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PBS Kids Writers Contest

P B S Kids Writer,s Contest

AETN and PBS KIDS have kicked off the 2014 PBS KIDS Writers Contest; a national initiative designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest encourages children in grades K-3 to celebrate creativity by submitting their own original stories and illustrations. AETN will judge local submissions and send the first place winners from each grade to the national contest for a chance to win prizes. Entries will be judged on originality, creative expression, storytelling and integration of text and illustrations.

Each Arkansas entrant will receive a participation certificate, and 12 winners – three from each grade – will receive an AETN prize pack. In addition, first place winners will be given the opportunity for Clifford the Big Red Dog to visit their school or for their class to tour the AETN studios in Conway. Highlights for Children has also joined the contest as a partner, and all participants may choose to receive a print or digital version of Highlights magazine.

You will find below, downloadable brainstorming activities and resources to help your child break down the process of story writing, along with contest rules and entry form.


Arkansas students may submit stories by mail to AETN now until Friday, April 4. Local winners will be finalized in April and sent to PBS KIDS to be entered in the national contest. National winners will be announced this summer and featured on Click here to download Contest Entry Form.

Contest rules:

  • Entrants must be children in Kindergarten, first, second or third grade.
  • Only 1 entry per person.
  • Must be a legal resident of the 50 U.S. states.
  • Single author submissions only (no co-authoring).
  • Fact or fiction, prose or poetry
  • Word count:
    • K-1st must have a minimum of 50 words, maximum of 200 words.
    • 2nd – 3rd grades must have a minimum of 100 words, maximum of 350 words.
    • Title page words do not count toward word count.
  • Children can dictate their story to be printed.
  • Invented spelling is accepted.
  • Non-english text must be translated.
  • Stories must have at least five original, clear and colorful illustrations.
  • Original art can include drawings, collages, and 3-D art or photographs taken by the author.
  • Stories must be created on one side of the paper and numbered on the back of each page.
  • Each entry must include the official PBS KIDS Writers Contest Entry Form, with required signatures.


Story ideas and activity sheets, along with the previous winning entries, are available to inspire children during the brainstorming process. PBS LearningMedia is also offering a collection of online resources for parents and educators that teaches students the elements of story writing.

To help students start to form ideas for potential stories, download and print the following worksheets. The activities letter outlines the steps to help students get started with easy to follow objectives.


  • First Place: "The Adventures of Joe" by Riley Sellers from Conway
  • Second Place: "Chip in the BIG World" by Preslee Wheeler from Conway
  • Third Place: "Rainey Nights" by Nevaeh Smith from Springdale
First Grade
  • First Place: "The Dancing Zebra" by Mabel Wise from Rogers
  • Second Place: "Ruff's Adventure" by Zainab Alwbari from Little Rock
  • Third Place: "A Cat Party" by Mallory Price from Rogers
Second Grade
  • First Place: "Sam Finds His Family" by Maya Henry from Little Rock
  • Second Place: "Noah and Uncle Moco" by Ashlynn Avey from Timbo
  • Third Place: "Stretchy Elizabeth" by Viviana Preston from Booneville
Third Grade
  • First Place: "Saving Spirit" by Lila Wilson from Monticello
  • Second Place: "Tales from the Fridge" by Mark Knepp from Conway
  • Third Place: "High Tide in Hawaii" by Rami Rapp from Little Rock


  • First Place: "The Horse that has Talent" by Frida Campos from Danville
  • Second Place: "The Big Elephant" by Addey Wright from Danville
  • Third Place: "The Monster that was Scared of Himself" by Chloe Caffey from Mayflower
First Grade
  • First Place: "The Mongoose and the Cat" by Shreenidhi Dhileep from Bentonville
  • Second Place: "Thump in the Night" by Byron Sawrie from Mount Vernon
  • Third Place: "My Favorite Reptile" by Clark McElrath from Havana
Second Grade
  • First Place: "Tom's Dream" by Araceli Balbuena from Rogers
  • Second Place: "Farm Animals" by Francisco Garcia from Rogers
  • Third Place: "Super Pillowpets" by Cynthia Wilson from Rogers
Third Grade
  • First Place: "Jake All Alone" by Nicholas Stone from Harrison
  • Second Place: "The Dingo and the Sparrow" by Heather Rollins from Bryant
  • Third Place: "The Sad Millard the Mallard" by Tiffany Phayboun from Danville