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!

2023 Taradiddle Youth Writing Contest Dates

Thursday, March 9 – Monday, March 13

Sign up by Thurs., March 9 to receive the writing prompt via email!

Thursday, September 21 – Monday, September 25

Sign up by Thurs., Sept. 21 to receive the writing prompt via email!

The sooner you sign up, the more clues you will receive in your email inbox about the mystery animal to be featured in the next contest.


2022 Taradiddle Contests

THANK YOU to the youth writers who participated in the contests and submitted stories. SPECIAL THANKS to the Taradiddle Judges. Please click on the links below to read the stories of the finalists in each contest.

Contest #1

April 4, 2022

The writing prompt was: You wake up one morning, and discover that overnight, you turned into a cat!

Elementary Contest

First place: Emelia Prevenas from Stoughton, WI

Second place: Saanvi Kondoju from Madison, WI

Third place: Avery

Honorable Mentions:

Kerrigan James Walsh from Sun Prairie, WI

Shriya Kondoju from Madison, WI

High School Contest

First place: Mary Bolinger

Second place: Mira from Thiensville, WI

Contest #2

September 19, 2022

The writing prompt was: As the days grew shorter and cooler, it was time to fly to the winter home. Ruby flew the course she has flown her whole young life to the winter spot her family has flown to for generations.  But when she arrived, she was utterly confused. This did not appear to be her winter home! (Ruby is a ruby-throated hummingbird.)

Elementary Contest

First place: Isa Hasan

Second place: Shawn Hsieh from San Jose, CA

Third place: May Torii from Bethesda, MD

Honorable Mention: Yunzhe Hong from Fontana, CA

High School Contest

First place: Allison Xu from Rockville, MD

Second place: Emily

Third place: Izzy Caldwell

Honorable Mention: Sandana


  • 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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