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Smoky Hills PBS KIDS Writers Contest

Welcome Young Authors!

Do you love being creative and telling stories? Do you have a tale to tell? Then you are invited to participate in the annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest! Prepare to ignite your imagination, build your creative voice, and share your stories with Central and Western Kansas.  Writers from Grades 1 – 5 are welcome to participate in this contest for the chance to win first, second, or third place in their age division!

Entry Deadline for the 2024 contest: February 23, 2024

Contest Rules

Contest Flyer

Messer Gases for Life - Proud sponsor of 2024 Contest


Thank you to everyone who entered our 2023 PBS KIDS Writers Contest

Click on the stories below to read our winners or click on the video at the right to watch our Award shows throughout the years!

1st Grade
2nd Grade
  • 1st Place 2nd Grade
3rd Grade

Young Writers & Illustrators Contest Results (2023)

2020 Writers Contest Results

2021 Writers Contest Winners 

Writers Contest (2022)


Frequently Asked Questions

When can I send in my child's story?

We accept stories all year long.  The deadline for stories is usually at the end of February.  Your entry must be postmarked by Feb. 24th.  


Where do I mail my entry?

Smoky Hills PBS


Bunker Hill, KS  67626


Can stories be dictated to an adult?

Yes. Children who cannot write may tell their story to an adult who will write it.


Does spelling Count?

No.  The judges do not consider spelling, 'best guess spelling' is okay.



Can clip art, coloring book characters, or stickers be added to illustrations? Can someone else make my illustrations?  No. Your illustrations need to be your own work. 


Do I need to bind my story?  No. We will accept your story whether it is bound, stapled, or simply paper-clipped.


Will I get my original story back?

If you would like your original story back, include an envelope and postage when you mail in your story. After judging is concluded, we will mail back your original copy in the envelope you provide.


When will the stories be judged, and how are they judged?

Stories will be judged from March through early April.  Stories are


judged on originality, creative expression, storytelling, illustrations, and overall impression.  Some things that make a story special include colorful art; a unique story; a story with a good beginning, middle, and end; illustrations that match the story; attention to details; and following the contest rules.

How will I know if my story won?

Smoky Hills PBS will announce winners through a 30-minute production where we read the winner's stories.  The names of finalists and winners will be posted on our website the same day the production airs.  The Writer's Contest Winners show airs in May. More details on this will be announced in April.  


For more questions or inquiries, please contact