Writing Competition

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Trailblazer Committee is delighted to announce the winners of its 2024 Writing Competition.  Texas-area fourth graders were invited to submit either a poem or an essay, using the prompt, “My Magical Rodeo Garden”.

Each entry was judged by committee volunteers in two, double blind rounds on the following criteria:  Ideas, Organization, Voice, Sentence Fluency, Conventions and Presentations.

Following the committee judging. the top entries were reviewed by an education panel to confirm they met all criteria for the competition. The final round of judging was conducted by a panel of celebrity judges including:  Kristen Bird, suspense/mystery novelist, and high school teacher in Houston, TX; Valerie Koehler, owner of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, TX; Cathey Nickell children’s book author in Bellaire, TX; April Lopez, children’s book author and baker in Diboll, Texas; April M. Salazar children’s book author and podcaster, in Houston, TX; and Trent Wilmon, Texas born singer-songwriter and CMA award-winning producer.

Hats off to our judges and volunteers and most importantly to our Texas student authors on a job well done!

2024 Winners


1st Place – Jordan Kinsler, Kilpatrick Elementary –
Katy, Texas

2nd Place – Blaire Andel, Newgulf Elementary –
Boling, Texas

3rd Place – Soham Joshi, Commonwealth Elementary –
Sugar Land, Texas


1st Place – Kennedy Standridge, Bush Elementary –
The Woodlands, Texas

2nd Place – Lyndsay Crisp, Karrer Campus –
Marion, Texas

3rd Place – Eyan Hernandez, Williamson Elementary –
Houston, Texas


Essay – Jaden Leihsing, Johnson Ranch Elementary –
Bulverde, Texas

Poetry – Grady Foret, Warren Elementary
Warren, Texas

Read the essays and poems here.


Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
NRG Center
3 NRG Park
Houston, Texas 77054

Email: [email protected]