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Smoky Hills PBS KIDS Writers Contest

The Winners Are Chosen!

This year we received an overwhelming number of submissions from talented children across our viewing area in Central and Western Kansas.

We invite you to join us for the Young Writers & Illustrators Award Show on Smoky Hills PBS!


Broadcast Channel: Smoky Hills PBS

Rebroadcast:  Every Monday and Friday at 1 PM 

Primetime:  May 9 at 9 PM, May 30 at 9 PM


Stream:  YouTube/SmokyHillsPBS


Tune in to see who the young winners are and celebrate their hard work and creativity!  

Winners within each age group (Grades 1-5) will be announced and their winning stories read during the show!

Messer Gases for Life - Proud sponsor of 2024 Contest
SmokyHillsPBSYoung Writers & Illustrators Contest Award Presentation (2024)

The 2024 Smoky Hills PBS Kids Young Writers & Illustrators Contest winners are announced. Smoky Hills PBS announce this year's winners in the 1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade and 5th Grade categories on this SPECIAL program. Not only are the winners announced, their stories are read while showing off their illustrations. Underwritten by Messer.

Thank you to everyone who entered our 2024 PBS KIDS Writers Contest

Click below to read our winning stories!

1st Grade Winners

  • First Place - Happy Love by Madelyn C. - Osborne Elementary - Osborne
  • Second Place - The Lost Animals by Maverick Nicholson - Osborne Elementary - Osborne
  • Third Place - Daisy's Flower by Mila LeSage - Lincoln Elementary - Hays
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2nd Grade Winners

2nd Grade - 1st Place
2nd Grade - 2nd Place
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3rd Grade Winners

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

4th Grade Winners

  • First Place - The Story of Lexi by Madison Mawhirter - St. John-Hudson Elementary - St. John
  • Second Place - The Queen of Space by Clara Yust - Harvest Christian School - Ulysses
  • Third Place - Hallie and Pablo by Hallie Bonner - St. John-Hudson Elementary - Stafford
4th Grade - 1st Place
4th Grade - 2nd Place
4th Grade - 3rd Place

5th Grade Winners

5th Grade - 1st Place
5th Grade - 2nd Place
5th Grade - 3rd Place

Previous Year's Contest Winners

2020 Writers Contest Results
2021 Writers Contest Winners 
Young Writers & Illustrators Contest Results (2023)

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