Rocky Mountain PBS StoryMakers Contest

Thank you for visiting the StoryMakers webpage. Rocky Mountain PBS will not be offering the StoryMakers Contest in 2018-2019, but hopes to transition this program to one of our community partners over the next year so it resumes again in 2019-2020.

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Congratulations to the 2017 StoryMakers’ Winners!

Rocky Mountain PBS congratulates the 2017 StoryMakers winners and finalists. We thank the more than 550 student authors throughout Colorado who submitted stories. Our young authors provided a Colorado voice for students across the state. We hope all the young authors keep writing, writing, writing. As Maya Angelou said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” 

6th Grade

1st Place: Danielle Halperin - “Message on the Wind” (Aspen Creek PK-8)
2nd Place: Margaret Dale - “The Mountain’s Secret” (Silver Hills Middle School)
3rd Place: Elle Crockett - “Forgotten?” (Heritage Elementary School)

Jackson Lasaga-Ivey - “Modest Words” (Denver School of the Arts)
John Bird - “Blanca Peak” (St. Anne’s Episcopal School)
Kyla Hopkins - “Mind Games” (Parker Core Knowledge Charter School)
Philomena Kiesewetter - “Miners’ Mishap” (Golden View Classical Academy)
Gustav Blom - “Swimming Down the Colorado River” (Parker Core Knowledge Charter School)

7th Grade

1st Place: Lillian Sturhahn - “An Exploration of Loss, or Rather, the Way Things Glow in the Dark” (Denver School of the Arts)
2nd Place: Fernanda Torres - “The Tale of the Sun and Moon” (S. Christa McAuliffe S.T.E.M. Academy)
3rd Place: Waverly Fisher - “One With The Cats” (Louisville Middle School)

Aida Hester - “Worst Fears” (East Grand Middle School)
Ella Cromie - “Home Sweet Home” (Louisville Middle School)
Emma Hunt - “Colorado Trail” (Flagstaff Academy)
Charlotte Renner - “Back Home” (The Logan School for Creative Learning)
William Sellmayer - “Song of the Black Bear” (Discovery Canyon Campus Middle School)

8th Grade

1st Place: Jacob Pennington - “A Journey Through the Rockies: The Amazing Quest of Arnold Davis” (Sunset Middle School)
2nd Place: Sofia Staley - “A Test of Physics and Loneliness” (Denver School of the Arts)
3rd Place: Kayla Barton - “Seasons Change, People Don’t” (Westview Middle School)

Eva Klingbeil - “Frigid Waters” (Sunset Middle School)
Serene Meredith - “Wheelchair Recreation” (The Logan School for Creative Learning)
Lara Dike - “Till Death Do Us Part” (Westview Middle School)
Ella Kuenzli - “Never Summer” (Discovery Canyon Campus Middle School)
Aidan Hansell - “Vision” (Westview Middle School)

Introducing A New Spin On StoryMakers

For the past 10 years, Rocky Mountain PBS has celebrated young writers with the StoryMakers short story contest.  This year, we are asking all 6th, 7th and 8th grade authors in Colorado to submit a short, fictional story that captures a Colorado “sense of place.”  Whatever the story is that you imagine and want to tell, we want Colorado to be a primary presence. 

Colorado is a place, it’s a feeling, it’s a smell, it’s a picture….you can touch it, see it, taste it.  Setting includes more than just environment.  It includes any external details that reveal more about experiences, observations, characters (how they react and feel), etc. 

Setting can be an active force in a story; think of a farmer on the eastern plains terrified the drought will be so severe he’s not sure he can feed his family this year.  Or think of a young boy who loses his way hiking and is led back by a spirit of the Ute tribe.  Or think of a woman living far in the future who stumbles upon a strange cave high in the mountains in a place once called Colorado.  In this way, setting can be a character in the story….a central element that shapes and drives the narrative, the characters, the conflicts and the resolutions. 

StoryMakers At-A-Glance
  • Entries are judged on the integration of the Colorado as a “sense of place,” originality, creative expression and storytelling.
  • StoryMakers is in its eleventh year and each year we receive over 500 state-wide entries.
  • Finalists (eight for each grade) will be named in December 2017/January 2018 and invited to an all-day workshop (and station tour) facilitated by an instructor from Lighthouse Writers Workshop and a journalist at the Rocky Mountain PBS station in Denver on Saturday, January 20, 2018.
  • Awards Luncheon will be held in the Denver area on Saturday, February 24, 2018 and attended by all finalists and their families. Winners are announced and special prizes awarded. 
  • Winners’ stories are published on the Rocky Mountain PBS website.
  • StoryMakers is generously supported by Douglas County Libraries


Supported by Douglas County Libraries
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StoryMakers is also brought to you by:

StoryMakers Interview on KAFM

StoryMakers Interview on KAFM

Listen to an interview with radio KAFM in Grand Junction with teacher and StoryMakers’ authors from Holy Family Catholic School.

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Parent Testimonial

"I wanted to thank you for the Rocky Mountain PBS StoryMakers program. My daughter took part in the competition and was a runner up for the 8th grade group. The whole process was so thrilling for her to be part of. When we were at the studio for the celebration in January, she told us she felt like a movie star. She loved learning to record her story and download illustrations, but most of all I think she loved the fact that so many people were involved in the whole process, and that most were involved through volunteering. 

She was so inspired... Our children need to feel important in order to succeed, and every small step counts. This support needs to be more than just parents and teachers. When our children see other adults and important people involved in their futures, it paints a bigger picture for them. Thank you for painting part of this bigger picture." 

-The Bretts, Eaton, Co.

Rocky Mountain PBS and Douglas County Libraries encourage teenagers to keep reading and writing.  

Thanks to everyone submitting a story and special thanks to our major sponsor, Douglas County Libraries