By Susan Gale
Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing contest for grades 4-12, sponsored by the Library of Congress and locally supported by the Rhode Island Center for the Book at The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities. For Rhode Island, the deadline for this year’s contest is January 11, 2019.
Students are asked to read a fiction or nonfiction book, book series, short story, poem, essay, or speech (excluding song lyrics) and write to the author (living or dead) about how the work affected them personally – how it inspired them and helped to change their personal view of themselves or the world.
Letters are judged on state and national levels. Rhode Island students join 70,000 correspondents from across the nation in writing to authors who have made an impact on their lives. Winners receive national recognition and prizes.
By encouraging personal reader response and reflective writing, Letters About Literature supports meaningful reading and helps to create and celebrate successful writers. Directions and guidelines can be found here. Students can visit here for instructions and video guides. Teachers can visit here for instructions on submitting multiple entries on behalf of students.
Rhode Island Center for the Book is a statewide organization devoted to promoting personal and community enrichment by celebrating the art and heritage of reading, writing, making, and sharing books. Founded in 2003, the RI Center for the Book is the state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and resides at The Pell Center at Salve Regina University.
The Rhode Island Center for the Book at The Rhode Island Council for the Humanities honored the 2018 Letters About Literature awards recipients at ceremonies across the state. In 2018, more than 264 Rhode Island students entered the contest. Below are 2018’s state winners.
The 2019 Letters About Literature contest for young readers is made possible by a grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations.
Susan Gale is the owner of Gale Force Communications which publishes Kidoinfo.com.