WINNERS ANNOUNCED! 2022 Catholic Kidlit Writing Contest

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s writing contest! It was great fun reading your stories and reflecting on Lent and on service to God in a new way through your work. I’m also pleased to share that ALL participants will get a prize this year!

Scroll down to hear about our illustrious writers, their stories, and the prizes they’ve won! Also, feel free to share this post to celebrate the winners and to continue to encourage the creation of soul-building fiction and non-fiction for children.

Judging criteria considered:

To review, each of the entries needed to adhere to the following criteria:

  1. Kid-appeal/Kid-friendliness – remember, this is a story for kids!
  2. Creativity in using your service-inspired word
  3. Quality of story – basic story elements and a true story arc
  4. Quality of writing – use and flow of language, correctness of mechanics, excellence of rhyme and meter if you use it.
  5. Originality – I’d love to see something new brought to the table in this Catholic children’s space! ❤
  6. *Bonus* – I’ll choose the pieces that speak to me most, be they sentimental, sweet, meditative, funny, lyrical, scary, inspiring, or something I haven’t thought of. I’m excited to be surprised!


And now for the extra-fun part: the prizes!

Congratulations to Jen Sanders, you have won a manuscript critique from Colleen Pressprich!

I really enjoyed Jen’s rhyming meditation on the Passion. If you haven’t read it, find her entry at the contest page, here.

Picture Book manuscript critique from author Colleen Pressprich

Colleen is a former missionary and former Montessori teacher who seeks to use the lessons learned in the mission field and the classroom to help other families grow their domestic church. She is the author of Marian Consecration for Families with Young Children, the OSV Kids Stations of the Cross, and The Women Doctors of the Church. Colleen lives in Michigan with her husband and children. 

Congratulations to Ann Johnson, you have won a manuscript critique from Lindsay Schlegel!

I’m very curious where the rest of Ann’s mysterious Mass story is headed…I hope you continue to write, Ann! Read her entry here.

Picture Book manuscript critique from editor Lindsay Schlegel

Lindsay Schlegel is a daughter of God who seeks to encourage, inspire, and lift others up to be all they were created to be through editing, writing, and speaking. Lindsay has over 17 years’ experience in traditional book publishing, having worked at Borders, Candlewick Press, Abrams Books for Young Readers, a boutique literary agency, and Simon & Schuster (children’s division). She is the author of Don’t Forget to Say Thank You: And Other Parenting Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God and co-author of a forthcoming book from Our Sunday Visitor, tentatively titled, Quenching His Thirst: Amplifying the Voice of the Church in Substance Use Disorder Recovery. She’s also the host of the podcast Quote Me with Lindsay Schlegel. Lindsay lives in New Jersey with her family, and would love to connect on social media or at

Congratulations to Emily Robinson, you have won a manuscript critique from me!

Lent is a great time to reflect on Mary’s love for us and for Jesus as He went to death on the cross for our sake. In Emily’s entry, we hear about modern mothers’ love. Read her entry on the contest page here.

Picture Book manuscript critique from me, Theresa Kiser

Find out more about my manuscript critiques here.

Congratulations to Susan E. Schipper, you have won a copy of Kristina Lahr’s picture book, Candle’s Great Feast!

Susan’s love for teaching children about God’s love come through in her entry about giving and sacrifice. Check out her entry on the contest page.

Candle’s Great Feast by Kristina Lahr

The candle in the deepest, darkest corner of the candle shop longs for more than matching tablecloths. He wants to light a feast, the greatest feast. His dream comes true at his first Catholic Mass.

Learn more about this book on the Catholic Kidlit podcast.


NOTE: If you have won a manuscript critique, please reach out to the author/editor assigned to arrange your critique. If you have won a book (Hi Susan!) then I’ll be working to arrange shipment with you and the author (Hi Kristina!) 😀

Thanks for Participating!

Huge congratulations again to our winners–thank you for participating, and I hope to see you again next year! Also, big thanks again to the authors who have sponsored this contest; it wouldn’t be possible without you!

I wish you all well in all your writing and wish you a blessed Holy Week!

Want to learn more about Arthur the Clumsy Altar Server?

Read about it and pre-order here, coming Fall of 2022.

Pre-order is now available

About Theresa Kiser

I’m Theresa Kiser, a speaker and award-winning children’s book author of the Arthur the Clumsy Altar Server Series (coming 2022), and the board books Seven Gifts of Baptism and A Little Catholic’s Book of Liturgical Colors and the fantasy adventure series The Manakor Chronicles. I love supporting other writers through workshops, writing contests, manuscript critiques, and one-on-one coaching. On a rare moment when I’m not writing or changing diapers, I might indulge in fruity teas, dark chocolate, and a good book.

Let’s nourish hope & love in young hearts…through books!

Submit your story below in the comments to enter! Good luck! 🙂

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