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For Students - Instructions for Submitting Your Entry

Polish up your reflective writing skills and write a letter to an author—living or dead—explaining how his or her work changed your view of yourself or the world.

ENTER ONE OF THESE THREE COMPETITION LEVELS:  

Level 1 - Grades 4 - 6   
Level 2 - Grades 7 - 8
Level 3 - Grades 9 - 12

Video Guides

  • A video walkthrough of the online submission process for students, teachers and parents is embedded in the instructions section of each online submission form and is also available at this link: https://youtu.be/Zh_KPpIM9mk.
     
  • Watch the video series for guidance on participating in Letters About Literature and writing your letter. These videos are great resources for reader/writers and contain many valuable tips about writing your letter. Watch here. Please note that these videos were created by the Library of Congress and remain online at their discretion. The Library of Congress may relocate or remove these videos at any time.

HOW TO ENTER IN 10 EASY STEPS!

  1. Select a fiction or nonfiction book, book series, short story, poem, play, essay or speech (excluding song lyrics) that you have read and about which you have strong feelings.
     
  2. Imagine sitting down with the author of this work and sharing your personal thoughts. Your letter should be personal and sincere, more like a private conversation rather than book report or a fan letter.
     
  3. Share specific details both about the book and about your reaction to the book. Write honestly and from your own perspective.
     
  4. Keep in mind that this is a reflective writing contest. Think about what you read and the meaning you gleaned from the author’s words.
     
  5. Type your letter, which must use at least 400 words and no more than 800 words.
     
  6. Make sure your letter includes a date, greeting, body, closing and your name or signature. Please do not include a return address on your letter. Note: All letter elements are included in the total word count.
     
  7. Read the official rules and find submission details and your state-specific deadline by selecting your state from the drop-down menu above.
     
  8. If you are younger than the age of 13 (as of November 4, 2019), you must obtain and upload a permission form hand-signed by a parent or legal guardian to be eligible for entry (download permission form here).
     
  9. Submit your typed letter via the Letters About Literature online submission platform at texasstatelibrary.submittable.com. You can upload your letter as a PDF or Word document, or you can type your letter directly into the submission form.
     
  10. Remember to complete all required information fields on the entry form before submitting your letter online.

STUDENTS & PARENTS: HOW TO SUBMIT AN ENTRY ONLINE

  1. Use this online entry form. (Open on November 4, 2019)
     
  2. Create your account / Have an account? Sign in.
     
  3. If you don't have a Submittable account, create a free account by filling out the Create your account form.
     
  4. Click the Create Account and Continue button to continue with the Letters About Literature submission process.
     
  5. Read the full submission instructions, including the 2019-2020 Letters about Literature Texas official rules, before you complete your entry.
     
  6. Enter your address and contact information before clicking Save Address and Continue.
     
  7. On the submission page, under “Who is submitting this form?”, choose “a student” or “a parent,” as appropriate.
     
  8. Complete all required fields for submission, upload or type your letter entry, and click Submit.
    • If you are younger than the age of 13 before November 4, 2019, you will be prompted to pause, save your progress and upload a scanned pdf or image of a hand-signed parent permission form. This form is required.
       
  9. You will receive an email confirming your entry.
     
  10. Congratulations! You have successfully submitted to the 2019-2020 Letters About Literature contest.

For further submission details or questions, please consult the FAQ.

Page last modified: March 11, 2020