Tuesday February 18 2020

Ramsbottom Tutor Selected as Judge in Prestigious BBC Writing Competition

Helen Wilson encourages storytelling and writing in children

Ramsbottom Tutor Selected as Judge in Prestigious BBC Writing Competition

A Ramsbottom-based tutor is encouraging children across the borough to let their creative juices flow – after being selected as a judge in a prestigious story writing competition.


Helen Wilson, owner of A Star Tuition Group, is set to judge the BBC 500 Words, the UK’s largest story writing competition for children, for the third year running. Now in it’s 10th year, the competition is designed to encourage a love of writing and storytelling in school children under the age of 13. After winning regional heats, the finalists are invited to attend a  spectacular 500 Words Final at Buckingham Palace where superstar celebrities will read the winning stories live on the radio. Six amazing illustrators: Tony Ross, Fiona Lumbers, David McKee, Sue Cheung, David Roberts, and Margaret Sturton – will each be set the task of illustrating one the winning stories.


The winners in each age category will also receive:

Gold Winners - Chris Evans' height in books and 500 books for their school.

Silver Winners - HRH The Duchess of Cornwall's height in books.

Bronze Winners - Their own height in books.

Helen Wilson was selected as a judge after adhering to a strict verification process to confirm her expertise in assessing children’s writing. The role is only open to teachers and librarians and in 2018 she was named a Super-Judge for going above and beyond her judging duties.


Helen will be sent up to 30 stories to grade and put forward to the next round. In 2019 three pupils who attend her tutoring sessions made it to the semi-finals and in 2018, ten year old A Star Tuition pupil Meren Hildred made it all the way to the final where, she shared her story “The Adventures of Lefty the Lonesome Loafer” with  HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.


A-Star Tuition Group is a child-centred service that enables five to sixteen-year olds to gain results that truly reflect their academic abilities. The business offers tailored learning programmes that suit every child’s unique requirements in a fun, welcoming and highly motivational environment. With an impressive pass rate for SATs and GCSE exams, the group boasts a 100% pass rate for the entrance exams to Bury Grammar and Bolton School, with an outstanding pass rate for BRGS.


Last year the business was crowned “Tuition Group of The Year” for Greater Manchester in The Corporate Livewire Manchester Prestige Awards, beating off stiff competition from across the region.


Helen Wilson said:


“I’m absolutely delighted to be judging BBC 500 Words for the third year. As an English teacher, I’m absolutely passionate about helping children to discover their inner storyteller.


“Children today are busy and under pressure, with many spending far too much time on screens. Creative writing is a wonderful outlet for them to express themselves and use their imaginations. I’d encourage all children to have a go.”


BBC 500 Words is open now. The competition closes on Thursday 27th February at 8pm.



"Im absolutely delighted to be judging BBC 500 Words for the third year."
Helen Wilson, A Star Tuition Group Owner


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