2019 WQED Writers Contest Celebration


WQED announced the winners of its 2019 WQED Writers Contest (made possible locally by the EQT Foundation) during a red carpet celebration May 31st at WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio.

Earlier this month, the public was invited to vote for the “Reader’s Choice Winner” from 27 finalists selected from more than 1,000 entries received for this year’s contest throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey.  5,808 votes were submitted online via the portal.

The 2019 Reader’s Choice Winner is: Arjun Kairi for his story, “Our Mother” with 2,013 votes. 

The 2019 Winners are:


  1. First place: Jack Ford, Bethel Park
  2. Second Place: Evelyn Mascaro, Hampton Township
  3. Third Place: Sarah Sakowitz, Upper St. Clair
  4. Honorable Mention: Olivia Burrow, Quakertown


  • First place: Elijah Wharton, Hampton Township
  • Second Place: Alexis King, Bethel Park
  • Third Place: Bernadette Cate, State College
  • Honorable Mention: Gianna Nickola, Peters Township


  • First place: Coleman Yengst, Salisbury Township
  • Second Place: Isaac Chapman, New Castle
  • Third Place: Olivia Anderson, Bethel Park
  • Honorable Mention: Aarav Parthiban, Scott Township


  • First place: Alexis Faltot, Natrona Heights
  • Second Place: Sydney Kellander, Bethel Park
  • Third Place: Lily Haberman, Hampton
  • Honorable Mention: Devin Kilpela, Pittsburgh


  • First place: Adele Stamenov, Bethel Park
  • Second Place: Kiya Krinjeck, Richfield
  • Third Place: Connor Dickey, Brentwood Borough
  • Honorable Mention: Annaleigh Dwulit, Mt Lebanon


  • First place: Clare Troll, Somerset
  • Second Place: Areesha Nouman, Westlake, OH
  • Third Place: Samantha Strope, Jefferson Hills
  • Honorable Mention: Felicity Koble, West Deer


  • Kindergarten-First Grade: Vihaan Rathi,Pittsburgh
  • Second Grade-Third Grade: Arjun Kairi, Pittsburgh
  • Fourth Grade-Fifth Grade: Sienna Terpak, Williamsport

To learn more about the contest, visit www.writeonkids.org

About WQED

WQED was an experiment in educational community-supported television that was the forerunner to PBS. Today, WQED is a multimedia powerhouse that is as much a part of Pittsburgh as the three rivers. WQED is WQED-TV (PBS); WQED World; WQED Create; WQED Showcase; WQED PBS KIDS Channel; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at www.wqed.org/fm; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive (www.wqed.org) and WQED Education (www.wqed.org/edu).

About The EQT Foundation

EQT and the EQT Foundation are committed to the social and economic vitality of our operating regions. For more than a decade, the EQT Foundation has made a difference by supporting local programs and initiatives that involve education, community and economic development, the arts, and the environment. Together with a variety of non-profit organizations, the EQT Foundation develops strong partnerships that enrich the diversity and viability of our communities, sustain the principles of continuous learning, and focus on environmental protection efforts.

About West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Public Broadcasting nurtures personal growth, promotes civic responsibility and inspires lifelong discovery through high-quality programming and services. West Virginia Public Radio, West Virginia PBS, wvpubcast.org and Ready To Learn® are all services of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting is a 501(c)3 organization responsible for receiving donated funds from individuals for annual membership to West Virginia Public Broadcasting. Friends serve as ambassadors in their communities on behalf of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. All of the licenses for West Virginia Public Broadcasting are held by the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, Kay Goodwin, Secretary.

About PBS 39

PBS39 is a community-owned public television station licensed to Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, PA, serving eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. PBS39 is owned and operated by the Lehigh Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation. PBS39 has the potential to reach 6 million people in our viewing area. PBS39 educates, inspires, informs and entertains while stimulating and disseminating the exchange of ideas for community enrichment.

About WPSU

WPSU Penn State is a collection of innovative writers, storytellers, teachers, producers, designers, and technicians — using 21st century tools and media to bring information, education, and entertainment to our viewers, listeners, and larger communities throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. We are leading edge public broadcasters — producing original, local content and providing your favorite programs commercial-free on public radio and television, to engage the minds and spirits of our neighbors and make connections between the region and the world. We create meaningful and memorable films about important social, academic, and community stories to help stimulate conversation and discovery. We improve learning experiences, through design of high-quality, dynamic content in a variety of formats, to aid learners of all ages in their educational journeys.

About Saturday Light Brigade

SLB Radio Productions, Inc. (SLB) uses radio and audio to encourage, amplify, share and archive the ideas, stories, and feelings of children, youth and families. SLB believes in radio and audio because these technologies enable a sense of intimacy, engagement and self-directed imagination that is often lacking in other media, while also promoting opportunities for privacy (given that children need not be photographed), equal access (audio has fewer barriers for participation than other media), and sharpening of important life skills (i.e., speaking and listening, imagination, creative expression, and critical thinking, respect for others, confidence and cooperation, and technical curiosity).

The Children’s Museum

Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is a place that delights and inspires children, where they can take off on fantastic flights of imagination daily, and return to earth to splash in a river, build and tinker with old and new technologies, and explore contemporary and traditional arts practices. Named  One of the Nation’s Ten Best Museums for Families in USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Contest in 2017 the  Museum welcomes over 306,000 visitors annually and provides tons of fun and loads of “real stuff” experiences for play and learning. Hands-on, interactive areas and experiences that inspire joy, creativity and curiosity that include The Studio, MAKESHOP, Water play, Nursery, Theater and Backyard. On April 27, 2019 the Children’s Museum opened Museum Lab – a new museum for older kids. Located adjacent to the Children’s Museum, Museum Lab offers kids ages 10+ cutting-edge experiences in art, tech and learning.

The Trolley Museum

The Pennsylvania Trolley Museum is conveniently located in Washington, PA. This museum is home to nearly 50 trolley cars that you get to see up close and some you even get to ride! The Museum is ‘More than a ride…it’s an Experience!”

The Pittsburgh Zoo

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium strives to foster positive, lifelong connections between animals and people. Whether through our exhibits, educational programs, or our many conservation projects, our goal is to make certain the Earth remains a suitable home for all life by our discovery of the interconnectedness of the natural world.


PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online, mobile and community-based programs. Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including the PBS KIDS video player, now offering free streaming video accessible on computer- and mobile-device-based browsers. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit pbs.org/pressroom, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

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