Contest offered for young writers even if they can’t read yet

If you have a kindergarten through third grade reader with a flair for telling stories and illustrating them, and if you live in Georgia, you might suggest your child enter Georgia Public Broadcasting’s (GPB) writing contest.

To enter* a student must write and illustrate an original story.  Prizes are offered, including publishing the winning entries on the GPB website.

GPB provides an activity packet which parents or teachers can use to guide the young writers.

Entries will be accepted until March 29 from Georgia residents only.  Each entry can be fiction or nonfiction, prose or poetry, but it must be written by a single individual.

Various word minimums and maximums are listed in the rules.  If a child does not know how to write, he or she can dictate the story.  The entries can be in the child’s own handwriting, or in an adult’s handwriting, or printed from a computer or a combination of all three.

Judging is based on creativity and originality of story idea; story structure and use of literary devices; and the illustrations.  At the website, you can read some of the winning entries from last year.

For writing students who thrive on competition, this is a great opportunity to vie against like-minded students their own age.  For young artists, it’s an opportunity to illustrate their own books and have them evaluated by judges.

At the very least, take your child to the website and read and discuss past winning entries.  Sometimes seeing what another person has done can inspire a would-be author or illustrator to give it a go.

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