BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana announces the annual Letters About Literature contest, a Library of Congress national reading and writing competition for students in grades 4-12 and coordinated in state by the Louisiana Center. To enter the contest, a student writes a personal letter to an author, living or deceased, explaining how the author’s book, poem, play, or speech changed the student’s view of the world or self.
Students may enter online at www.read.gov/letters through their school or local libraries, or on their own, in one of three competition levels: Level 1 for grades 4-6, Level 2 for grades 7-8, or Level 3 for grades 9-12.
The national Letters About Literature team selects finalists for Louisiana in each competition level; then, the state winners are chosen by a panel of judges including teachers and librarians from throughout the state. Louisiana winners receive $100 for first place, $75 for second place, and $50 for third place. The winners are honored at the Louisiana Book Festival. First place winning letters are submitted to the Library of Congress for the national competition with the chance of winning up to $1,000.
Letters must be submitted directly to the Library of Congress by January 11, 2019. Official rules, a call for student letters, and a video series guide for participating may be found at www.read.gov/letters, as well as teacher resources with lesson plans and instructions for submitting letters as a group.
The 2018-2019 Letters About Literature contest is made possible through a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations.
In Louisiana, the contest is made possible by the Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana with the assistance of the Louisiana Writing Project and the Louisiana Library and Book Festival Foundation. Funding for prizes is provided by a Library of Congress grant.