Tails of Hope

pets sitting with a tails of hope title.

2023 Short Story Contest Details

UPDATE: We have extended the deadline to submit stories to Monday, July 10th at 5:00pm!

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

Join us, the Pickering Public Library, Pickering Town Centre 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.

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

Please register here to submit your story for the Tails of Hope Short Story Contest. Contest runs from May 15 - June 16, 2023. We have extended the deadline to submit stories to Monday, July 10th at 5:00pm!

We also have a Writing Workshop with local Pickering author Sue Palmer. This workshop will guide participants on tips and tricks in writing their own book. Please register here


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

HiFive Kids Dental & Braces logo                        Pickering Town Centre, opens a new window

2022 Writing Contest 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 and the Coyote, By Isabella: 5-7 years old
  • The Little Rescue, by Katelyn: 8-10 years old
  • The Tiger of the Underworld, by Erum: 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 17 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.

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

The videos below are our top 3 winners from 2021.


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