Inside Education S19 Ep20 Clip | Vegas PBS Kids Writers Contest Now Accepting Entries

Speaking of awards,
if you have a student in kindergarten
through 5th grade, we want to let you know
about a special contest designed to celebrate
creativity and build
literacy skills. It’s the annual Vegas PBS
Kids Writers Contest, and here to tell us more
is Jessica Russell, the Ready to Learn
coordinator for Vegas PBS. Thanks for joining us.
-Thanks for letting me be here.
-Of course. So tell us a little
about this contest. What is it? (Jessica Russell)
This is actually
our 19th year of holding this
annual contest. It’s an open-ended
writing contest for kids in
elementary school, so they can
submit anything– poetry, prose,
fiction, non-fiction– and submit their
story for judging to see if they can be
one of our top winners. -So why put on
a contest like this, does it complement
what’s already going on in the classroom?
-Most definitely. Writing is really hard
and it’s not just a skill,
it’s an art. So anytime we have
the opportunity to let our children
practice writing and write
for an audience, for a purpose,
and also write something that’s important
to themselves, it’s such a wonderful
opportunity. -Tell us about some of
the past winning entries. What do they
write about? There’s lots
of pictures as well. -There is. We get a little
bit of everything, but mostly stories
that relate to the children’s
lives because that’s what they
know about the most. So we will often
see stories about their families,
stories about their pets, also stories about
their school life or their vacations. The ones that tend
to be the winners are the ones
that show the most of the personality
of the author. -And the illustrations
are important as well; in fact, that’s part
of the judging criteria. Why include that? -Every story must have
five illustrations. At this point when
children are writing and they’re reading, they’re reading
a lot of picture books. They’re learning
how important it is for the text in the story
and the illustrations to integrate well,
because illustrations can help explain
the story. For an early writer,
that illustration can give a little
extra emphasis to what they’re
trying to convey, so it’s a really
important element. It can actually
help a story to be more
understandable. -And that are some–
I don’t want to say restrictions,
but guidelines in terms of word count,
depending on the grade level of
the student, correct? -Correct. K through 1
have the smallest word count, and it
incrementally goes up to 5th grade with
no more than 500 words. The entry form we have
online specifies exactly how many words
are to be in the story. -And you’re going right
into the next question, which is how do students
enter, is it online? -There’s an entry form
available online at, as in Ready to Learn,
so they can download that entry form
and then mail in a complete copy of that
story with the entry form. -Any last-minute tips
for parents or teachers
who are watching, and the students
who are watching, in terms of
what they should do to enter or how
to write their story? -Yes. I think making
sure that the story is the child
in the child’s voice. As parents we want
to help and it’s great if parents do take
a final glance over it, but make sure it still
has that young author’s voice coming through
the entire story. -Very good. Thank you
so much for joining us to tell us more
about the contest. We want to let people
know we’re going to put that information
up on the screen again, that the deadline
to enter is Friday, April 12 at 5 p.m. All entries must be
accompanied by an official entry form signed
by a parent or guardian, and again,
the website to enter is
Writers-Contest. Thank you so much.
-Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *