WQED Announces Winners of its PBS Kids Writers Contest



WQED announced the winners of its 2018 PBS KIDS Writers Contest (made possible locally by the EQT Foundation for the last nine years) during a celebration May 19 at WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio.

Earlier this month, the public was invited to vote for the “Reader’s Choice Winner” from 26 finalists selected from more than 1,000 entries received for this year’s contest throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey. 5,882 votes were submitted online via the portal, a record number.

The 2018 Reader’s Choice Winner is: Zoe Wolfe for her story, “South Pole Santa” with 642 votes.  Zoe attends Orchard Hill Intermediate School in North Canton, OH.

The winners of the 2018 WQED Writers Contest are:


  • First Place: Elijah Wharton, Allison Park, PA 
  • Second Place: Jett Hoover, Murrysville, PA
  • Third Place: McKenna Duzyk, Pittsburgh
  • Honorable Mention: David Magbagbeola, McDonald, PA


  • First Place: Aarav Partiban, Pittsburgh
  • Second Place:  Jaivik Raval, Sewickley, PA
  • Third Place: Harris Wannous, Bethel Park, PA
  • Honorable Mention: Olivia Anderson, Bethel Park, PA    


  • First Place: Brycen Filus, Turtle Creek, PA
  • Second Place:  Rocco Romano, Venetia, PA
  • Third Place: Christian Palmer, Venetia, PA
  • Honorable Mention: Lily Haberman, Allison Park, PA


  • First Place:  Amelia Conklin, Sewickley, PA
  • Second Place:  Adele Stamenov, Bethel Park, PA
  • Third Place:  Waverly Cohen, Turtle Creek, PA
  • Honorable Mention: Leo Muffi, Eighty Four, PA


  • First Place: Clare Troll, Somerset, PA
  • Second Place: Xerin Qireyffah, Pittsburgh
  • Third Place: Zoe Wolfe, North Canton, OH
  • Honorable Mention: Bayleigh Lowe, Amity, PA


  • First Place: Elly Strittmatter, Bridgeville, PA
  • Second Place: Caitlin Joyce, Pittsburgh
  • Third Place: Kyra Bobolsky, Pittsburgh
  • Honorable Mention: Marielle Wilson, Irwin, PA


  • Kindergarten-First Grade: Jaivik Raval, Sewickley, PA
  • Second Grade-Third Grade: Connor Dickey, Pittsburgh
  • Fourth Grade-Fifth Grade: Melanie Brown, Allison Park, PA

Partnering with WQED on its Writers Contest this year were West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB), PBS 39 (WLVT) serving eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey and WPSU in State College, which serves central Pennsylvania. The winners’ stories narrated by them will be broadcast on iQKidsRadio.org and featured on Saturday Light Brigade (SLB) Radio throughout summer 2018. The winning stories were also made into an original puppet play which was performed at the May 18th Celebration by Pittsburgh Puppet Works.

All of the winners’ stories are available to read and listen to via WQED’s Writers Contest page at: www.writeonkids.org.

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

WQED changes lives by creating and sharing outstanding public media that educates, entertains, and inspires.  It is the parent company of 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 iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (www.wqed.org/edu).

The EQT Foundation
EQT and the EQT Foundation are committed to the social and economic vitality of our operating regions. For the past 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.

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.

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.

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).

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs.  Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. 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.