PBS SoCal Announces Winners of its 9th Annual PBS Kids Writers Contest

PBS SoCal awarded the winners of its 9th Annual PBS Kids Writers Contest at a special ceremony at the Los Angeles Public Library on June 6. The creative writing competition was open to children in grades K-3, and is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. More than 774 students from the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area entered original stories that included their own illustrations. Submissions were the largest in the contest’s history.

Each original story was judged by members of community organizations and PBS SoCal staff on the basis of creativity, originality, story structure, relevance, illustrations, and overall quality. First, second, and third place winners were selected for each grade level. New this year were four special categories: Humor, Kindness, Science Fiction and Illustration. One at large winner was selected per category; the winning stories are those that best demonstrate these characteristics.

The 2018 PBS SoCal PBS Kids Writers Contest Winners:  


1st Place:  Matthew Thomas Seaton, Riverside – “Spider Boy”

2nd Place:  Anouk Katira, San Diego  – “Hungry Bobo”

3rd Place:  Owen Gleason, Newbury Park – “How the Cola Escaped the Vending Machine”

First Grade

First Grade Writers Contest Winner1st Place:  Joely Sandoval, Torrance – “The Adventures of Bella”

2nd Place:  Jocelyn Cabrera, Santa Barbara – “The Sea Turtle”

3rd Place:  Paisley Provan, Burbank – “Pirates vs. Dinosaurs”

Second GradeSecond Place, Second Grade PBS SoCal Kids Writers Contest Winner

1st Place:  Abigail Ochoa, Los Angeles – “Matilda and Rose Trapped in a Palace!”

2nd Place:  Hayley Anne Foo, Temecula – “I Was Once That Little Baby”

3rd Place:  Peri Gordon, Sherman Oaks – “The Crystal Mystery”

Third Grade

1st Place:  Juliet Ashley, Culver City – “The Absolutely Magnificient Flying Bike”

2nd Place:  Rylan Gondoputro, Carson – “The Power of Colors”

3rd Place:  Sierra Burton, San Diego – “The Fight of the Four Seasons”

Special Category Winners

Humor:               Joshua   Garza (3rd grade), Pico Rivera – “My Little Brother from Fartland”PBS SoCal Kids Writers Contest Special Category Winner

Kindness:             David Alexander Dorantes (Kindergarten), Pomona – “Steven the Worm and the Giant Apple”

Science Fiction:  Fernando Solorio (1st grade), Wilmington – “The Chocolate Cheese Planet”

Illustration:         Elen Muradian (3rd grade), Panorama – “Cute Puppy and the Adventure of the Magical Collar”

At the awards ceremony, winners and their families were honored. All the winning children had the opportunity to read their stories to the assembled guests, and then received certificates and prizes for their storytelling efforts. The awards event was free and open to the public. The PBS KIDS Writers Contest was made possible in part by support from Thrivent Financial.

About the PBS Kids Writers Contest

The PBS Kids Writers Contest supports our mission to foster a love of learning, culture, and community throughout Southern California. Through this initiative, PBS SoCal hopes to advance children’s literacy skills and encourage them to exercise their creativity and imagination. The program also offers students, parents, and teachers a wealth of online educational resources designed to help children build their writing, reading and language skills. Materials are available at pbssocal.org/education.

About PBS SoCal

PBS SoCal (KOCE) is the flagship PBS station for 18 million diverse people across Southern California.  As a member-supported non-profit organization, our mission is to deliver content and experiences that inspire, inform and entertain – over the air, online, in the community and in the classroom. PBS SoCal provides compelling locally produced content, and beloved PBS programs including MASTERPIECE, NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Independent Lens, a broad library of documentary films including works from Ken Burns, and educational PBS KIDS programs including Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Curious George. Our programs are accessible for free through four broadcast channels, and available for streaming at pbssocal.org, on the PBS mobile apps, and via connected TV services Android TV, Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. Through PBS SoCal LIVE, we provide in-person arts, culture and civic engagement experiences.  And we support our youngest Southern Californians with essential early childhood education content and services.  Connect with us at pbssocal.org, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

PBS SoCal recently announced plans to merge with KCETLink Media Group, pending regulatory approvals.

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Media Contact:

Tracy Smith