Reading, Writing, and Really Talented Kids

Reading, Writing, and Really Talented Kids

DC Canada’s Writing Contest for Kids Highlights the Literary Prowess of Canada’s Youngest Authors

Each time you pick up a pencil or sit down at your computer, you’re about to create. Maybe it’s a perfectly penned email. Maybe it’s a letter to your future children. Maybe it’s the next Harry Potter.

No matter what you’re writing, you inadvertently leave a piece of yourself in your work. It’s in the way you string your sentences together and the vocabulary you maneuver, in the topics you choose to illustrate and the perception you impart on your reader. You can learn a lot about a person by reading their stories.

All too often, kids’ stories are disregarded. But what if we take a second to appreciate them better? Are they crazy… or creative? Illogical… or engrossed in different aspects of the world? Nobody will claim children have the grammar skills of a professional editor, but you’ll rarely find an adult with such an open mind.

And so, DC Canada launched our first ever One Story a Day Writing Contest (2018-2019) for Canadian kids from Grades 1-8. Our team would never have imagined how many submissions we would receive, and yet, with 170 stories by 1st to 7th graders from Duncan, British-Columbia, to Albert Bridge, Nova-Scotia, it’s hard to describe our first contest as anything but a raging success.

The contest follows the format of our One Story a Day collection, which was created to foster a love of reading in children. And as any good author knows, the more you read, the better you write. By reading one short tale each day, kids learn to get excited about books and may even develop a passion for writing. We’re certain that all the participants in our contest love to write as much as we at DC Canada do.

We were thoroughly impressed by the talent we saw in all the stories we received. This moved us to publish a new addition to the One Story a Day series—One Story a Day by kids for kids, comprised of the 32 best contest submissions illustrated by a professional artist.

Our goal is to value children’s literary creations as much as we revere books destined to kids. It wasn’t easy to compare and evaluate stories that touched on such a wide range of topics. Each one was intriguing and reminded our team who our products are for: these kids may still be in the early stages of their lives, but they are complex, thoughtful individuals with experiences of their own. They’ve shared this with DC Canada through their stories, and we are so proud to see this generation of young creative writers on the rise.

Even those whose work was not selected this year should consider their participation in our contest a personal victory. They created something wonderful and, with practice, will continue to grow as authors and as individuals. We at DC Canada are thankful for every submission that made us laugh, cry, and smile. We encourage children to write from their hearts, explore every opportunity, and dream big.

Cool Facts about the 2018-2019 Contest

The stories we received varied in length, style, and topic. The latter encompassed travel stories—Disney, Mexico, the jungle—, wildlife and pets—cats, dogs, caterpillars, fish—, sweet treats—cookies, ice cream, gingerbread—, and one about squirrel-flavoured ice cream that made our newest editor roll on the floor laughing. Thanks, Amar Makhdoom of Kanata, ON!

Unfortunately, many stories didn’t fit into our 250-word limit (which we graciously extended to about 325, in some cases); in fact, there were a few submissions with chapters! Others incorporated their own illustrations, which were really quite beautiful. These included:

  • Callum Taylor’s colourful comic about the heroic Taco-Man
  • An adorable hamster from Irene Zhang of Ottawa, ON
  • “The Legend of Cats and Dogs,” a short, illustrated storybook by Vernice Novelles of Ogema, SK
  • And from Kamloops, BC, Caroline Pankratz’s lovely princesses

Want to know more about the young writers who created all this incredible material? Check out these interesting statistics and urge all the kids you know to submit their work to our contest every year!