Tails of Hope


4th Annual Tails of Hope Short Story Writing Contest

The Tails of Hope Short Story Contest is back! The contest opens on Monday, May 13 and closes on Friday, July 12, 2024.

Do you have a rescued dog, cat, hamster or friendly neighbourhood squirrel that you want to share with the world?

Join us, Pickering Animal Services and HiFive Kids Dental & Braces and write a story about your furry friend. If you don't have a furry friend, that's okay, use your imagination and create an animal related story of your own. Select stories will be professionally published with one copy going to the child, and another becoming part of a permanent collection that will be used at the library and future animal related programming. Interested children should register for the program in advance to learn more about the criteria and deadlines.

3 Age Categories

  • 5-7 yrs
  • 8-10 yrs
  • 11 - 12 yrs

Guidelines for submission: 

  • All stories must have a biography of the author.
  • Images must have no watermarks.
  • Only emailed stories will be accepted.
  • Please do not submit cellphone pictures of your story for quality purposes.

Not sure where to start? Here is what you need to know!

Before submitting your story make sure your story has the following:

  • Cover (Title/Written by…you!)
  • Stories must be 14-20 pages long (can be pictures, drawings, cartoons…be creative!)
  • Write a dedication (to my dog Frank/for my dog Shadow)
  • Artist Bio/Self-portrait (write a line about yourself - draw a picture of yourself and your pet)
  • Each page should be 8.5 x 11
  • You have until July 12th to submit your short story

Register for the contest today: Tails of Hope Short Story Contest (5-12 yrs) | Pickering Public Library (pickeringlibrary.ca)


A big thank you to Hifive Kids Dental & Braces, opens a new window for sponsoring this initiative.

HiFive Kids Dental & Braces logo

2023 Winners

Back in May we asked our community to write a short story about their furry friend. We were thrilled to receive so many creative and high quality submissions and are happy to announce our top 3 winners, one from each age category:

  • The Turtle & The Coyote 2, by Isabella: 5-7 years old
  • Storm The Dog, by Karissa: 8-10 years old
  • The Three Fish and the Plastic Monster, by Aania: 11-12 years old

Young authors received a professionally published copy of their story and 4 large compilation books were created to highlight the top 23 entries. 2 compilation books will be in circulation at the Pickering Public Library, while 1 will remain at the Pickering Animal Shelter and at HiFive Kids Dental & Braces. We encourage the community to stop into each of the locations to read these talented authors stories.

Congratulations to all of our young authors!

Here are the top 3 stories, opens a new window, one from each age category.



2021 Winners

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