Writing Contest

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Kids Writing Contest For Grades 3-5

Theme: Alien in your backyard!

Show us your writing chops by creating your very own alien story. And get a chance to win exciting prizes! 

Writing contest

How to Participate

Note: There is no participation fee!

If you're a parent or student, fill this form to enter your details and submit your story.

If you're from a school, district, or Parent-Teacher organization and would like your school to participate, fill this form and we'll get in touch with you.

Prizes

1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners will be awarded in each category.

1st prize

$75

(Amazon Gift Card)

2nd prize

$50

(Amazon Gift Card)​

3rd prize

$25

(Amazon Gift Card)​

Stan Lee did it. Now it’s your turn.

Your Writing Prompt

Suppose an alien landed right in your backyard.  They are the same age as you. What is their name, describe their appearance, and where did they come from?.


Describe how you become friends and share activities.  What can you teach this creature?


What can they teach you?  How does your friendship develop?

Writing contest

Writing Contest Guidelines

Open to grades: 3-5

Participation Fee: None, it’s FREE

Submit your entry for Alien Story Writing Contest in the form of a:

  1. Narrative Story
  2. Graphic Story (Comic strip)
Writing contest
  • Submission should not exceed 500 words.
  • PDF file only, not to exceed 10 MB.
  • Typed only
  • English only
  • Include a title for the Story Book.
  • Submission should not exceed 4 single-sided 8.5X11 pages including the cover page.
  • PDF file only, not to exceed 10 MB.
  • Black and white only
  • Can be hand-drawn or digital.
  • Any written content should be legible.
  • English only
  • Include a title for the Comic Book.

*Submission Deadline: August 31, 2021*

Writing contest
  • Submission of entry into this contest constitutes acceptance of all rules and conditions.
  • Students should be US residents.
  • Students should be from grades 3 through 5 during the 2020-21 school year.
  • Only one submission allowed per student.
  • Each submission must be the creative and original work of the student. Help from an adult or other students is not allowed. Computer-generated images are acceptable as long as they are your original work (no clip art).
  • Story Book should not exceed 500 words.
  • Comic Book should not exceed the maximum length of 4 pages, including the cover page.
  • Use letter-size paper (8.5 x 11) with black-and-white drawings.
  • Only digital copies accepted. No hard copy submissions allowed.
  • Talentnook reserves the right to reproduce your work. You can reuse all your work after the contest. This submission shall remain the property of the entrant, but entry into this program constitutes the entrant’s irrevocable permission and consent that Talentnook may display, copy, reproduce, enhance, print, sublicense, publish, distribute and create derivative works for its own purposes.
  • Entries can be submitted no later than 11:59 PM on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
  • The use of copyrighted content, including any copyrighted comic book or cartoon characters or likeness thereof, is not acceptable in any submission.
  • The submission may include public places, figures, well-known products, trademarks or certain other copyrighted content as long as that copyrighted material is incidental to the submission.
  • The resulting work cannot try to establish an association between the participating student and the trademark or copyrighted content/material, or influence the purchase/non-purchase of any trademarked products.
Have questions about the writing contest? Reach out to us at info@talentnook.com

Judging Criteria

Entries for the Alien Story Writing Contest for kids will be judged by a panel of Talentnook teachers and staff. To understand what the judges will be looking for, you can view the rubric for each category.

Story Book Rubric

Comic Book Rubric

  • The writer obviously understands what they are writing about.
  • No generalizations are made or assumed.
  • All details are interesting.
  • All details are relevant to the topic.
  • Appropriate and insightful support is given and explained.
  • The organization enhances and showcases the central idea.
  • The order and structure is compelling. (It makes you want to continue reading without choppiness.)
  • The organization moves the reader through the text – the reader doesn’t have to stop at any time and go back to figure out what was said.
  • The writer speaks directly to the reader in a way that is
    • individualistic
    • expressive
    • engaging
  • Clearly, the writer is involved in the text and is writing to be read and enjoyed.
  • First person is only used when appropriate.
  • No use of “I think” or “I believe” – these words take away the power of the statement and are unnecessary.
  • Words convey the intended message in an interesting, precise, and natural way.
  • Precise word choice (No “empty words” like: good, bad, etc)
  • No overused words or phrases.
  • No misused words out of context.
  • No awkward words, phrases, or details.
  • The writing is full and rich, yet concise.
  • The words make the paper enjoyable to read, not boring or confusing.
  • The writing has an easy flow and rhythm when read aloud.
  • No choppy sentences.
  • Combined sentences that show consistency.
  • Use of transitions throughout the story to show place value.
  • Sentences are well built, consistently strong, and varied. so structure makes expressive oral reading easy, fun, and enjoyable.
  • No awkward sentence structure.
  • Even careful reading reveals no glaring errors.
    • Spelling
    • Capitalization
    • Punctuation
    • Run-on sentences
    • Fragment sentences
    • Subject/verb agreement
    • Tense Changing problems
    • Correct paragraph breaks
  • Writing conventions are used so well that they make text easier to read, and the story flows.

Comic Book Rubric

  • The writer obviously understands what they are writing and illustrating on paper.
  • No generalizations are made.
  • All details are interesting and bold.
  • All details are relevant to the topic.
  • The story is interesting and leaves a visual impact.
  • Illustrations match the story.
  • Illustrations are clear and easy to follow visually.
  • Easy to identify what is going on in sequence.
  • Style is unique and captivating.
  • Character designs are interesting.
  • Characters look consistent between panels.
  • The text is well placed.
  • The writer’s voice is:
    • individualistic
    • expressive
    • engaging
  • The plot makes sense and there is a climax and resolution.
  • Pacing is appropriate.
  • The illustrations are sequential and adhere to the plot.
  • Words convey the intended message of illustrations in an interesting, precise, and natural way.
  • Precise word choice (No “empty words” like: good, bad, etc).
  • No Overused word for redundancy.
  • No misused out of context words.
  • No awkward words which detract.
  • The writing is full and rich, yet concise.
  • The words make the comic book enjoyable to read, not boring or confusing.
  • The setting is well established.
  • The organization enhances and showcases the central idea.  
  • The order and structure is compelling. (It makes you want to continue reading.)
  • The organization moves the reader through the text – the reader doesn’t have to stop at any time and go back to figure out what was illustrated or mentioned.
  • Even careful reading reveals no glaring errors.
    • Spelling
    • Capitalization
    • Punctuation
    • Run-on sentences or phrases
    • Fragment
    • Subject/verb agreement
    • Tense Changing
  • The conventions are used so well that the frame is easy and fun to read.

You're Invited!

Event: Virtual Awards Ceremony 

Join us as we celebrate the writing contest winners and meet our new alien friends.

When: Thursday, September 30, 2021. 5:00 PM PST

Where: Zoom. The link will be posted by September 23, 2021.

All contestants, their families, & friends are warmly invited.  Also open to the general public.

Superhero Story Contest

The world needs a new superhero. Will yours be the one?

Writing contest
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