Kids, Get Writing!

World Literacy Canada writing contest


When I was in grade school, I wrote a story that went like this:

One day Carol asked her mommy if she could go and sit on a rock. Her mommy said she could. After a while she saw a thing come out from behind a rock. She said, “Hey Mr. Turtle, where did you get all those legs and claws?” A big boy came and said, “Come little girl before that crab bites you.”

I had probably never seen a crab myself when I wrote that story, but I was doing what writers do. I was imagining what it would be like to be in a situation unlike my own. (Hint: It helps to do this well (better than I did) if you learn something about the place or culture that’s different from your own.)

Each year World Literacy Canada runs a writing contest, inviting kids to “Write for a Better World” by imagining themselves winding up, somehow, somewhere unfamiliar, somewhere different from where they’re living right now. The contest aims “to inspire a sense of global citizenship in Canada’s youth”.

This year I got to make up the “somehow” that would help kids get their stories started and I get to be the final judge of the entries. Kids in grades 5-8 can enter for a chance to win $$, other prizes, and a 1-on-1 Skype visit with yours truly.

Submission deadline is April 3, so get writing. Or tell all the kids you know who qualify about this great opportunity. I look forward to reading some great stories in April!

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Kathy Stinson is the author of the classic Red Is Best and the award-winning The Man with the Violin. Her wide range of titles includes picture books, non-fiction, young adult fiction, historical fiction, horror, biography, series books, and short stories. She has met with her readers in every province and territory of Canada, in the United States, Britain, Liberia, and Korea. She lives in a small town in Ontario.

Kathy Stinson


  1. Janet Barclay on February 11, 2015 at 11:32 am

    What a neat prize – great incentive for kids to write!

  2. Kathy Stinson on February 11, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    For sure more incentive to write than we were offered as kids way back when. It's going to be fun to see what they come up with.

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