All 4th-12th graders are invited to participate in Letters About Literature Texas! Read a book or poem and write a letter. This contest opens every November. Be sure to read the submission steps (student or teacher) and official rules set by the Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
In 2019, after administering the contest for 27 years, the Library of Congress (LOC), decided to give state centers full control over their Letters About Literature programs. In Texas, we remain committed to continuing the contest at the state level using the LOC’s rubric, standards, and judging framework. Although there will not be a national prize, we will stick with our Texas tradition of awarding a $100 cash prize to first place winners in all three levels.
In 2023, thanks to the generosity of the Nora Roberts Foundation and the Texas Library and Archives Foundation, participants of the 2022-2023 contest are eligible for enhanced cash prizes. Each winner’s school library will receive a $200 stipend! View the details for cash prizes for students and libraries.
Our contest opens every fall for submissions. We will update the 2022 submission details in November. Please see the rest of the website as a guideline to how the program operates.
LETTERS ABOUT LITERATURE
Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for 4th-12th graders under the direction of the Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
In 2023, Texas winners and libraries in all three levels receive cash prizes. View the details for cash prizes for students and libraries. First place winners will be honored at the 2023 Texas Library Association Conference.
See this printable handout as a frame of reference for key information.
HOW TO ENTER:
There are three categories for contestants:
Level 1 - Grades 4-6
Level 2 - Grades 7-8
Level 3 - Grades 9-12
READ - Select a fiction or nonfiction book, book series, essay, play, poem, short story, or speech you have read that you feel strongly about. (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 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 and 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’s work influenced you.
WRITE - Type your entry in letter format. All submitted letters must be typed.
SUBMIT - Upload your letter to the new online submission platform. Be sure to read the submission steps (student or teacher) and official rules set by the Texas Center for the Book at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. A permission form is required for all student participants who will be younger than 13 years of age on November 4, 2022. Plan to make sure entries are submitted by December 17, 2022, 5:00 p.m. (Central).
Need some tips to get started? Not sure how to write a personal letter? Click the Letters About Literature page to read winning letters from past contests and to access the Letters About Literature Teaching Guide (PDF).
Here are the complete Rules and Guidelines for 2021-2022 web page.