500 Words – if you’re not familiar with it – is an annual competition for children aged five to 13 which was hosted this year by Chris Evans on Virgin Radio’s Breakfast Show.
Kids are asked to write stories around a given theme of no more than, you guessed it, 500 words. This year, the theme was Black Lives Matter and the winners were announced in mid-July. There are two categories: 5-9 and 10-13 years old.
They are read via the Audible Stories skill by a variety of celebrities including David Tennant, Jim Broadbent, Shobna Gulati, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Rob Brydon. Today, the two winning stories will be read by Nicole Kidman and Mark Strong and these will also be available via the Audible Stories Alexa Skill.
You can’t specify which story to listen to, but keep asking and you’ll be able to hear the various tales.
Here are all the available stories:
- I Feel Out Of Control written by Sara and read by David Tennant
- Martin Luther King Had A Dream written by Lani and read by Shobna Gulati
- Love is Colourblind written by Evie and read by Gugu Mbatha-Raw
- Computer Says No written by Eleanor and read by Jim Broadbent
- Something You’re Not written by Katherine and read by Amanda Abbington
- Kristofer Was Quiet in School Today written by Lucy and read by Rob Brydon
- Grandpa Is written by Emerson and read by Stephen Graham
- Bapa written by Samuel and read by Sanjeev Bhaskar
If you’ve not used it before, Audible Stories is a free skill you’ll definitely want to try out with Alexa.
When you ask “Alexa, open Audible Stories” she will ask which what type of story you want, and you can pick from various genres such as mystery, sci-fi, horror and kids.
The short stories are from authors such as Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, H.G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, Charles Dickens, Beatrix Potter and others. They vary in length – The Chocolate Box is 32 minutes, for example.
They’re read by a variety of Audible narrators including David Suchet, Stephen Fry, Sir David Jason, Andrew Scott, Russell Tovey, Juliet Stevenson and Colin Salmon.
If you don’t have an Audible subscription, this is a great alternative and ideal for kids bedtime stories.
See our recommendations for more great Alexa skills.