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!

Write fun animal stories! Win prizes!

~ A writing contest for young authors ~


Thursday, March 14 – Monday, March 18

Here was the writing prompt: An unfamiliar sound startled Paquito, a Northern saw-whet owl, awake. He looked around. One moment he was sleeping in his favorite pine tree deep in the forest. Now, the forest was now gone, and the tree stood in a strange place! Paquito and his tree were surrounded by concrete and tall buildings. There were bright, colorful lights, music, and people looking up at the tree. Even the tree was lit by bright colorful lights!

First Place: Amelie

Second Place: Olivia Benoit from Franklin, WI

Third Place: Jiaai Lu from Sunnyvale, CA

Honorable Mention: Natalya Bender from Knoxville, TN

Honorable Mention: Leah Tsujimoto from Wellington, CO

First Place: Emlyn Monti from Bristow, VA

Second Place: Shawn Hsieh from San Jose, CA

Third Place: Jessica Jiang from Pleasanton, CA

Honorable Mention: Sophia Zong from Pleasanton, CA

Thursday, September 19 – Monday, September 23

Read the stories of the 2022 Finalists by clicking on the button!

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

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

Thank you to our supporters and sponsors!

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