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Young boy who struggles with his writing in final of story competition

PUBLISHED: 08:25 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 08:25 14 June 2019

Nine-year-old Sam Arnold, a pupil at Wymondham's Browick Road Primary School, is excited at becoming a finalist in BBC Radio 2's 500 Words creative writing competition even though he struggles to write. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Nine-year-old Sam Arnold, a pupil at Wymondham's Browick Road Primary School, is excited at becoming a finalist in BBC Radio 2's 500 Words creative writing competition even though he struggles to write. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2019

Writing a 500-word story would be a serious feat for most nine-year-olds.

Nine-year-old Sam Arnold, a pupil at Wymondham's Browick Road Primary School, is excited at becoming a finalist in BBC Radio 2's 500 Words creative writing competition even though he struggles to write. With him is the school head teacher, Pauline McMullan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNine-year-old Sam Arnold, a pupil at Wymondham's Browick Road Primary School, is excited at becoming a finalist in BBC Radio 2's 500 Words creative writing competition even though he struggles to write. With him is the school head teacher, Pauline McMullan. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

For Sam Arnold from Wymondham, who has muscular problems in his hands which make writing difficult, it was a particularly big challenge.

Along with his classmates, Browick Road Primary School pupil Sam penned a short story to submit to BBC Radio 2's 500 Words children's writing competition.

But not only has he come top of his class, he has come top of the country after his entry was among 25 selected for the competition final.

Sam's mum Becky Arnold, 38, said he had used special stationery and a writing board in class to help with his muscle problems.

"The school has been fabulous and always encouraged him," she said.

"Because his handwriting was bad he was feeling like he didn't want to write his stories down, because he was embarrassed. Then he did a creative writing group with his headteacher and got back into it.

"He has got such a great imagination. Had the school not done all of these things and encouraged him with his creative writing he would not have tried, but now he feels he can write as well as any other child despite his problems."

Mrs Arnold was thrilled to receive an email stating that Sam's entry had made it through the first stage of the 500 Words competition, which was launched in 2011 by former BBC radio presenter Chris Evans.

Sam's piece kept climbing through the competition until the family was told he had made the final 25, who have all been invited to an event at Windsor Castle - with guests including comedian and author David Walliams and boy band Busted - where the winner will be decided.

Mrs Arnold said: "I am an English teacher so for me it was great news. The primary school say they have not had anyone get that far before. There are thousands and thousands of children who enter every year so to even get through the first stage is massive.

"I feel like we have won already."

The final will be broadcast from Windsor Castle on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2 on Friday.

Mrs Arnold and Sam have travelled to Windsor for the final, with dad Ian, 50, and sister Rosie, six, listening at home.

Here is Sam's 500 Words piece, Hollywood's End:

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"Cut!"

Baron Von Misborg, Hollywood's most experienced director threw his pen away in disgust. His new film was not going well. His aim was to make a horror film so scary that they would have to create a new rating, BYOCTHB+SP (bring your own cushion to hide behind plus spare pants). The problem was the actors just weren't scary enough.

The Baron stroked his pointed beard and stared into space. Who could he get to replace these poor actors. That Voldemort guy? Too human looking. Daleks? Too much like Dr Who, but wait a minute a robot wasn't a bad idea.

The next day the Baron visited the office of CYCEPS. "Can I get you anything?" said the receptionist. Just as the Baron was listing all the things he wanted he was interrupted by a buzzer and the receptionist said, "Mr Riretbel will see you now."

William Riretbel, CEO of CYCEPS was sat behind his large desk, his grim expression unchanging as the Baron entered.

"So you want a robot, a scary robot," said Riretbel. "Well, I can make you the scariest robots of all time.'"

"Excellent!" said the Baron and he eagerly signed the contract. As he left the building he had a nagging feeling that something was not quite right.

"It's a rap!" exclaimed the Baron rubbing his hands with glee.

The movie was complete and everyone on set agreed that it was the scariest film ever.

Back in William Riretbel's office the CYCEPs CEO was also rubbing his hands in glee but he was letting out a maniacal "Mwah Ha Ha" that echoed throughout the building. He pressed the big red button that was conveniently in front of him on his large desk. "It is time!" he said evilly and he rubbed his tiny chin strap beard and walked to his office window. "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" he muttered softly under his breath.

BANG BOOM CRASH!

Suddenly the large H from Hollywood exploded, followed by the O, L, L, Y. As if pushed from the ground by magic D, I, E emerged.

"I love it when a plan comes together, Mwah ha ha ha."

Back at the Baron's movie set things were going crazy. The robots were destroying everything in sight. Lasers fired from their hands, fire breath came from their mouths and knives shot from their soulless eyes. They were coming straight for the Baron. With no time to think he picked up his Director's chair as a shield and his megaphone to use as a club.

"DESTROY - DESTROY - DESTROY" came the robotic voices as they inched closer to their prey.

Suddenly The Baron saw a marking on the robots he had missed before 'Property of CYCEPs W. Riretbel'. The Baron had always been a fan of crosswords and loved a good anagram - he knew those letters spelt something. "Belt Rire!" he shouted. "Terrible. That's it - Terrible. William Terrible. I should never have trusted a guy with a chinstrap beard!"

TBC

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