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Arkansas PBS KIDS Writers Contest 2023

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Do you have a creative illustrator, poet or storyteller in grades K-3? Encourage them to enter the Arkansas PBS KIDS Writers Contest by Friday, April 21.


An initiative to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning, the Arkansas PBS KIDS Writers Contest encourages children in grades K-3 to celebrate their creativity by submitting their original stories and illustrations.


Each Arkansas entrant will receive a participation certificate, and 12 winners — three from each grade — will receive an Arkansas PBS prize pack. In addition, first-place winners will receive one (1) PBS KIDS Playtime Pad, which comes preloaded with educational games, music and videos!


A flier is available for teachers, librarians and caregivers to share with students and library patrons.


Previous winning entries are available to inspire children during the brainstorming process. PBS LearningMedia also offers a collection of online resources for parents and educators that demonstrate the elements of story writing to students.


How to Enter


Arkansas students may submit stories by mail to Arkansas PBS at 350 S. Donaghey Ave., Conway, Arkansas, 72034, until April 21, 2023. Winners will be announced on or about May 10, 2023, and featured on myarkansaspbs.org/writerscontest.


Eligibility and Entry Guidelines


For your convenience, download and print the contest rules and contest entry form.

  • Entrants must be children in kindergarten, first, second or third grade.

  • Children of Arkansas PBS, sales representatives, subsidiaries or parent companies, advertising/sales promotion agencies and judges are not eligible.

  • To be eligible, an entrant must be a legal resident of Arkansas. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify ineligible entries; such entries will not be returned.

  • Only one entry per person will be accepted in this contest; all subsequent entries will be disqualified.

  • Only single author stories qualify (no co-authored stories).

  • Stores can be fact or fiction, and prose or poetry.

  • Any failure to adhere to these contest rules may result in disqualification from the contest.


Word Count Requirement


  • Kindergarten and first-grade stories must have a minimum of 50 words and a maximum of 200 words.

  • Second- and third-grade stories must have a minimum of 100 words and a maximum of 350 words.

  • The word count includes “a,” “an” and “the,” but not the words on non-story pages such as the title page or those that enhance the illustrations.

  • Text must be printed, written legibly or typed.

  • Children who cannot write may dictate their story to be printed, written legibly or typed.

  • Text may be integrated into the illustration pages or on separate pages.

  • Non-English text must be translated on the same page and translated text (English text) must adhere to word count.

  • Invented spelling is accepted.


Format and Illustrations


  • Stories must have at least five original and clear illustrations.

  • Original art can include drawings, collages and 3D created by the author or photographs taken by the author.

  • Stories submitted by mail must be created on one side of the paper and numbered on the back of each page.


Official Entry Form


  • Each entry must include the official Arkansas PBS KIDS Writers Contest Entry Form, with the required signature of a parent/guardian (and, if appropriate, the optional signature of the sponsoring teacher), consenting to allowing their child/ward to enter the contest, confirming that the story and art are original, and granting certain rights to the materials.

  • The entry form must be complete and legible to be eligible.


Judging, Awards and Notification


All entries submitted in the contest will be judged using the judging criteria below by a panel of judges selected and coordinated by Arkansas PBS. The judging shall be scored and graded using a rubric based on the following criteria:

  • Creativity and originality of plot and/or themes

  • Story structure and use of literary devices

  • Relevance, quality and originality of illustration

All decisions of the judges are final and binding and not subject to appeal or review. For the judging round of the contest, winners will be as follows: (1) the entry with the highest score from among all eligible entries received per grade will be deemed the first-place winners; (2) the entry with the second-highest score from among all entries received per grade will be deemed the second-place winners; (3) the entry with the third-highest score from among all eligible entries received per grade will be deemed the third-place winners. In the event of a tie for the judging round of the contest, the entry with the highest score in the creativity and originality category from among all tying entries will be deemed the winner from all tying entries. Winners will be notified on or before May 10, 2023.


Prizes


Winner’s stories will be published on Arkansas PBS’s website. Four first-place winners (one first-place winner per grade) – will receive an Arkansas PBS prize package. Four second-place winners (one second-place winner per grade) – will receive an Arkansas PBS prize package. Four third-place winners (one third-place winner per grade) — will receive an Arkansas PBS prize package. Arkansas PBS reserves the right to substitute any prize for a prize of equal or greater value, at the sole discretion of Arkansas PBS. Potential winners will be notified by Arkansas PBS on or about May 10, 2023, for winner verification. Prize recipients must allow a minimum of four to six weeks from notification to delivery. Prizes are not redeemable for cash, non-transferable and non-substitutable, except at the sole discretion of sponsor.


Return of Entries


The contest administrators will make every effort, but are not required, to return mailed entries. Arkansas PBS, and/or its affiliates, are not responsible for late, lost, stolen, misdirected, damaged, mutilated, incomplete, returned or illegible entries or postage-due mail.


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Arkansas PBS KIDS Writers Contest