Kids Write 4 Kids

The Positive Impacts of The Kids Write 4 Kids Contest: My Personal Experience

July 15, 2021 By
Mya Barnett, winner of the Kids Write 4 Kids Contest, poses with her newly-published book, The Big Red Balloon.

My name is Mya Barnett, and I’m a previous Kids Write 4 Kids contest winner! I won in 2016 when I was 12 years old in sixth grade, and I’m writing to you today as a 17-year-old and a junior in high school. It was such a privilege to have my writing acknowledged and appreciated by an organization like the Ripple Foundation. To win their contest was a huge accomplishment that gave me further confidence in my writing, motivating me to keep creating and developing my own style.

I still remember how cool it felt to hold my own, illustrated, published book in my hands and how it was so weird to think I had created something tangible that started as just an idea. 

Since winning the Kids Write 4 Kids contest, I have volunteered with the Ripple Foundation and have been able to connect with my community through reading festivals, advocating for youth creativity, learning, and literacy. I’ve always had a passion for writing, creating, and poetry and the Kids Write 4 Kids contest was my first opportunity to have my work recognized and published, especially at such a young age. For that, I am extremely grateful and wanted to offer some advice to the future authors and creators entering the contest. Above all, don’t feel discouraged if you don’t win on your first submission, because I actually won on my second submission! I was first introduced to the Kids Write 4 Kids contest by my fifth grade teacher, who encouraged me to enter the contest in 2015, and I came in third place. Rather than getting discouraged, I took the opportunity to learn and improve my writing, while recognizing I was still eligible to enter the following year. When the time came for me to enter again, I was more confident than ever in my writing and worked hard making sure what I was submitting was my best. That June, I was delighted to hear that I had won the contest, thankful that I didn’t doubt myself or give up. When it comes to the creative process, don’t force it, don’t overthink anything, try focusing on the big picture and take some alone time to think deeper while brainstorming ideas. Find inspiration in the people and places around you, anything big or small can ignite an idea, for me it was a simple, big, red balloon that sparked the beginning of my story. 

Working with the Ripple Foundation has left an everlasting and positive impact on me as a writer, a student, and a person. I encourage all students to take advantage of the mentoring, guidance, and opportunities the Ripple Foundation has to offer, starting with the Kids Write 4 Kids contest of course. Ultimately, my writing journey has taught me to embrace my unique experiences that help me learn and grow as a creator and author. Keep trying, strive to be creative, pursue your passions unapologetically, and never doubt your potential or capabilities to create something amazing. 

About the Author

Mya Barnett: Mya is a grade 11 student from Nova Scotia, whose hobbies include going on adventures with friends, spending time with family, and all forms of creating. From video media and photography to painting and writing, her passion in life is to express herself, her experiences, and her perspective on life through art. She hopes to pursue a career in entrepreneurship, social media, and law in the future.