Check out these winning stories from the 2019 WQED Kids Writers Contest

Looking to give your kids inspiration for summer creativity? Check out the winning stores from the 10th annual 2019 PBS KIDS Writers Contest.

These books, written and illustrated by kids, are worthy of acclaim for their storytelling skills, charming drawings and imaginative ideas. Click on each title and hear the writers read their stories as the book flips page by page. It’s a great way to get kids started on their own storytelling.

For the contest, kids in grades K-5 were invited to write an original story and produce at least five corresponding illustrations, including collages, photographs or other media.

Some stories delve into fantasy, like “The Walk Away House” that tires of winter weather and walks to a Florida beach, much to the surprise of the family sleeping inside. “Blades the Skate” figures out how to turn his home into an indoor ice-skating rink before his owner (spoiler alert), Sidney Crosby, shows up!

Other stories offer life lessons. In “Puppy Love,” for example, a spoiled, careless girl learns what it takes to be a friend and to care for animals. “Pen vs. Pencil” gives insight into understanding limitations and how working together with others can overcome weaknesses on both sides.

Four stories in each grade level received awards. Three more stories with STEM lessons – like “My Adventure Through the Water Cycle” – won awards, too.

The idea behind the effort is to promote children’s literacy skills through hands-on activities. There are lots of resources on the WQED website to continue to encourage kids to write stories. You can download cool activity sheets and graphic organizers for extra fun.

The EQT Foundation, West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB), PBS 39 (WLVT) and WPSU in State College, partnered with WQED for this year’s contest.  The winning stories, narrated by the writers, will be featured on Saturday Light Brigade (SLB) Radio throughout the summer.

But why wait? Read or listen to the winning stories with your kids as a jumping point for their own storytelling. And it’s not too early to begin thinking of next year’s submission.  Warning: Giggling – and big ideas – may occur.

This story, “The Walk Away House,” won Second Place in the Kindergarten category.