into the search on our home page