Storytelling Contest | The Topeka Zoo

Storytelling Contest

The Power of Storytelling Writing Contest

The Topeka Zoo is excited to announce a new, community-wide activity we are doing for Earth Day this year! We are going to be using the power of story-telling to connect to real-life conservation issues.

You have until Saturday, April 14th, to write a small fictional story about a real-life conservation issue. The story will be made up but the conservation issue will be real. Some common conservation issues you could write about are habitat loss, poaching, pollution, the illegal pet trade, invasive species, climate change, or disease. These do not have to be sad stories; they just simply need to raise awareness of real-life issues happening to plants, animals, or ecosystems around the world. Have fun with these stories! Give your characters names and make your audiences connect to their story so people will feel compelled to protect those animals in real life.

This will be a contest and we will have 2 age categories: under 13 and 14 and older. All stories can either be hand-written or typed. If you type it, it must be double spaced using Times New Roman 12-point font. There is a minimum length requirement of 1 page for the under 13 age group and 2 pages for the 14 and older age group; however, you can make it much longer if you’d like. This is for all ages so adults are encouraged to apply as well!

We are looking for stories that are the most impactful in terms of raising conservation awareness. The top two winners in each category will win either a painting done by one of our animals or a behind-the-scenes of their choice. However, anyone who submits a story will gain free entry into the zoo for our Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 21st, 2018. We will display every submitted story around the zoo this day and we will announce the winners on Earth Day at 2:00. The winners will be able to read their stories on Earth Day as well if they’d like.

To submit a story, simply email or drop it by the zoo. You can call 785-368-9137 with questions.

Please join the Topeka Zoo in this activity and use your voice to speak up for the voiceless threatened species around the world!


2018 Winners:

Click the titles to read the stories

Age: 13 and Under

Winner: Makayla Lebruska for “The One Red Wolf”

Winner: Fiona Stevenson for “Two Moons”


Honorable Mention: Addilyn Bruns for “Please Let Me Bee”

Honorable Mention: Connall Stevenson for “The Dalemallow Pond Mystery”

Age: 14 and Older

Winner: Lorelai Humphrey for “Shellbag”

Winner: Abbey Dunn, Madison MacElrevey, and Rachel Wilson for “Bee Colony Collapse”


Honorable Mention: Cassondra Sapata-Smith for “A Leap of Hope”

Honorable Mention: Eileen Connon, Miranda Smith, and Haley Wasserman for “Thaddeus and John: A “Tail” of Love, Loss, and a Change of Heart”