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  • Writer's pictureLittle Thoughts Press

Winners of the From Trash to Treasure Kidlit Poetry Contest!


Thank you to everyone who participated in our

1st Annual “From Trash to Treasure” Kidlit Poetry Contest!

We were absolutely blown away by the quality of your entries.

You all made it so hard to choose!

We are thrilled to announce our WINNER...

drawing of a cartoon raccoon against a starry sky
artwork by Little Thoughts Press cover artist, Rachael Harbert


If I could fit inside a keyhole, one thing I would do:

We’d never have to search for keys—I’d somersault right through!

But soon as I was on the floor, I’d notice something sad:

Being small helped me get in, but didn’t help my dad!

Congratulations, Sara!

Your poem packed so much fun and imagination into a small package and left us somersaulting with joy!

Here are more of our thoughts on this winning piece:

Claire: The image of a kid shrunk down to keyhole size is so fun and clever! I love somersault as a word choice in this piece because it provides such vivid, active imagery, as opposed to walking or even jumping through the keyhole. Smart, specific choices like that are so important in a short poem where you want every line to have a strong impact.

Carrie: "If I could fit inside a keyhole..." - The opening immediately captured my imagination and set my portal fantasy wheels spinning. What would happen if a kid could fit through a keyhole? Putting the imaginative and humorous premise together with a fun "read-aloud" rhythm turned this piece into a top entry for me.

There were so many wonderful entries to choose from that we couldn't settle on just two Honorable Mentions, so please join us in congratulating our three HONORABLE MENTIONS...


The Most Excellent Meals If I was in charge of the meals at our house We'd start all our dinners with pie Pretzels for breakfast and playdough for lunch But veggies? We'd kiss those goodbye!

Claire: This poem is fun and has tons of kid appeal, while at the same time, as the parent of a picky eater, it had me laughing as well. The vegetable struggle is real! I really enjoyed the combination of universally-loved sweets and snacks in pie and pretzels with the very kid-specific food item of playdough. That cracked me up! It can be hard to create a tight, complete piece in just a few lines, but this poem was a well-rounded, truly satisfying bite!

Carrie: I loved this piece's playfulness and appeal to kids and adults alike. Because, really, who doesn't love pie? The little zig-zag into absurdity with "playdough for lunch," as well as the contrast of the formality of the title with the silliness of the verse, added to the fun. It's a nice reminder that kidlit doesn't always need a lesson or a more profound message snuck in like those much-maligned veggies on a kid's plate.


Hunting Seal A shadow shifts above, diving downward into murky water churned by storms. Vibrations shiver whiskers, leading the way to prey.

Claire: I love how much tension is built in just five short lines! The shadowy nature of the seal is nicely reinforced by describing the water as murky and churned by storms and the use of shiver for the whiskers pushes the reader into a heightened awareness. This poem is packed with information and the structure mimicking a seal diving downward is a really nice touch.

Carrie: With its active verbs and well-chosen use of alliteration, all tightly packaged into five lines that form the shape of a seal diving – this little poem was a delight. I can easily see it as a part of a nonfiction or information picture book told in verse.


KITES memories of kites and sunny seaside holidays take flight in the sunshine, only to return fluttering back into view with the snowflakes by J.M.

Claire: Not only is it cleverly shaped like a kite, but the language has a soft, drifting quality that also reminds me of kites in the sky. The imagery is strong throughout and I can picture this poem so clearly—the kites and the sunshine coming into view against the backdrop of a snowy day. This is such a tranquil poem. Reading it made me feel calm and at peace.

Carrie: I always appreciate and admire the creativity that limitations can bring to a writer's work. Creating a kite-shaped haiku was a double challenge, and Jenny made the most of it! I enjoyed the vivid imagery and the layers of seasons, memories, and nostalgia that she packed into twenty-two words.

And as a treat, my six-year-old represented young readers by selecting his favorite.

The winner of our KID CHOICE is...


Foodle for Poodles poodles eat oodles of noodles, it's true there's no better way to get rid of the flu it cures their ills much quicker than pills and next thing you know they're back chewing your shoe

Ben, on why he chose Foodle for Poodles: "I just think it’s super funny! I really like the first line. It’s so good."

Congratulations to Andy, and shoutout to our two runners-up for Kid Choice:

Julie Hauswirth

Baby brother? No thank you, Mom! I'm trying my best to keep calm. I guess I'll rejoice This disastrous choice With a welcome home gift: GLITTER BOMB!

"I especially like the glitter bomb at the end. I think that’s funny.”


Sharon Korzelius

Field Trip Bunnies take the backseat, flamingoes fill the front. Rhinos rest upon the roof, turtles climb into the trunk. Weasel's ready at the wheel for adventure to ensue. Today they're all visiting wild humans at the zoo!

"I like that there are animals. Plus I think it’s funny that animals are going on a field trip to see live humans when it’s supposed to be the opposite.”

Congratulations to all our winners! Please message @LTPmag on Twitter or email me at littlethoughtspress at gmail to claim your copy of a past issue and coordinate shipping. Thank you again to everyone who participated. We loved seeing the treasures you created and we hope you'll join in when we do this again next year! In the meantime, we are open for submissions until September 15th for our Fantastical Fall issue. We'd love to read more of your magical treasures!

1 Comment

Carrie S Fannin
Carrie S Fannin
Aug 11, 2023

Congratulations to everyone!

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