Austin, TX – The Texas Center for the Book has announced the winners of the 2021-2022 Letters About Literature Texas contest, a statewide event sponsored by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation. This annual competition invites 4th through 12th grade students to write letters to authors—living or dead—about how that writer’s words affected them or changed their worldview.
Hundreds of Texas students selected a book, book series, essay, play, poem, short story or speech that touched their lives and submitted their letters to the author this year. First place winners across three competition levels receive a $100 cash prize and will be honored at the 2022 Texas Library Association Conference.
Level 1 (Grades 4-6)
- Alexandra Akins of Austin wrote to Wilson Rawls
Book title: Where the Red Fern Grows
- Arhaan V Iyer of Addison wrote to Jordan Romero
Book title: No Summit Out Of Sight
- Josie Selfridge of Addison wrote to Shel Silverstein
Book title: The Giving Tree
Level 2 (Grades 7-8)
- Kaden Rice of Dallas wrote to Robin Benway
Book title: Far from the Tree
- Elaine Carté-Engel of Dallas wrote to Pam Muñoz Ryan
Book title: Echo
- Emma Ton of Austin wrote to William Kamkwamba
Book title: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Level 3 (Grades 9-12)
- Shamika Agrawal of Austin wrote to Anuradha D. Rajurkar
Book title: American Betiya
- Emily Hoang of Pasadena wrote to Rick Riordan
Book series: Heroes of Olympus
- Frida Gonzalez of Pasadena wrote to J.K. Rowling
Book series: Harry Potter
“Congratulations to this year’s deserving winners and runners-up! Thank you to all the students who submitted their letters, as well as the librarians, teachers and parents who encouraged their reading interests and participation in this contest,” said Gloria Meraz, TSLAC Director and Librarian. “We are so honored to organize the Letters About Literature Texas contest each year to encourage students to read closely, think critically and express themselves through writing. We are especially excited to hold the awards ceremony again this year at the TLA Conference.”
The winning 2022 letters are published on the TSLAC website (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature), and all students are encouraged to share the link, as well as to reach out directly to the author and publisher. This contest is made possible with the support of the Texas Library and Archives Foundation. To learn more about the foundation's work, visit their website at https://www.txlaf.org.
Established in 1987, the Texas Center for the Book seeks to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy and libraries. The Center builds partnerships with library professionals, educators, authors, publishers and booksellers who provide support to our shared mission of promoting a love of literature throughout the Lone Star State. The Texas Center for the Book is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at the Lorenzo De Zavala State Archives and Library Building in Austin, Texas.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic, and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit tsl.texas.gov.