Still champions: the 2014 PBS writing contest winners.

If you’re a butterfly with too much bling for your fellow butterflies, what do you do?

If you’re Becca the butterfly in the story by first-grader Marielle Wilson of Irwin, you head into the forest where other creatures will appreciate your beauty more. Marielle’s story “The Butterfly Who Had Bling,” which she wrote and illustrated, won second place in her grade in this weekend’s 20th annual WQED PBS KIDS Writers Contest.

“I think she might have gone overboard with the glitter, but she had fun doing it,” said Marielle’s mom Rosemary Wilson. (The story can be seen here.)

Marielle entered the contest last year, and was inspired to try again this year. She and her mother discussed what makes up a good story, Rosemary says. They settled on Becca heading for the forest where she impressed some fellow insects and helped them keep a fox from eating them when he was blinded by her dazzling wings.

The local winners and their stories were:


  • First Place: Grandpa Pig’s Pizza by Nikolai Nawrocki of Wayne
  • Second Place: The Farting Walruses by Yul Choi of Pittsburgh
  • Third Place: The Girl Who Loved Noodles by Maeve Kotula of Washington
  • Honorable Mention: A Day in Sugarland by Bella Coleman of Gibsonia

First Grade

  • First Place: Animan to the Rescue by Ryan Watterson of Venetia
  • Second Place: The Butterfly Who Had Bling by Marielle Wilson of Irwin
  • Third Place: Lia’s Super Happy Move by Lia Kim of Pittsburgh
  • Honorable Mention: The Tooth That Just Wouldn’t Wiggle by Elizabeth Crossan of McMurray

Second Grade

  • First Place: Seeds from Space by Connor Smith of Pittsburgh
  • Second Place: Lopsha and The Trail of Tears by Eva Lutz of Imperial
  • Third Place: The Bird Who Needed Glasses by Delaney Reddinger of Evans City
  • Honorable Mention: Mr. Docker’s New Friend by Brooklyn Eastly of Gibsonia

Third Grade

  • First Place: Trying is Wonderful by Sarah White of Gibsonia
  • Second Place: The Adventures of Bobby Bookerman by Austin Malley of Venetia
  • Third Place: The Talking Coat by Lina Fu of Allison Park
  • Honorable Mention: The Mysterious Person by Tai Kamitani of Allison Park

More than 800 kids entered the contest this year. The finalists traveled to WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio in Oakland for a celebration on May 18, where parts of their stories were combined into a puppet show by Pittsburgh Puppet Works. The kids’ stories can also be heard on and Saturday Light Brigade radio this summer.

“She enjoyed seeing her story come to life,” says Rosemary Wilson about Marielle. “Now she has the ambition to get first place next year. She can’t wait.”

See other winning stories here.

Marty Levine

Marty Levine's journalism has appeared in Time, and throughout Pennsylvania and has won awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, The Press...