[kids-lib] Letters About Literature Has Begun => Reading & Writing Contest for 4th - 12th Graders

Jennifer Maurer jennifer.maurer at state.or.us
Wed Oct 14 17:49:00 PDT 2015

[Letters Logo.png]

Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing contest sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (LOC), the Dollar General Literacy Foundation<http://www2.dollargeneral.com/dgliteracy/Pages/index.aspx> (new!), and in Oregon by Willamette Writers (new!). 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 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. Oregon's three winners - one from each competition level - will go on to compete nationally. Last year Oregon’s own Heather DesChamp was a National Honor Award recipient!

Entry forms and guidelines are available on the Willamette Writers<http://willamettewriters.com/letters-about-literature/> and the State Library<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/youthsvcs/aboutlit.aspx>’s websites. All high school (Level III) entries must be postmarked by December 4, 2015 and elementary and middle school (Levels I and II) entries by January 11, 2016.

Thanks to these groups whose sponsorship makes local prizes possible: Oregon Reading Association and three divisions of the Oregon Library Association: Oregon Association of School Libraries, Children's Services Division, and Oregon Young Adult Network.

Thanks to you for passing along the information and encouraging participation. Those with questions about Letters About Literature should contact Blythe Ayne<mailto:awards at willamettewriters.com> at Willamette Writers.



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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