By Alexandra Booth

The 2014 WEDU PBS Kids Writing Contest recently announced the winning stories at each local station and brothers Daniel and Victor Loerincs, students at Buckhorn Elementary School, both received runner-up positions in their categories.

The WEDU PBS Kids Writing Contest is held by local PBS stations as part of the national contest. Students in Kindergarten through third grade are allowed to apply. The first place winners have their books sent to the PBS national contest for judging, where the winners and finalists were recently announced.

“Our teams of judges rate each story’s creativity, originality and structure, and the relevance, quality and originality of illustrations,” said Gail Taylor, director of educational services for WEDU PBS.

After mother Sandra Zabala learned about the contest via Twitter, it seemed like a great opportunity for 8-year-old Daniel and 5-year-old Victor.

“We talked about books leaving us a message while being fun,” she said.

Based upon his love of animal stories, Victor wrote Leo, The Nice Lion, a story about a lion that got lost and had to ask other animals nicely where his family was. His favorite part was using construction paper to make Leo’s face.

Daniel drew inspiration for his story, Who is That? from a ring-necked duck in Lake Brandon whom he has named Corey. He enjoys bird watching there as a family activity. In the story, Corey has a broken wing and cannot fly, but instead becomes a great diver. The mallard ducks that live in the pond slowly accept Corey for his differences, teaching him how to dive better.

“Participating in the contest gave Daniel and Victor the opportunity to explore their creative side and to have a hands-on experience writing stories while enjoying the process,” said Zabala. “Their runner-up places were the cherry on top of the cake.”

All of the winners and runner-ups received a WEDU PBS Kids Contest bag with LeapFrog/LeapReader activity kits, books, highlighters, stickers, pencils and Highlights magazine. All the children who entered received a certificate.

The next Kids Writing Contest will take place January 2015. To read the winning stories, visit wedu.org/kids/ writerscontest. For more information on the national contest, visit pbskids.org/writerscontest.