Thursday, July 14, 2016



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                   CONTACT:              George Hazimanolis
May 23, 2016                                                                                                                       412-622-1366

Made Possible Locally by the EQT Foundation for the Past Seven Years
PITTSBURGH– WQED announced the winners of its 2016 PBS KIDS Writers Contest (made possible locally by the EQT Foundation) during a celebration May 22 at WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio.

Earlier this month, the public was invited to vote for the “Kid’s Public Choice Winner” from 24 finalists selected from more than 1,000 entries received for this year’s contest throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and New Jersey. Over 3,800 votes were submitted online via the portal, a record number.

The 2016 Kid’s Reader’s Choice Winner is: Liam Pierce O’Sullivan for his story, “CAT for President!” with 1,087 votes.  Liam attends Southmoreland Elementary School in Scottdale,PA.

The finalists of the 2016 WQED Writers Contest are:

·       First Place: Malkin Smith, East Liverpool, OH      
·       Second Place: Ella McConville, Sarver, PA           
·       Third Place: Colby Lynn Stritzinger, Gibsonia, PA

·       First Place: Connor Dickey, Pittsburgh   
·       Second Place:  Brock McMullen, Greensburg, PA
·       Third Place: Isabella Nickola, Venetia,, PA           
·       Honorable Mention: Melanie Brown, Allison Park, PA
·       Honorable Mention: Raya Merritt, Allison Park, PA        

·       First Place:  Colby Zimmer, McMurray, PA
·       Second Place:  Liam Pierce O’Sullivan, Scottdale, PA
·       Third Place: Maryam Kashif, Pittsburgh
·       Honorable Mention: Maeve Kotula, Washington, PA

·       First Place:  Elly Strittmatter, Bridgeville, PA        
·       Second Place:  Charlize Donaldson, Pittsburgh
·       Third Place:  Ryan Watterson, Venetia, PA
·       Honorable Mention: Caroline Higginbottom, Washington, PA

·       First Place: Piper Stock, South Park, PA  
·       Second Place: Alyssa Weber, Gibsonia, PA
·       Third Place: Isabella Bolduc, Gibsonia, PA
·       Honorable Mention: Caraline Hope Sommer, Jefferson Hills, PA

·       First Place: Sarah White, Gibsonia, PA   
·       Second Place: Lilly Nys, Pittsburgh
·       Third Place: Claire Stevens, Pittsburgh
·       Honorable Mention: Sadie Shelkey, Gibsonia, PA

Partnering with WQED on its Writers Contest this year were West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB), witf which serves Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, PBS 39 (WLVT) serving eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey and WPSU in State College, which serves central Pennsylvania. The winners’ stories narrated by them will be broadcast on and featured on Saturday Light Brigade (SLB) Radio throughout summer 2016. The winning stories were also be made into an original puppet play which was performed at the May 22 Celebration by Pittsburgh Puppet Works.

All of the winners’ stories are available to read and listen to via WQED’s Writers Contest page at:

To learn more about the contest, visit

About WQED
 changes lives by creating and sharing outstanding public media that educates, entertains, and inspires. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED Create; WQED WORLD; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; the Pittsburgh Concert Channel at WQED-HD2 (89.3-2FM) and online at; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive ( and iQ: smartmedia, WQED’s Educational initiative (

About The EQT FoundationEQT and the EQT Foundation are committed to the social and economic vitality of our operating regions. For the past decade, the EQT Foundation has made a difference by supporting local programs and initiatives that involve education, community and economic development, the arts, and the environment. Together with a variety of non-profit organizations, the EQT Foundation develops strong partnerships that enrich the diversity and viability of our communities, sustain the principles of continuous learning, and focus on environmental protection efforts.

About West Virginia Public Broadcasting
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
 nurtures personal growth, promotes civic responsibility and inspires lifelong discovery through high-quality programming and services. West Virginia Public Radio, West Virginia PBS, and Ready To Learn® are all services of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

All of the licenses for West Virginia Public Broadcasting are held by the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, Kay Goodwin, Secretary.
About WITF
Based in Harrisburg, witf is a trusted, valued supplier of programs and services that both satisfy and stimulate curiosity for residents in every community in the central Pennsylvania region. witf broadcast services reach audiences in over 17 counties in central Pennsylvania. The company comprises public broadcasting stations witf TV, witf 89.5 & 93.3, the RadioPA Network ,, witf Educational Services, Top Flight Media, Media Solutions and regional magazine Central PA (published by The Patriot-News in an association with witf). witf’s mission is to strengthen our communities by connecting us to each other and to opportunities for lifelong learning. Its vision is engaging minds, enriching lives, uniquely.

About PBS 39
is a community-owned public television station licensed to Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton, PA, serving eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey. PBS39 is owned and operated by the Lehigh Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation. PBS39 has the potential to reach 6 million people in our viewing area. PBS39 educates, inspires, informs and entertains while stimulating and disseminating the exchange of ideas for community enrichment.

About WPSU
WPSU Penn State is a collection of innovative writers, storytellers, teachers, producers, designers, and technicians — using 21st century tools and media to bring information, education, and entertainment to our viewers, listeners, and larger communities throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.

About Saturday Light Brigade
SLB Radio Productions, Inc. (SLB)
 uses radio and audio to encourage, amplify, share and archive the ideas, stories, and feelings of children, youth and families. SLB believes in radio and audio because these technologies enable a sense of intimacy, engagement and self-directed imagination that is often lacking in other media, while also promoting opportunities for privacy (given that children need not be photographed), equal access (audio has fewer barriers for participation than other media), and sharpening of important life skills (i.e., speaking and listening, imagination, creative expression, and critical thinking, respect for others, confidence and cooperation, and technical curiosity).

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for kids, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, digital platforms and community-based programs.  Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning provides engaging interactive content, including digital games and streaming video. PBS KIDS also offers mobile apps to help support young children’s learning. The PBS KIDS Video App is available on a variety of mobile devices and on platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. For more information on specific PBS KIDS content supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

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George Hazimanolis
Senior Director of Corporate Communications
WQED Multimedia
4802 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15213
412-622-1366 office
412-370-8802 cell

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