Students Await Results of 2013 Letters About Literature Contest
Iowa students and teachers responded with enthusiasm to the national reading/writing program Letters About Literature sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Iowa Center for the Book.
“We’re excited to enter our letters for the first time! We are the T team of Stilwell Junior High in West Des Moines, Iowa. We are the Tigers…the T-I-G-E-R-S. Just as we are the first team in our school’s line up, we want to be the first to go on to the next round! Thank you for this chance to stretch ourselves as readers, writers and thinkers.” Signed the T team!
Iowa students submitted 1,384 entries to this year's contest – 408 in Level I (grades 4-6), 787 in Level II (grades 7-8) and 139 in Level III (grades 9-10). All entries were read by the national Letters About Literature office at least twice. Now the semi-finalist entries are in the hands of nine Iowa judges.
"The middle grades (Level 2) have the greatest concentration of participants. More than half of our entries came from these children," noted Robin Martin, Coordinator of the Iowa Center for the Book. Letters are judged in three areas:
Does the letter address how the work changed his/her world view or self? Are there specific, concrete examples, anecdotes, quotes, relevant to the reader’s response to the book?
Is the letter organized and coherent? Does it hook the reader immediately? Is it a dialogue with the author, not a summary of plot? Is the writer’s prose grammatically correct?
Does the letter exhibit originality of expression? Use metaphor or imagery to make points? Is word choice vivid and appropriate, intended to communicate, not to impress?
The deadline for announcing Iowa's winners is April 1, 2013. National winners will be announced mid-April. A celebration of Iowa winners will be held May 4, 2012 at the Des Moines Public Library. The Guest Speaker will be award-winning Iowa children's author Delia Ray Howard.
Stay tuned as we work through our selection process. Read more about LAL in Iowa.