Writing contests help children who have a talent for writing receive acknowledgement while promoting creativity in those who may not have previously shown an interest in writing. Most of the contests are free to enter with prizes available to the winners. Always check that an organisation sponsoring these events is legitimate and keep in mind your kid's story may become property of the site.
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PBS Kids Go Writing Contest
Every spring, local PBS member stations sponsor the PBS Kids Go Writing Contest. Check with your local station to see if they participate in the program. Children in kindergarten through third grade are eligible to enter, and they can both write and illustrate their stories. Stories from past years are available online in the Story Central section of the contest's website. This may help kids decide what types of stories interest them. Every entrant receives a Certificate of Achievement and there is no fee to participate.
Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest
The Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest is for nonfiction writing. The Association of Educational Publishers promotes the contest, which is free to enter. There are three categories--students publications, digital-only publication and individual writing. Only one entry per student per category is allowed. All writing needs to be between 500 words and 2,500 words. Prizes include a £325 check for the winner's school and a one-year subscription to Weekly Reader for their sponsor teacher.
The Betty Award
The Betty Award writing contest is open to children between the ages of eight and twelve. Entry deadlines are during the spring of each year. All winning stories will be published on the website. There is an entry fee of £9 per story as of 2011. All stories must be typed, in English, a maximum of 1000 words and previously unpublished. Cash prizes include £195 for first place, £130 for second place, and £65 for third place.
Adventure Write Kids
Adventure Write Kids offers a yearly writing contest for kids and teens up to 18 years old. Criteria for judging includes the story's fit on the Adventure Write website, creativity, spelling, grammar and punctuation. Entrants must also complete the Totem Head's Tutorial on the site. All stories must be 1500 words or less and must incorporate a different phrase or idea determined each year.
KidPub is a website started in 1995 to give kids a safe place to improve their writing. This is a fee based membership website for those who want to publish stories but there is no fee to view stories. Members can enter any of a number of contests during the year that cover genres such as poetry and creative writing. Each contest winner receives an Amazon.com gift card. Stories that are not chosen as winning entries will not be published by KidPub but can be put on the website by the author.
Amazing Kids! Magazine
Amazing Kids! Magazine was founded in 1998 by a former teacher to help inspire kids. Contests are free to enter and they are ongoing throughout the year and are open to children and teens ages six years old to 17 years old. Each contest has specific rules dealing with the writing subject as well as the number of words.
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- Public Broadcasting Service: PBS Kids Go Writing Contest - About The Contest
- The Association of Educational Publishers: Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest - How It Works
- KidPub Press LLC: KidPub Writing Contests
- The Betty Award
- Adventure Write: Adventure Write Kids Writing Contest
- Amazing Kids!: Amazing Kids! Magazine Contests