Letters About Literature Illinois Center for the Book
Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing contest for students sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in cooperation with the Illinois Center for the Book and other participating state centers for the book. More than one million students have participated in the Library of Congress Letters About Literature contest since it began 25 years ago.
The program invites 4th–12th grade students to read a book of their choice, reflect on it and write a letter to the author explaining how the book changed their life of view of the world. Students can enter Letters About Literature on their own or through their schools, libraries or youth organizations.
The are three levels of participation:
- Level I: Grades 4–6
- Level II: Grades 7–8
- Level III: Grades 9–12
One Illinois winner is selected for each level and receives a $200 cash award. Teachers of the winning students also receive $100 to purchase materials for their school library. Additionally, the state winners' letters advance to the national competition. National winners for each of the three competition levels receive $1,000, and national honor winners for each level receive $200.
2018 Contest Information and Resources:
The program is currently in the judging phase. The deadline to enter was December 9, 2017. State winners will be formally announced in May 2018.
- Guidelines and Entry Coupon | Informational Video
- Illinois Secretary of State Press Release Urging Participation in Letters About Literature
- Letters About Literature Supports Common Core State Standards
- Letters About Literature Supports National Language Arts and Reading Standards
- National Letters About Literature Website
- Teaching Guide
2017 Illinois Winners
- Level I, Grades 4-6: Veronica Regelbrugge of Sugar Grove wrote to author Wendy Mass about her book, A Mango Shaped Space. Veronica is a student at Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove, and her letter was submitted by teacher Ann Ritchie.
- Level II, Grades 7-8: Josie Arnold of Mettawa wrote to author Jennifer Niven about her book, All the Bright Places. Josie attends Quest Academy in Palatine, and her letter was submitted by teacher Jen Fabsik.
- Level III, Grades 9-12: Keeley Logsdon of Petersburg wrote to Kathryn Stockett about her book, The Help. Keeley attends PORTA High School in Petersburg, and her letter was submitted by teacher Pat Marshall.
- Secretary of State Press Release Announcing Illinois Winners
- Winning Letters