Children’s Writer Kindergarten Story Contest 2013


I just wanted to get the word out that Children’s Writer newsletter has a new contest running for a Kindergarten Story, with the theme of Exploration.  Here is the information I got in an email (including some ideas to get your creative wheels turning!):

The winning kindergarten story in this contest will be published in Children’s Writer, the monthly 12-page+ emailed newsletter that is read by almost 1,300 children’s book and magazine editors in North America.

Along with the winning pieces, we’ll publish an article about the other top-ranked entries and their authors.

In addition, we will publish the winning entries on the Children’s Writer website.

Win one of five cash prizes

There are also five cash prizes: $500 for the top winner, $250 for second place, and $100 for third, fourth, and fifth places. These alone are good reasons to write and enter.


The contest is for fiction about exploration for kindergarteners, up to 150 words. The story should be appropriate to children 5 to 7 learning to read on their own. The story should be fun, colorful, use well-targeted words, and have special interest for the age group. Do not write too high for this readership. Know what a five- or seven-year-old can and cannot read. Originality and the overall quality of writing will also be considered. Publishability is the ultimate criterion.

Possible ideas and concepts

The exploration theme could mean setting your story at home, down the block, at school, or on vacation. Or your character could explore in books, in nature, among new people, or in their daydreams. Use your imagination!

Current subscribers to Children’s Writer enter free. All others, including our students who are not subscribers to Children’s Writer, pay a $15 reading fee—standard for writing contests.

If you are not a subscriber, your $15 fee will also bring you an eight-month trial subscription to Children’s Writer. You may enter multiple manuscripts, but please use an entry form and enclose a $15 reading fee for each one.

The contest’s rules are important. You’ll find them on the contest entry page. Please read them very carefully.

Note the July 12th deadline! Be sure to get your entry in on time.

Now warm up your computer and write a $500-winning Kindergarten Story!

Get published. Get paid. Good luck!

P.S. As someone who has judged writing competitions for many years, I can tell you that nothing hurts an entry more than exceeding the word limit. Don’t fall out of the running because of this easy-to-meet spec. Please remember to count your words!


  1. For the word count to be clear does that include the title as well? Or can that go over the 150 just on the title? Also beginning sight words (like and and the) and easy beginning readers such as cat, sat, hat, would be appropriate. So this should be a beginning reader that they can begin to read on their own not one someone else can read to them. Just need to clarify. Thank you so much in advance:-)

    • Diana siler

      Thanks so much! I have browsed the kindr/first grade word lists and home schooled my boys who were the same age and we has such fun making up stories and drawing pictures for them while they learned to read! I also noticed in some of the published versions of early readers they throw in some more challenging words for the kids such as spongebob, Patrick or seashore. Would this be appropriate for the contest? Of course not the copywriter names but a few harder words mixed with the appropriate level ones? Have my story layer out just playing with the word now getting them the best I can. Thank saga in for everything:-)

  2. Hi Diana, from what I understand, titles aren’t included in word counts, so the 150 would be just the story. Yes, you’re exactly right, the sight words and easy words you mentioned would be appropriate, they need to be able to read it on their own. By any chance, do you have access to the Children’s Writer’s Word Book (by A. and T. Mogilner, published by Writer’s Digest Books)? Your library might have it. That’s what I use to be sure about words that are appropriate for each age. (Or you could also browse for kindergarten word lists.) Good luck on the contest!!

  3. Diana siler

    One more quick question, I have noticed in other early readers they many times will add a few “more challenging” words. Is this ok or should it be avoided altogether? Thanks so much in advance:-)

  4. Lynn Bigelow

    When will the winners be posted?

    • The winners will be announced in the October issue of CHildren’s Writer newletter. Good luck!


  1. Writing for Kindergarten Readers | Happily Writing

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