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Cartoon Camilla returns to launch writing contest for children

The Duchess of Cornwall is back in cartoon form to show her support for a literary project for youngsters. Camilla is seen in an animation released today to mark the 500 Words contest run by BBC Radio 2.

The duchess has given her backing to the competition for the last five years and she’s often seen as an animation in films and social media posts promoting the event. This year’s cartoon has Camilla in a hot air balloon headed for the final of the contest which will take place in June while she tells writers everywhere to ”keep saying a big, fat yes to adventure”.

The competition was the brainchild of DJ Chris Evans and it’s open to children who will be aged between 5 and 13 on June 14th 2019 who are asked to come up with their own original story, told in 500 words or fewer. The story has to be fictional but it can include real life people or personalities from history. The contest is all about imagination, characters and narrative and entries are judged on how they bring a story to life rather than on grammar and spelling. Stories must be submitted by 7pm on March 8th 2019.

Last year, the contest attracted over 130,000 entries and since it began, in 2011, over 800,000 stories have been submitted to it. Camilla has had a high profile role in the contest, acting as a honorary judge and hosting the awards ceremony at the end of the competition Last year, she welcomed winners to Hampton Court Palace while in 2017 she oversaw prize giving at the Tower of London. This year, the Duchess of Cornwall will throw open the doors of Windsor Castle for the prize winners and their families.

The Duchess of Cornwall’s interest in promoting literacy is reflected in many of her patronages. Last week, she visited one of them, the National Literacy Trust, to see its work in Swindon while her other literacy linked patronages include the charity, Beanstalk, which supports children who need extra help with their reading, and Book Trust.

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Lydia is a writer, blogger and journalist. She's worked in the media for over twenty years as a broadcast reporter, producer and editor as well as feature and online writer. As well as royals and royal history, she's a news junkie and podcaster.