PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contests Names Twelve National Winners

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Winners selected by prestigious judging panel including Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter Jewel; acclaimed children’s author and illustrator Mo Willems; and two-time Children’s Book Award author and illustrator, Jarrett Krosoczka

ARLINGTON, VA, August 30, 2012 – Twelve children have been selected as winners of the national PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest, an initiative designed to promote the advancement of children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. The winning entries (first, second and third place from grades K-3) for the Contest, managed by local PBS member station WNED, were chosen from over thousands of submissions from 63 participating stations across the country.

“We are proud of the accomplishments of these talented young writers and illustrators, and offer our thanks to all of the children that participated in this year’s PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest,” said Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President, Children’s Media, PBS.  “This annual event is one of the ways that PBS KIDS and our local stations help build children’s creativity and improve literacy skills in a fun and engaging way.”

The national Contest winners will be awarded prizes, including tablets, e-readers and MP3 players for their outstanding stories.  For the first time, stories could be digitally submitted to the Contest through a tool developed by new sponsor, StudentPublishing.com.  Every participant that used the tool received a free animated digital book of their story that they can share with others, including parents who can purchase bound copies of the entry as a keepsake for years to come.  As in years past, winning entries in each of the Contest categories will be featured on the site, PBSKIDS.org/writerscontest, and visitors to the Contest site will continue to have the opportunity to create “Story Mashups” with winning stories.

The 2012 national winners include:

Kindergarten 1st - The Elephant Ballerina, by Hannah Grace Hammontree, Cohutta, GA – WTCI 2nd - Abby the Talking Giraffe, by Ella Black, North Huntington, PA –WQED 3rd - Fury the Cat Has a Birthday Party, by Alex Beeman, Platte City, MO – KCPT

First Grade 1st - Jim’s Crazy Bus Week, by Edward Krzemienski, Muncie, IN – WIPB 2nd - Clark the Circus Pig, by Rain Vassey, Lincoln, DE – Independent entry  3rd – Tacky Turkey’s BIG Adventure!, by Ehren Collins, Lakewood, OH – WVIZ

Second Grade 1st – Aly’s Great Adventures, by Cheryl Kaye Marshall, Birmingham, AL – WBIQ 2nd – Guinea Pigs Don’t Go to School, by Ella Walker, Watertown, WI – WPNE 3rd – How Jordan the Giraffe Learned to Love, by Finn LeSieur, Newport Beach, CA – PBS SoCal

Third Grade 1st – Scribbles For Fame, by Nikolai Ortiz, Corpus Christie, TX – KEDT 2nd – The Mystery of the Attic Intruder, by Daniel Trimble, Pittsburgh, PA – WQED 3rd – The Lake, by Elliott Feldman, Sturgeon Bay, WI – WPNE

PBS KIDS GO! Writers Contest Judges A diverse panel of prestigious judges, including leading children’s authors, illustrators, producers and content experts, served as the final judges in this year’s Contest. This year’s judges include:

  • Tony DiTerlizzi - New York Times best-selling co-creator and illustrator of middle-grade series The Spiderwick Chronicles, which has sold millions of copies, been adapted into a feature film, and has been translated in over 30 countries.  He has also created fanciful picture books such as Jimmy Zangwow’s Out-of-this-World Moon Pie Adventure, the Adventure of Meno series (with his wife, Angela) and Caldecott Honor book, The Spider & The Fly.
  • Lisa Henson - Chief Executive Officer of The Jim Henson Company, Henson serves as an executive producer of Sid the Science Kid and Dinosaur Train, both currently airing daily on PBS KIDS, and Pajanimals, a musical puppet series airing daily on Sprout.
  • Jewel – Three-time Grammy Award nominated singer, songwriter and author, who recently released her second children’s album, The Merry Goes ‘Round, and will release a children’s book this September titled That’s What I’d Do.
  • Kate Klimo – As Vice President and Publisher of the Random House/Golden Books Group, she has been responsible for extending the Seuss brand into new formats including board and novelty books, and publishing non-fiction celebrations of Dr. Seuss’s life and works. Klimo has nearly 30 years of experience at Random House; more than 15 of them spent working on All Things Seuss. She is also the production executive of The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!
  • Jarrett Krosoczka – Two-time winner of the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year in the Children’s Choice Book Awards, author and illustrator for sixteen published books – ten picture books and six graphic novels.  He has seen his work recommended by national publications like Newsweek, The New York Times and USA Today. His Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are also in development to be feature films.
  • Susan Meddaugh – Author and illustrator of Martha Speaks, the best-selling book series, as well as a creative producer of the award-winning PBS KIDS series of the same name.
  • Ozomatli – Grammy award-winning band, celebrated Los Angeles culture-mashers and U.S. State Department Cultural Ambassadors.
  • Mo Willems – Recipient of 3 Caldecott Honors, 2 Geisel Medals, 2 Carnegie Medals, 6 Emmys and a Geisel Honor. Having worked in children’s books, animation, television, theater, and bubble gum card painting, his most recent book is Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator, a portrait of the relationship between a girl and her stuffed alligator told in 6-1/2 stories.  Recent and upcoming non-bubble gum card projects include the New York Times bestseller Duckling Gets a Cookie!? and a new Elephant and Piggie book, Listen to My Trumpet!  
  • The Weepies – Deb Talan and Steve Tannen began writing together the night they first met and soon formed The Weepies. The Indie duo has sold more than a million singles and half a million albums. Their simple and direct songwriting has sent them to the top of the folk charts in a dozen countries.

About PBS KIDS GO! PBS KIDS GO! offers early elementary children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs.  For more information on specific PBS KIDS GO! content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom, join our community online on Twitter and Facebook, or visit PBSKIDSGO.org.

About WNED Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well/WORLD TV, Classical 94.5/WNED-FM and WBFO 88.7 FM / WNED-AM 970, the member-supported WNED Buffalo/Toronto 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 can be found at wned.org.

About StudentPublishing.com StudentPublishing.com is the school division of Creations by You, and provides award-winning educational publishing products that support educators and parents. Several publishing services are offered to schools whereby students receive a free printed copy of their story. These programs are designed to inspire and  reward  the creative effort of students as well as improve comprehension and interest in the underlying subject matter.

Contacts Melissa Mills, PBS; 703.739.8134; mkmills@pbs.org Caitlin Melnick, 360 Public Relations; 617.585.5775; cmelnick@360publicrelations.com John Craig, Ph.D., WNED, 716.845.7000; jcraig@wned.org 


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