KBTC Public Television announces annual PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest

Monday, January 7

Contact: Susan Barbeau, Community Engagement Associate Producer, 253.680.7758, sbarbeau@kbtc.org    

KBTC Public Television Announces Annual PBS Kids Go! Writers Contest
Western Washington Kids in Grades K-3 Encouraged to Submit Original Stories  

Calling all aspiring writers - it's time for KBTC public television's annual PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest!

The contest is designed to promote improvement in children's literacy skills through hands-on, active learning.  The contest, made possible in part by financial support from Easy Student Publishing, encourages children in grades K-3 to celebrate creativity by submitting their own original stories and illustrations.  

"KBTC is committed to providing fun opportunities for western Washington kids to express their creativity," said Susan Barbeau,  KBTC's Education & Outreach Associate. "The PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest helps Washington children build valuable literacy skills for success in school and life."

Here's How the Contest Works  

Get out your crayons, markers and creativity - kids in kindergarten through 3rd grade can enter. Local winners will have their stories submitted to the national contest, be featured on our KBTC KIDS website, and have their stories shared on KBTC TV.

The contest is open now through March 31, 2013.

Here's how to enter:

  1. Write and illustrate and original story. Kindergarten and 1st grade stories must be between 50 and 200 words. 2nd and 3rd grade stories must be between 100 and 350 words. All  stories must have at least 5 illustrations. Family, friends and teachers can help.
  2. Print the rules and entry form. Have a parent or guardian fill it out and sign the contest entry form. Contest rules and entry form are available on the kbtckids.org website.
  3. Send us your story. Be sure to include the entry form. You can send it in the mail or bring it by KBTC Monday- Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. All mailed entries must be post marked by March 31, 2013. Mailing address: KBTC Public Television, Attn: Writers Contest, 2320 South 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98405

The local winners will then be entered into the national contest where a panel of esteemed judges will rank the top 12 entries.  National winners will be announced during the summer of 2013 and the winning stories will be featured on pbskids.org/writerscontest. 

The national winners receive prizes, including tablets, e-readers and MP3 players. Additionally, Highlights for Children has joined the Contest as a new promotional partner and all participants will have the option to receive a print or digital version of Highlights magazine.

National PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest Honorary Judges

A panel of America's foremost children's authors, illustrators and content experts will serve as honorary judges for the PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest. The 2013 honorary judges include:  

  • Lisa Henson: As Chief Executive Officer of The Jim Henson Company, Henson serves as an executive producer of Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train, both currently airing daily on PBS KIDS, and Pajanimals, a musical puppet series airing daily on Sprout.
  • Jeff Kinney: As a New York Times bestselling author, online game developer and designer, Kinney has been named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. His seventh book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel, is the biggest print book of 2012. His book series has over 83 million in print worldwide, translated into more than 40 languages. He spent his childhood in the Washington, D.C., area and moved to New England in 1995. Jeff lives in southern Massachusetts with his wife and their two sons.
  • Kate Klimo: As Vice President and Publisher of the Random House/Golden Books Group, she has been responsible for extending the Seuss brand into new formats including board and novelty books, and publishing non-fiction celebrations of Dr. Seuss's life and works. Klimo has nearly 30 years of experience at Random House; more than 15 of them spent working on All Things Seuss. She is also the production executive of The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! Kate is the author of many books for young readers, including 12 titles in the Cat in the Hat's Learning Library series. She has also written for young adults (The Centauriad Series) and has a new series for children, Dog Diaries, launching in January 2013.
  • Jarrett Krosoczka: Two-time winner of the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year in the Children's Choice Book Awards, author and illustrator for sixteen published books - ten picture books and six graphic novels. He has seen his work recommended by national publications like Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today. His Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are also in development to be feature films.
  • Susan Meddaugh: Author and illustrator of Martha Speaks, the best-selling book series, as well as a creative producer of the award-winning PBS KIDS series of the same name. Susan grew up in New Jersey, studied art and illustration, and now lives in Massachusetts with her family - including her dogs of course.
  • R.L. Stine: As one of the best-selling children's authors in history, he has sold over 350 million books that have been read all over the world including Goosebumps - one of the best-selling children's series of all-time. R.L. lives in New York City with his wife Jane and his dog Minnie.

Creative Writing Resources
The Contest is supported by a robust set of resources for children, parents and teachers.  Story ideas, activity sheets, along with the previous winning entries are available on the Contest website to inspire children during the brainstorming process.

PBS LearningMedia also offers a collection of online teacher resources for use in classrooms nationwide.   

About KBTC Public Television

A service of Bates Technical College, KBTC serves western Washington from its studios in Tacoma. KBTC provides over 40 hours of children's educational programming every week and partners with community organizations to enhance the educational experience and improve math, science and literacy skills. KBTC is dedicated to lifelong learning. From the innocence of youth to the wisdom of age, our programs and community partnerships invite each person to explore the diversity of the arts, sciences, literature and humanities. We seek for clarity of all points of view, maintaining traditional journalistic integrity and thoughtful debate   


PBS KIDS GO! offers early elementary children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  For more information on specific PBS KIDS GO! content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.  

About Easy Student Publishing

Meet writing standards and motivate students using book-making tools and resources from Easy Student Publishing.  With Classbook and Storybook options, free programs, online or mail-in production and expert resources, we have publishing solutions designed for educators.  Enhance curriculum, support literacy and promote creativity.  Every student can be a published author!  

About Highlights for Children, Inc. (www.Highlights.com)

Devoted to "Fun with a Purpose," family media brand Highlights for Children, Inc. has helped children become their best selves for generations. Its flagship publication, Highlights magazine, the most recognizable and widely read children's magazine in the nation, has printed more than a billion copies. Other Highlights offerings include a version for younger children, High Five magazine; a new magazine for babies and their caregivers, Highlights Hello magazine; Highlights for Children book clubs; and mobile applications like My First Hidden Pictures.