[kids-lib] Letters About Literature Contest Has Begun; Two Deadlines This Year

Jennifer Maurer jennifer.maurer at state.or.us
Fri Sep 13 17:18:22 PDT 2013


Please pardon the cross-posting.

Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing contest sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (LOC) and by Oregon's equivalent at the State Library. Students write letters to any author explaining how that author's book changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves. Please help promote this program, including among homeschoolers.

The LOC asks teachers/parents to allow students to choose a book that is meaningful to them and asks students to explain *why* or *how* the book was significant to them instead of summarizing the plot. The focus of a participant's letter is to make clear the connection one has with a book.

Here's what Lynette Gottlieb, a teacher in Corvallis, had to say about the contest:
Letters about Literature was a completely positive experience for my students...importantly, some of my students who do not identify as writers, and do not generally enjoy the experience, were able to write about something meaningful to them and participate in an inclusive contest that also recognized them...the process connects them to the human experience of literature. It supports my English classroom where I give students choice about reading whenever possible and teach that literature and writing are first and foremost about communication.

There are three competition levels: Level I for 4th-6th graders, Level II for 7th-8th graders, and Level III for 9th-12th graders. Note that high school juniors and seniors may participate, which was not true last year because of national program funding limitations. Oregon's three winners - one from each competition level - will go on to compete nationally.

Entry forms and guidelines are available online at http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/aboutlit.aspx. All Level III entries must be postmarked by December 10, 2013 and Level I and Level II entries by January 10, 2014.

In 2013, about 810 students in Oregon entered the contest, and 1 in 7 received cash prizes or bookstore gift certificates. These prizes are made possible through support from the national Center for the Book, Oregon Reading Association, and three divisions of the Oregon Library Association: Oregon Association of School Libraries, Children's Services Division, and Young Adult Network.

Thanks for passing along the information and encouraging participation.


Jennifer Maurer
School Library Consultant
Oregon State Library
250 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
jennifer.maurer at state.or.us<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us>

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