Letters About Literature Deadline is January 11, 2013
Letters About Literature is a national reading-writing program sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Iowa Center for the Book is the Iowa sponsor.
To enter, students in grades 4 through 10 write a letter to an author explaining how that author’s work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves. Readers respond to the work they have read by exploring the personal relationship between themselves, the author, and the book's characters or themes.
Letters can be written about works from any genre, fiction or nonfiction by authors from the present or the past. Students can write about a book, short story, poem, or speech. But no matter what the subject of the work is, the letter should show the impact it had on the student.
There are three competition levels:
- Level 1 for students in grades 4 through 6
- Level 2 for students in grades 7 and 8
- Level 3 for students in grades 9 and 10.
All letters are submitted to the national Letters About Literature office. Letters from all participating states are read by national judges. Semifinalists' letters are returned to the state sponsors. In Iowa, a panel of judges for each competition level reads the semifinalists' letters and chooses first, second, and third place winners and three honorable mentions.
Entries must be submitted to the national office in early January. Iowa winners are announced in March; national winners are announced in April. Prizes are given at both the state and national levels.