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Has a book brought you to laughter, tears or changed your life? Write a letter to the author. See the 2017 Winners!

Letters About Literature is a reading/writing contest for 4th-12th graders under the direction of the Library of Congress.

State winners receive $100 and a trip to the Texas Library Association Conference. National winners receive $1,000 and travel assistance to the National Book Festival in Washington D.C.

Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. See this 2016 printable handout as a frame of reference for key dates.




A chalkboard graphic with the text in chalk style saying Read. Be inspired. Write back. Theme: how did an author's work change your view of the world or yourself?


COMPETITION LEVELS:   Level 1 - Grades 4-6.    Level 2 - Grades 7-8.    Level 3 - Grades 9-12.

READ - Select a fiction or nonfiction book, a poem or play you have read and about which you have strong feelings. (Sorry, no song lyrics!) It might be a book that helped you through a difficult time or it might be a book that simply touched your heart or inspired you.

REFLECT - Think before you write. How did this author’s work change you or your view of the world? How do you know it did? How and why are you different now than you were before you read this work?

PERSUADE - Write a personal letter to the author, stating how reading his or her work changed you. Be personal but also persuasive! Support your ideas with specific details, including details from the work itself. This is not a fan letter but rather a reflection on how an author influenced you.

WRITE - Type your entry in letter format – do not send handwritten letters. Your name and complete return address (either school or home) must appear in the upper right corner of the first page of the letter.

SEND - Mail your letter with the required entry coupon by the deadline date.

Need some tips to get started? Not sure how towrite a personal letter? Visit Letters About Literature website to read winning letters from past competitions and to access the Letters About Literature Teaching Guide (PDF).

Here are the complete Rules and Guidelines (PDF).

                                                      Deadlines: Dec. 2 2016 for level 3 grades 9 - 12, Jan. 9  2017 for level 2 grades 7 - 8, Jan. 9 2017 for level 3 grades 4 - 6


For full contest information, including assessment criteria, awards, and how to submit letters and entry coupon, read this PDF file or view this text file.

Mail, complete with letter and entry coupon to: 
Letters About Literature 
Competition Level (Indicate level 1, 2 or 3 on the envelope) 
C. Gourley, Project Manager 
81 Oliver Street 
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705
Page last modified: April 4, 2017