The Arkansas Educational Television Network is accepting entries for the AETN PBS KIDS Writers Contest for children in kindergarten through third grades. The deadline is Friday, April 5.


The contest is designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest allows children to celebrate creativity and build literacy skills by writing and illustrating their own stories, according to a news release.


Each entrant will receive a participation certificate and 12 winners – three from each grade – will receive an AETN prize pack. First place winners will win a PBS KIDS Playtime Pad, which comes preloaded with educational games, music and videos.


Arkansas teachers who submit stories from their classes will have the opportunity to win a visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog. Two teachers will also win a collection of five PBS KIDS Playtime Pads for their classrooms, according to the release.


Stories may be fact, fiction, prose or poetry. Only one entry will be allowed per person and stories must be by a single author. Kindergarten and first grade stories must have a minimum of 50 words and a maximum of 200 words. Second and third grade stories must have a minimum of 100 words and a maximum of 350.


Text must be printed, written legibly or typed. Children who cannot write may dictate their story to be printed, written legibly or typed. Stories must have at least five original, clear and colorful illustrations. Non-English text must be translated on the same page, and the translated text (English text) must adhere to the word count.


Entries must be submitted by mail to: AETN – Writers Contest, 350 S. Donaghey, Conway, AR 72034. Entries must be received by Friday, April 5. Winners will be chosen in May and featured on aetn.org/writerscontest. Entries will be judged on originality, creative expression, storytelling and integration of text and illustrations.


Winning stories, contest rules, creative writing resources and entry forms, are available at aetn.org/writerscontest. Each entry must be accompanied by an official signed and completed entry form, which can be downloaded from the website.