Enter our postcards from the past contest for a chance to be published in the magazine and win some prizes! Follow the competition on social media using #pastpostcards


Even with televisions, toys and the internet, life in lockdown for most people isn’t much fun. But imagine how life might have been in a medieval lockdown, or isolating in ancient Rome...

... well that’s exactly what we’d like you to do!

If you’re aged between 6 and 13, BBC History Revealed magazine would love you to write a postcard, pretending that you are a historical character living in a historical lockdown.

You might decide you’re a bored Henry VIII, writing from Hampton Court Palace in the 16th century; or perhaps you’re an ancient Egyptian slave, isolating with your master and running out of food.

More like this
Past postcards - BBC History Revealed competition

How to enter


If you don’t have a printer at home, don’t worry – you can draw your own!

Choose a historical figure, and write a short letter to us from the perspective of that person. Imagine that they are in lockdown – what would they be thinking about?

We love great pictures at BBC History Revealed, so we’ve also included space for you to draw a picture of your character in lockdown.

And don’t forget to create a special stamp!

Example 1: Woody, aged 12, Bristol

Woody, aged 12, Bristol

Writing tips

Once you’ve decided on your character and period of history, you might want to do a bit of research into what life was actually like at the time they were living, to give you a bit of inspiration.

If you’ve chosen someone famous, find out a bit about them – what they liked doing, what they were good at. You’ll find loads of relevant content on HistoryExtra – so do some digging around.

Once you’ve done some homework on your character, think about how they might be choosing to spend their time in lockdown. If you’ve chosen a writer or musician, perhaps you’ll decide that they would be writing a new book or piece of music, for example.

What do you think your character would be missing the most? Work? Friends? Family? 

When you’re happy with your postcard, ask a parent or guardian to take a photograph of it and email the photo to photos@historyrevealed.com making sure you include your name, age and a general geographical location within the email itself. If you want some tips on how to submit the best possible photo of your postcard, please read our technical tips below.

We’ll post a selection of images here throughout the competition – so keep checking back to see if you’ve been featured. We’ll also share examples on our social media channels: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to share your creation on social media yourself, make sure you include the hashtag #pastpostcards so we can see it!

The competition is open to UK residents only, however we'd love to see postcards from our international followers and feature some of them on the website.

View some of the current entries here

Technical tips

  1. Where possible, write your postcard in pen, so that it’s easy to read on the final photograph
  2. Photos should be less than 10MB in size
  3. Try and make sure your postcard fills the entire photograph, so it’s nice and clear
  4. It is recommended that you take the photograph in landscape

Example 2: Annie, aged 7, Bristol

Annie, aged 7, Bristol

Prizes and closing date

The closing date for the competition is 1 July 2020. After that date, a panel of judges will choose 10 winners whose creations will be published in a future issue of BBC History Revealed.

The 10 winners will also receive a t-shirt, water bottle and framed picture of their postcard.

Read the full competition terms and conditions

Entries will judged on the following criteria

  1. Creativity shown in drawing, writing and ideas
  2. Demonstration of any historical knowledge of the character chosen
  3. Presentation of submission

Example 3: Betty, aged 8, Bristol

Betty, aged 8, Bristol

Need inspiration?

Don’t forget, if you’re struggling for ideas, there’s a wealth of content on HistoryExtra to give you some inspiration and get you started. (Please note that some of our articles may include references to historical violence; you can also find plenty of child-friendly history resources at BBC Bitesize)

Key characters you might like to research include:


Example 4: By Freddie, aged 9, Bristol


About the magazine

BBC History Revealed brings the past to life for everyone

It’s an action-packed, image-rich magazine with zero stuffiness, jam-packed with facts, features and historical fun.

If you’re interested in finding out more about BBC History Revealed, why not try our 3 issues for £5 offer

Read the full competition terms and conditions here

View some of the current entries here