Young Writers Contest Winners

We are happy to congratulate the following young writers for submitting the winning entries in our annual Young Writers Contest. This year’s theme was “If Kids Ruled the World,” and we received a flurry of richly creative and diverse pieces. Our judges faced the tough job of naming a winner and runner-up for each grade. The two winners each received a plaque and a party for 10 at Dave & Buster’s. The two runners-up each received a plaque. It’s our pleasure to publish those submissions here.


4th Grade Winner

Agastya Sista,

Linda Herrington Elementary


If kids ruled the world, we would make it so there is NO violence. Do you think that getting yourself and other people hurt is good? So, NO violence. We would also make it so that everybody is equal, because in a lot of places, men and women (but mostly women) are treated unfairly. People are not treated equal because of their race, religion, gender and many other attributes. Some people get paid less, get bad schooling or do not eat nutritious food all around the world. This is why we kids are going to make sure that everyone is equal in all possible ways. My last topic if kids ruled the world is NO littering/polluting, hunting and cutting down trees unless there is a real need, because people sometimes kill animals and cut down trees just for fun. Littering/polluting is destroying the environment! It is putting toxins in the atmosphere and killing a lot of living beings due to lack of clean air and water. Animals provide us with a lot of important things and trees give us oxygen. So, if kids rule the world, we will make a law that states, if you cut down a tree you will have to plant two more. Littering is making our planet dirtier, and we do not want a dirty planet, hence we would outlaw littering. Animals are living creatures, just like us. How would it feel if you are eating and suddenly there was a bullet shot at you? It is cruel to the animals and making a lot of them go extinct. If kids ruled the world these are some of the things we will do.


4th Grade Runner-up

Kallen Smith,

Serene Hills Elementary


Vroom! The airplanes land at the front of the elementary school. Excited children run up the steps and board the 7:30 2nd grade train to their classrooms. If kids ruled the world, kids would have planes instead of buses and trains instead of walking. I think electric planes would help because they are quicker than bus. You would take off and then land and you would basically never be late.


It would be safe for the environment. I think that there is a little too much pollution in the world. It is important that we don’t pollute the world. It would cause less traffic when you need to get to work/school you can fly right over the traffic and think “I’m glad I’m not in that traffic”. It would just be cool.


Everyone would know how to drive a plane. It would be just like riding a bike, but easier. The electric train would help because it is quick because sometimes I am late to specials and other events. It would get you there earlier and it wouldn’t cost a buck because there would be solar panel chargers. They would collect electricity and at night charge up the train to be fully powered up. The train would be cool and unique.


A train would drive in the school. Each class would have a button to signal the train to come. The train would start coming, and you would get in the train and say in the train’s speaker, “5th grade hall,” and it would quickly take you there. I think the electric train and plane would help the school community and save a lot of animals involved in global warming. I think it could improve the traffic and it is a fun way to get to places!

5th Grade Winner

Kiran Baburajdran,

Serene Hills Elementary


If I were in charge of the world

I would cancel bad hair days, sports injuries, those mornings when there’s toilet paper sticking out of your pants

and also alarms that go off before

10:00 a.m.

If I were in charge of the world

there would be lower shelves (where the cookie jar is) so that short people (specifically me) could reach them,

there would be more dogs (just generally),

and more days of summer vacation

If I were in charge of the world

You wouldn’t have ads (for stuff you have no interest in or cannot afford)

You wouldn’t have rules

You wouldn’t have stains

Or “You can’t have this”

You wouldn’t even have “No”


If I were in charge of the world

Tiramisu with whipped cream and raspberry syrup would be a vegetable

All movies would be G

And a person who sometimes

Forgot her lines or

Bluffed her speech would still be allowed to be in charge of the world

5th Grade Runner-up

Isaac Orf,

Barton Hills Elementary


My Schedule:


8:00 am           Wake up

8:10 am           Drive Mom to school

8:30 am           Take race car out for a spin

9:30 am           Ice cream party!!!

10:00 am         Video game time

12:00 pm         Get Dad to make me lunch

1:00 pm           Grab some cookies

1:10 pm           Go over to friend’s house

3:00 pm           Pick Mom up from school

3:30 pm           Yell at Mom for getting in trouble at school. Even if she didn’t.

3:40 pm           More video game time

5:30 pm           Get parents to make dinner

6:10 pm           Watch a movie with HUGE bowl of popcorn (yum)

8:00 pm           Late night swim

9:00 pm           Late night ice cream party

10:00 pm         Climb into bed with comfy blanket


Carmen Oliver is author of the picture books Bears Make the Best Reading and A Voice for the Spirit Bears: How One Boy Inspired Millions to Save a Rare Animal. In 2014, she founded The Booking Biz, a boutique-style agency that brings award-winning children’s authors and illustrators to schools, libraries and special events. She also teaches at the Writing Barn and the Highlights Foundation and loves speaking at schools, conferences and festivals.

Bethany Hegedus is co-author of Grandfather Gandhi and Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story and author of Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird (a Junior Library Guild 2018 selection), Truth with a Capital T and Between Us Baxters. Hegedus is owner and creative director of The Writing Barn, a writing retreat, workshop and event space in Austin. She also speaks and teaches across the country.

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