February 5, 2015

KCOS announced its annual PBS KIDS Writers Contest, designed to promote the advancement of children’s literacy skills through hands-on, active learning.  The Contest, made possible in part by local financial support from the El Paso Electric Company empowers children in grades K-3 to celebrate creativity and build literacy skills by writing and illustrating their very own stories. 

“KCOS is committed to helping El Paso children build valuable literacy skills through fun, hands-on opportunities to express their creativity and explore their imagination, said Emily Loya, General Manager, KCOS. “Through providing opportunities for El Paso kids to learn and explore through creative writing, KCOS is making a commitment to its children and their long term success, in school and in life.”

How the Contest Works

From today until March 27th, children in El Paso and surrounding communities can submit their entries to the PBS KIDS Writers Contest. KCOS will select 16 local winners (four from each grade level) and award prizes including a certificate of achievement in the spring of 2015.The local contest is generously sponsored by El Paso Electric Company.

The local winners will then be entered into the national contest where a panel of esteemed judges will rank the top 12 entries.  National winners will be announced during the summer of 2015 and the winning stories will be featured on

The national winners will receive prize packages including ARTHUR® books courtesy of national prizing sponsor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and a personal technology device courtesy of PBS. The PBS KIDS Writers Contest is produced by PBS and based on the Reading Rainbow® Young Writers and Illustrators Contest, a concept developed by WNED-TV, Buffalo. 

National Judges

This year’s panel of national judges includes the following acclaimed writers, producers and children’s media creators:

  • Billy Aronson, creator, PEG + CAT
  • Marc Brown, author and illustrator, ARTHUR book series
  • Martin Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS
  • Chris Kratt, creator and co-executive producer, WILD KRATTS
  • Tim McKeon, creator, co-executive producer and head writer, ODD SQUAD
  • Jennifer Oxley, creator, PEG + CAT
  • Adam Peltzman, creator, co-executive producer and writer, ODD SQUAD

Creative Writing Resources

The Contest is supported by a robust set of resources for children, parents and teachers.  Story ideas, activity sheets, along with the previous winning entries are available on the Contest website to inspire children during the brainstorming process. PBS LearningMedia is also offering a collection of online teacher resources for use in classrooms nationwide. 

To enter the Contest and for more information on entry rules and contest resources visit The deadline for local entries is March 27, 2015.

About KCOS

El Paso’s PBS station, provides inspiring, educational, and informative non-commercial programming to the El Paso region.  As a community owned and operated nonprofit organization it is funded and maintained by the generous support of its members, donors, corporate supporters, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. For more information visit or call 915.590.1313.

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 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, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About WNED

Through WNED-TV, ThinkBright and Well/WORLD TV, WBFO-FM 88.7 and Classical 94.5 WNED, member-supported WNED Buffalo/Toronto provides high quality programming and services to local, regional and national audiences that enlighten, inspire, entertain and educate Western New York and Southern Ontario communities. Additional information about WNED can be found at

About Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers is a division of Hachette Book Group (HBG), a leading trade publisher based in New York and a division of Hachette Livre, the third-largest publisher in the world. HBG publishes under the divisions of Little, Brown and Company, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Orbit, Hachette Nashville, and Hachette Digital. For more information, visit