[kids-lib] Letters About Literature => Oregon Entries Due 12/9

Jennifer Maurer jennifer.maurer at state.or.us
Wed Nov 29 18:26:01 PST 2017

Friendly reminder (Please pardon the cross-posting.)

From: Kids-lib [mailto:kids-lib-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Jennifer Maurer
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2017 12:44 PM
To: kids-lib at listsmart.osl.state.or.us<mailto:kids-lib at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
Subject: [kids-lib] Letters About Literature => How Oregon Students Can Participate

Please pardon the cross-posting.


Some of you have asked whether or not Oregon students can still participate in Letters About Literature (LAL). I have a short answer and a long one.

Short Answer:

Yes, Oregon 4th – 12th graders can participate. Letters for all age groups must be received at the Library of Congress by December 9, 2017. Here’s the entry form: http://www.read.gov/letters/states-list.html#oregon.

Long Answer:

Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing contest sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (LOC). Students in 4th – 12th grades write a letter to any author explaining how that author's book changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves.

The LOC asks teachers 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.

The official entry form with guidelines is available on the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress website: http://www.read.gov/letters/states-list.html#oregon. All entries must be received at the Library of Congress by December 9, 2017.

In the past for Oregon, letters that made it through two rounds of judging at the national level were sent to the State Library where staff coordinated local judging. Top letters for each competition level were selected -- winner, runner-up, and honorable mentions. Winning letters were then sent back to the LOC to compete for recognition at the national level. Then the State Library hosted a celebration to recognize all of the students with top letters in Oregon. Since the State Library no longer coordinates LAL in Oregon and since Willamette Writers has not been able to do it after all, there will be no local judging and no local celebration. Instead, staff at the LOC will judge entries from Oregon students to determine the one letter for each age category that will represent Oregon in the final round of judging to select national winners.

You are welcome to participate as a library activity or to encourage teachers to participate with their classes.

Those with questions about this year’s Letters About Literature program may contact Kathy McGuigan at the LOC: http://www.read.gov/letters/contact.html.


Jen Maurer, MLS
School Library Consultant
jennifer.maurer at state.or.us<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us> | 503-378-5011 | www.oregon.gov/osl/ld<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/ld>
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