Young Writer Contests

Young Writer Contests

Taradiddle is a youth writing program, created by the non-profit organization, Guardian Whiskers Inc, in Madison, Wisconsin. Taradiddle contests inspire youth ages 18 and younger to write with fun, animal-themed story prompts.

Experience the thrill of creative writing!

2024 Taradiddle Youth Writing Contest Dates

Thursday, March 14 – Monday, March 18

Thursday, September 19 – Monday, September 23

2023 Taradiddle Youth Writing Contests

Contest #3
Thursday, March 9 – Monday, March 13

THANK YOU to the writers who submitted stories for Contest #3.

SPECIAL THANKS to the Taradiddle Judges for their careful consideration.

The Writing Prompt was: Native to eastern North America, the eastern gray squirrel somehow crossed the Atlantic Ocean and found its way to Great Britain in the 1890s. Write a creative story that will explain how the squirrel made this journey.

Please enjoy the stories of the finalists by clicking on the links listed below.

THE ABECEDARIANS (13 years and younger)

First place: Yiwei Jason Wang from Pittsburgh, PA

Second place: Charlie Hamm

Third place: Lucas from Los Angeles, CA

Honorable Mention: Alan

THE DOYENS (14-18 years)

First place: Emily

Second place: Tejini from Falls Church, VA

Third place: Alexis Weiss from California

Honorable Mention: Alex Jiang from Los Altos, CA

Contest #4
Thursday, September 21 – Monday, September 25

THANK YOU to the writers who submitted stories for Contest #4.

SPECIAL THANKS to the Taradiddle Judges for their careful consideration.

The Writing Prompt was: Sachie, a giant Pacific octopus, has 45 seconds to return to her enclosure at the Assura Bay Aquarium. Although she enjoys her tank at the aquarium and the people are kind to her, taking midnight strolls helps fulfill her quest for adventures. Every night, Sachie squeezes out of the tiny gap at the top of her tank for a look around the aquarium. This time, flashing lights stop her in her tracks. They are coming from the tank where Aki, an electric eel lives. The lights stun her as she stands outside Aki’s tank. They are so bright that Sachie has to close her eyes. When she opens her eyes, she feels a strange sensation and realizes she has gained a new ability, a superpower!

Please click on the stories of the finalists below to read and enjoy!

THE ABECEDARIANS (13 years and younger)

First place: Sarah Zhou from Los Altos, CA

Second place: Aadhyaa Aravind Shankar from India

Third place: Bella (Yeonseo) Lim from Jeju, South Korea

Honorable Mention: Violet P. from Georgia

THE DOYENS (14-18 years)

First place: Amelia Grant

Second place: Dana Choi from Albertson, NY

Third place: Elizabeth from Washington, D.C.

Honorable Mention: Maiya Brock from Santa Fe, NM


to join the Taradiddle Youth Writing Contests!

2022 Taradiddle Contests

Click the button below to read the stories of the finalists.

Meet the Taradiddle Judges!

Click on the button below to meet the Taradiddle Judges.


  • Entrants must be 18 years and younger.
  • No cost to enter contests.
  • Write original stories inspired by the Taradiddle animal-themed writing prompts.
  • There are two age categories: Elementary Contests for ages 13 years and younger and High School Contests for ages 14-18 years. Enter under the age category you will be at the time of the contest to receive contest and prize information. If you are under the age of 13 years, your parent or guardian will need to sign you up with their email address. If you are 13 years and older, you can sign up with your email address. (Be sure to check your spam folder if you do not see emails from us!)
  • The sooner you sign up, the more hints you will receive about the writing prompt for the next contest!
  • Each contest starts on a Thursday and ends on the following Monday. When the contest starts, we will email you the writing prompt to get you started on your story. You will have by midnight (in your time zone) on the following Monday to submit your story inspired by the writing prompt. Submissions are made by emailing them to If email is not available, please mail your story to: Guardian Whiskers, 1004 East Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703, postmarked by Monday. Be sure to indicate your age category.
  • Only one submission is allowed per person.
  • The Elementary Contests have a maximum word count of 500 words. The High School Contests have a maximum word count of 1,000 words.
  • Judges will determine the top three finalists in each age category.
  • Entrants retain the copyright of their submitted work. However, entrants grant Guardian Whiskers the right to reproduce any submission on its website or any other Guardian Whiskers publication regardless of medium or publication.
  • Guardian Whiskers asks for international rights. Should you re-publish the piece at a later date, we ask that you acknowledge in print that Guardian Whiskers published it first.
  • Only original submissions will be accepted. We will not accept simultaneous submissions or work that has been published elsewhere.


1st Place: $150 / 2nd Place: $100 / 3rd Place: $50

The top three finalists in each age category will be featured as published authors on

Guardian Whiskers

The Taradiddle Youth Writing Contests is a program offered by Guardian Whiskers. To learn more about Guardian Whiskers, please visit here.


Email us at or call us at (608) 886-8849.

How Contests Work

Write original stories inspired by Taradiddle animal-themed writing contest prompts. Enter for a chance to win cash prizes and become a published young author on this website! Contest and prize information is sent by email. Be sure to keep an eye on your email inbox (or to check your spam folder if you don’t see it).

Enter under your age category to receive contest and prize information by email.

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