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More than 400 entries for grades K–3 were judged by 14 readers and 5 judges. The 16 winners (4 from each grade) will be honored at a special ceremony in May at the Deere-Wiman House in Moline.

"There were many wonderful entries, and we never know which ones will catch the judges' eyes. It might be one funny line or a unique idea, but they certainly look for a nice presentation and a story that reveals something special about that child," said Ana Kehoe, WQPT's Director of Education & Outreach. Congratulations to all our winners!

Kindergarten Winners

First Place
Hunter Morrow
Harrison School, Davenport

Second Place
Shalini Chandupatla
Hopewell School, Bettendorf

Third Place
Seth Wanek
Frankline School, Moline

Honorable Mention
Ryan Squires
Neil Armstrong Elementary, Eldridge


First Grade Winners

First Place
Ellie Curnyn
Jane Addams Elementary, Moline

Second Place
Tanya Rastogi
Riverdale Heights Elementary, Bettendorf

Third Place
Rylan Edwards,
Ekstrand Elementary, DeWitt

Honorable Mention
Oliver Borders
Lincoln-Irving, Moline


Second Grade Winners

First Place
Emma Strajack
John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Davenport

Second Place
Gianna Schwartz
Paul Norton Elementary, Bettendorf

Third Place
Ashlann Fee
Rivermont Collegiate, Bettendorf

Honorable Mention
Ella Skolrood
McKinley School, Davenport

Third Grade Winners

First Place
Paul Schwartz
Paul Norton School, Bettendorf

Second Place
Chloe Schwab
Alan Shepard Elementary, Long Grove

Third Place
Jack Curnyn
Jane Addams Elementary, Moline

Honorable Mention
Brody Nordenson
Fillmore School, Davenport


Give Us Your Best Stories... and you could be a winner!


On this page:
What You Need to Know
Download Entry Form
Story Contest Entry Deadline
Activity Sheets
Eligibility & Guidelines
Story Contest Sponsors

Need help?
Please contact us.


Image of Young WriterIf you are in Kindergarten, First, Second or Third Grade, send us your illustrated story! Young authors from around the country send stories to their local PBS station, like WQPT–Quad Cities PBS, to compete for local and national prizes. It's fun, hands-on learning that's become a tradition in families and classrooms across the nation.

Every young author will receive recognition. Children who enter through WQPT will receive a special certificate, along with their returned stories. Sixteen winners (four from each grade) from the eastern Iowa and western Illinois region will be awarded prizes at a local celebration in May, as well as have an option to appear on-air in a group promotion for PBS Kids programming.

Finalists and participating classrooms will also receive free books. In addition, all participants will have the option to receive special offers from Leap Frog® Leap Reader® and Highlights magazine for children.


What You Need to Know

Contest Downloads

Adobe PDF
Adobe PDF
Adobe PDF
Adobe PDF


Entry Deadline

The deadline was April 8, 2014.

Entries must have a completed entry form which is signed by a parent or guardian.
Mail or deliver entries to WQPT, 3300 River Drive, Moline, Illinois 61265. (WQPT is located on the second floor of the 60th Street campus for Western Illinois University.)
Online entries to WQPT's 2014 PBS Writers Contest will NOT be accepted this year.

Outside Our
Viewing Area?

If you live outside the western Illinois and eastern Iowa (predominately our viewing area), please contact your closest PBS station to learn how to enter the contest.

PBS LearningMedia

Sign up for this free library of amazing digital resources for teachers and parents. Enter PBS Writers Contest for resources on teaching young children how to write. Learn more.

Writing Guide

Helpful for teachers and parents as a guide to teach better writing skills (available at left).

Local Judging

A panel of regional judges will be comprised of educators, volunteers and story contest sponsors who will read and judge local stories based on these criteria:
40% creativity and originality of plot
and/or themes,
40% story structure and use of literary devices,
20% relevance, quality and originality
of illustrations.

National Judging

First place winners will see their stories posted on our website and go on to compete in the national contest for tablet computers, e-readers and MP3 players. The national winners will be announced during the summer. Selected winners from 2013 may be viewed at pbskids.org.


Activity Sheets


Eligibility, Entry and Contest Guidelines

For complete details regarding eligbility, entry and contest guidelines, please download the Story Contest Entry and Rules form (above).


Entrants must be in kindergarten, first, second or third grade.
Only 1 entry per child will be accepted.
Only single authored stories qualify (no coauthors).
Stories can be fact or fiction, and prose or poetry.
No fee or purchase necessary to enter.


Stories must have at least 5 original, clear and colorful illustrations.
Original art can include drawings, collages and 3-D created by the author or photographs taken by the author.
Stories must be created on one side of the paper and numbered on the back of each page.

Additional Details, Conditions & Help

Most questions and additional details may be located in the downloadable Entry Form (shown above).
Need help? Please contact us.

Get Adobe Reader

Word Count and Other Details

Kindergarten and first grade stories must have a minimum of 50 words and 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 the non-story pages such as the title page or those that enhance the illustrations.
Text must be printed or 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 the translated text (English) must adhere to word count.
Invented spelling is accepted.


Story Contest Sponsors

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