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The Third Annual Kids' Choice KidLit Writing Contest is now OPEN!

Hello, friends!!! IT’S HERE!!! The 3rd annual #KidsChoiceKidLitWritingContest is LIVE!

Please take time read through everything here carefully before entering the contest.

Before I delve into the exciting parts of the kids' choice contest, I have to take just a minute to update you lovely readers about two amazing developments in my 2024 publishing journey. BOTH books that I have coming out this year were just named Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections! I am absolutely thrilled and grateful to the JLG for this honor. Up first is KID-VENTORS, illustrated by Shannon Wright, a Middle Grade nonfiction telling the true stories of 35 kid inventors.

Following that is I SEE COLOR, co-authored with by dear friend, Valerie Bolling, and illustrated by Laylie Frazier, this nonfiction picture book is a celebration and affirmation of diversity.

Both books are now available for preorder, anywhere books are sold!

And now... the reason you're all here!!!


If you need to review the full rules, please do so HERE. Make sure to read carefully because failure to follow the rules will result in disqualification.

While NOT at all required for entry, I’m asking that all who enter consider making a donation to help give the 250+ kid judges a THANK YOU GIFT for their time, sacrifices, work, comments, and amazing efforts in judging this event.

This would not be possible without them!!

I’m hoping to send each child a gift card to buy a book of their choice, and to support indie bookstores to do so. But that will depend on the amount of money we receive. Just know that 100% of donations WILL go to getting these awesome kids a gift. What that gift will be just depends on how much money we can raise.

You can donate in two ways. You can venmo me (@Kailei-Pew) and then I won't have any website fees taken out.

Or you can make a “purchase” through my shop HERE. The shop requires that I set a dollar amount, so you will see that reflected on that page. I have options for $1, $5, $10, $15, and $20, donations. But again, no amount is too small or too large!

And now... the details to enter!

If you need to review the rules, go HERE, and then enter through the Google Form linked below. While I hope you will also post your story in the comments below and make comments to encourage each other there, you MUST enter through the form this year to be considered by the kid judges.

Important dates to note:

January 29-31 Submission Window Opens

February 5th-18th: Round 1 Judging

February 20th-March 1st: Round 2 Judging

March 4-March 17th: Round 3 Judging

Feel free to download this participant badge and post on social media using #KidsChoiceKidLitWritingContest so that we can all chat about the experience and lift each other up! Then comment on THIS TWEET to help us generate buzz and excitement.

After entering (or before), please consider pasting your entry (***or a snippet***) into the comment section below so that everyone can read and comment on your work. Consider adding your social media handles so that other entrants can find and follow you.

You can also post your entry on your own blog or website if you like, but again, you MUST enter officially through the Google Form below.

(***NOTE: If you have a PB entry that you are planning to query/submit as it is, you should ONLY post about 50-60 words as a sample in the comments below. But make sure that you DO post the ENTIRE ENTRY in the Google form, knowing that it will be kept private).

Now... it's time!! Click the button below to enter and GOOD LUCK! I am so grateful to each and every one of you. No matter what happens, please remember that your work is enough. YOU are enough. The world needs your stories. There is room for all of us in this industry and you just have to keep going. I believe in you.


I love the original idea and the personality of the character shines through immediately. I know my son would get a kick out of this!


Hello kidlit writer folk! I'm so excited to get to read your wonderful excerpts. Here is my 490-word MG submission from the book I'll be querying this year. Feel free to follow me on Twitter, and I'll follow back! @AtkinsonDor JAREN SILVERWING AND THE FORBIDDEN SPELL by Dor Atkinson Chapter 1        Fruit Guts and Moon Spirits

“Every life-changing performance begins with an actor and an empty stage.”

That’s what my grandfather, the great Bluewing actor Lelio, always used to say.

For me, the life-changing thing started at sunset, improvising for an unimpressed trashcan and two bored teenage fairies leaning against a stinky barrel of vegetables in the marketplace.

“Don’t go yet!” I flung out my arms as the teenagers yawned and scratched their…

Replying to

Great character grounding and fantasy fun:-)


Hi, kidlit friends! Below is my YA entry, Arrested Decay, inspired by the real life ghost town of Bodie, California. If you're interested in weird stuff like me, Google it. It will not disappoint! :)


By Ashlee MacCallum

Go camping with your friends, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

But “they” didn’t know my friends.

I declined participation in a hormone-fueled game of truth or dare, so when the newest member of our group, a California transplant named Dakota, suggested we tell ghost stories, I was all in.

“There is a small town off Highway 395, about thirteen miles from the road. You’ll know you’re getting close when the road turns to dirt and your vehicle starts…

Replying to

Gah! Creepy that they're all alone. In the dark. In a strange place. Good job with the tension and suspense. Can't wait to see what happens!


Heres the introduction of my rhyming picture book entry called ONE I CALL 'PAPA'

One I call “Papa,”

The other one’s “Dad.”

They’re the best parents 

A boy’s ever had.

One likes to snuggle

And one likes to snack,

Both love to carry

Me ‘round on their back. 

Papa loves cooking,

And Dad orders in.

That means each dinner’s

A total win win!

Replying to

Too cute!


Hi KidLit creators! I’m so excited for this contest and making new connections! Find me on most platforms @ryanraeharbuck. 💜

Here’s a tiny sliver of my MG entry. It’s an excerpt of my work, RUTABAGA RAE & THE TROUBLE WITH TREEHOUSES. I hope you enjoy it! Cheers!


Gazing up the length of the massive tree, both Gallagher and I become still. The leaves do too. It’s like they know we need a moment to understand. You know when your eyes can’t quite believe something so your brain needs a minute to catch up?

There, resting among the center crook of the tree, two giant branches veer from the trunk, revealing an unbelievable thing not meant to be in a…

Replying to

Me too!! Thank you, friend!

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