Austin, TX – The Texas Center for the Book has announced the winners of the 2022-2023 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 program. First place winners will be honored at the 2023 Texas Library Association Conference in Austin and will receive travel assistance. Thanks to the generosity of the Nora Roberts Foundation and the Texas Library and Archives Foundation, all winners receive enhanced cash prizes and their school library will receive a $200 stipend.
Level 1 (Grades 4-6)
First place: Julia Rogers of Addison, the Greenhill School
wrote to Sharon Draper, author of Out of My Mind
Second place: Daniel Hu of Sugar Land, Sartartia Middle School
wrote to Lisa McMann, author of The Unwanteds
Third place: Aria Fan of Austin, Canyon Vista Middle School
wrote to Pam Ryan, author of Esperanza Rising
Level 2 (Grades 7-8)
First place: Tristan Sun of Dallas, Highland Park Middle School
wrote to Michelle Zauner, author of Crying in H Mart
Second place: Lucas Liu of Sugar Land, Sartartia Middle School
wrote to Neal Schusterman, author of The Schwa Was Here
Third place: Serena Liu of Dallas, Highland Park Middle School
wrote to Lauren Wolk, author of Beyond the Bright Sea
Level 3 (Grades 9-12)
First place: Destiny Nieves of Princeton, Princeton High School
wrote to John Green, author of Turtles All the Way Down
Second place: Ethan Liaw of Sugar Land, William P. Clements High School
wrote to Benjamin Hoff, author of The Tao of Pooh
Third place: Lewis Reid of Grand Prairie, Frontier STEM Academy
wrote to Amanda Gorman, author of The Hill We Climb
“I want to thank each and every Texas student who participated in this year’s Letters About Literature program,” said Gloria Meraz, TSLAC Director and Librarian. “All our letter writers demonstrated their appreciation for literature, and I congratulate the librarians, teachers, and parents who supported them. Of course, I want to applaud our winners in each of the categories for their outstanding work and writing. Congratulations to them all—their letters are wonderful and truly convey the power of the written word.”
The winning letters are published on the TSLAC website at www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature. Winners are encouraged to share the link, as well as to reach out directly to the author and publisher.
One of 50 state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Texas Center for the Book is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and partners with library professionals, educators, authors, publishers and booksellers for a shared mission of promoting a love of literature to the more than 26 million residents of the Lone Star State. For more information contact Rebekah Manley at (512) 936-2505 or visit tsl.texas.gov/centerforthebook.
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 www.tsl.texas.gov.