The happyly Kids Writing Contest

Published on April 08, 2020 - Updated on April 21, 2020

What Makes My City or Hometown Special?


It’s amazing how times of crisis lead us to consider what’s really important. As we have more time to listen intently to our children, what they miss about the world before social distancing often comes up. Surprisingly, it is most often the little things they appreciate about their hometown. It’s not the big vacation or that special big ticket event we did once or twice, it’s their favorite playground, hike or restaurant. It’s the everyday things that they love.

The contest, devised to celebrate positivity, will reconnect them with what they value  about their hometown. Despite the fact that they can’t physically experience everything their area has to offer right now, they can travel wherever they want through descriptive journeys on paper (parents can act as scribes for non-writing children). 

A fun challenge, it is designed to promote the advancement of children's literacy and creativity and nurture a spirit of gratitude and connection. Please let their imaginations run free. Encourage them to convince the judges that when physical distancing is a thing of the past, your hometown is the first place we want to go because of the wonderful people and places that call it home!

A happyly Writing Contest.jpg

Essay Description: Write a letter to the places, activities or restaurants that you love in your town or city and describe why you are thankful for them, and what makes them unique and special in your eyes.

Prizes: Three winners will be announced in each age category on May 31st. The first prize winners will be awarded $50 Amazon gift cards. Second and third place entrants will each earn $25 Amazon gift cards. Two age categories are preschoolers - 2nd graders and 3rd - 6th graders.


  1. Non-writers may dictate their essay to a parent or sibling to type out or write legibly for them.
  2. Writers may type or write out their entries. Please enter written out as well as illustrated materials by scanning the document or attaching clear photographs to emails sent to
  3. Please use only one side of the paper for both letters and artwork.
  4. Entries posted on Instagram @gethappyly are also welcome. 
  5. Entrants should be in sixth grade or below. 
  6. Responses for Preschoolers, K, 1st and 2nd graders should be a minimum of 50 and a maximum of 300 words. The letters for 3rd - 6th graders should be at least 100 words, but no more than 500. 
  7. As long as the meaning is clear, invented spelling will be accepted!
  8. Bonus points will be awarded for illustrations and short stories about why your favorite places are so special. (Scanned or clearly photographed).
  9. Submission constitutes permission from parents and guardians for happyly to use the child’s first name, created content (words or pictures) information, and materials without further compensation or permission.
  10. By entering, the entering child and parents or guardians agree and promise that their child’s entry is original and a single author work, (no co-authors).
  11. Be sure to complete and include the entry form with your work.

We can’t wait to see your child’s amazing creativity at work!

Stay healthy and safe,

The happyly Team

Also, please take a moment to explore this week’s happyly Survival Toolbox, including a Daily Schedule designed to create positive days at home with your family. As always, we welcome your family's highlights! Tag us on Instagram @gethappyly!

Thoughtfully captured by:
Randi Banks
Randi (Betts) Banks grew up in New York and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She moved to Washington, D.C. more than thirteen years ago with her husband, Eaghmon, and they love to explore the area and seek out adventure, now with their two young children along for the ride. Growing up right near the beach, they are happiest when on or near the water, so exploring the rivers, lakes, and streams in the greater DC area is a favorite pastime for their family. In addition to serving as one of the Washington, DC area ambassadors, Randi is also the Editor in Chief and Co-founder of happyly.
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