PBS KIDS Announces 2015 National Writers Contest Winners for Excellence in Storytelling

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Esteemed judges name 12 winners from across the U.S. in annual writing contest 

ARLINGTON, VA, August 5, 2015 – PBS KIDS announced today 12 national winners in its annual Writers Contest. The 12 winners, in grades K-3, were selected by a panel of judges who chose them from thousands of local contest entries submitted by 63 participating PBS stations across the country.

“We were impressed with the number of submissions and creative content in this year’s PBS KIDS Writers Contest,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Media, PBS. “PBS KIDS and participating local stations are proud to support young children as they hone important writing skills that will pave the way to success in school and in life through imaginative storytelling.”

Participating PBS stations worked with local schools, public libraries and other community-based organizations to present the 2015 PBS KIDS Writers Contest and determine winners within their local communities. Local winners were entered in the national contest, where their stories were reviewed by a panel of esteemed judges who selected the top 12 entries. A list of the national winners and their stories can be found at pbskids.org/writerscontest.

National winners will receive prize packages including ARTHUR books, courtesy of national prizing sponsor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, and a personal technology device, courtesy of PBS.

The 2015 national winners include:


1st place: “Pilot” by Jude Smith VanWinkle, Albuquerque, NM – New Mexico PBS

2nd place: “Book of Emmett” by Emmett Fife, Granite Falls, WA – KBTC

3rd place: “Meggie Can Be Brave” by Margaret Morrissey, Pocatello, ID – Idaho Public Television

First Grade

1st place: “How I Scared a Monster…” by Advik Rai, Clarksville, MD – WHUT

2nd place: “Who Needs Math?” by Karsten Eckhoff, Stover, MO – KMOS-TV

3rd place: “The Planet Police” by Mia Lantaigne, Hampton, NH – New Hampshire Public Television

Second Grade

1st place: “An Awkward Shade of Wonderful” by Jasper E. Arellano, Albuquerue, NM – New Mexico PBS

2nd place: “Friends Forever” by Delaney Spoonster, Akron, OH – WVIZ/ PBS ideastream

3rd place: “Never Put a Horse in the Attic” by Jordyn Winston, Beavercreek, OH – ThinkTV

Third Grade

1st place: “Escape From School” by Sebastian Shields, Saco, ME – New Hampshire Public Television

2nd place: “My Final Home” by Gideon Sayward, Schuyler Falls, NY – Mountain Lake PBS

3rd place: “The Taste of Reading” by Seunghui Lily Ha, Springfield, IL – WTVP

PBS KIDS Writers Contest National Judges

This year’s panel of esteemed judges consisted of acclaimed writers, producers and children’s media creators, including:

• Billy Aronson, creator, PEG + CAT

• Marc Brown, author and illustrator, ARTHUR book series

• Lisa Henson, chief executive officer, Jim Henson Company

• Martin Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS

• Chris Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS

• Tim McKeon, creator, co-executive producer and head writer, ODD SQUAD

• Jennifer Oxley, creator, PEG + CAT

• Adam Peltzman, creator, co-executive producer and writer, ODD SQUAD

• Angela Santomero, creator, executive producer and writer, DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and SUPER WHY!

To learn more about this year’s judges, visit pbskids.org/writerscontest.

The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is made possible through national promotional support from Highlights for Children. The contest is produced by PBS and based on the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, a concept developed by WNED-TV, Buffalo.


PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook

About WNED

Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well/WORLD TV, WBFO-FM 88.7 and Classical 94.5 WNED, member-supported WNED|WBFO provides high-quality programming and services to local, regional and national audiences that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. Additional information about WNED|WBFO can be found at wned.org.

About Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is a division of Hachette Book Group (HBG), a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the third-largest publisher in the world. HBG publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, Hachette Nashville, and Hachette Digital. For more information, visit hbgusa.com


Lubna Abuulbah, PBS; 703-739-8463; labuulbah@pbs.org

Allison Salzberg, 360PR; 617-585-5793; asalzberg@360pr.com