Letters about Literature

Letters about literature logo The Michigan Center for the Book and the Library of Michigan participate in the annual Letters about Literature program from the Library of Congress. This national reading-writing contest invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to write letters to authors of books that have changed their lives. This program gives students the opportunity to reflect deeply on a book. As readers, they come to understand how literature is more than assignment, but also a life changing experience.

Lois Lowry's letter perfectly describes how books affected her throughout her childhood.

2016 Entry Form & Materials


2016 Timeline:
  • Level III Deadline (Grades 9-12) - December 4, 2015 (Friday)
  • Level II Deadline (Grades 7-8) - January 11, 2016 (Monday)
  • Level I Deadline (Grades 4-6) - January 11, 2016 (Monday)

2015 RESULTS: Congratulations to our 2015 winners, finalists and semi-finalists and all the students who wrote outstanding letters about how the books they read deeply affected their lives.

  • State Level I winner (grades 4-6) - Soja Kureekkattil of Rochester Hills ($250 Letters about Literature Reading Promotion Grant to Rochester Hills Public Library), who wrote to author Malala Yousafzai about her book I Am Malala.
  • State Level II winner (grades 7-8) - Ellie Martin of Alma ($250 Letters about Literature Reading Promotion Grant to the Donald L. Pavlik Middle School), who wrote to author Jerry Spinelli about his book Star Girl.

  • State Level III winner (grades 9-12) - Rashna Soonavala of Rochester Hills ($250 Letters about Literature Reading Promotion Grant to Rochester Hills Public Library) who wrote to poet William Wordsworth about his poem I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
State Finalists
  • A. Hadley Gorsline of Saginaw – Level I
  • Henry Robinson of Saline – Level I
  • Nanami Takahashi of Novi – Level I
  • Ryan Chatterjee of Rochester Hills – Level II
  • Makena Torrey of West Bloomfield – Level II
  • Alice Erman of Imlay City – Level III
  • Rachel Pokornowski of Allegan – Level III
  • Taylor Wahl or Allegan – Level III

Nancy Hascall from Allegan High School is the 2015 Michigan Teacher of the Year.

2015 Winning Letters
2015 Press Release

Judging: Letters are reviewed by the National LAL staff, who select semi-finalists. Volunteer teachers and librarians from Michigan select state finalists and a winner for each level from the semi-finalists and a state teacher of the year. Volunteer judges at the national level select national winners from the state winners.

Prizes:
*Semi-Finalists receive a letter of recognition from the State Librarian.
*Finalists receive a letter of recognition from the State Librarian and a $20 Schuler Books & Music gift card.
*State Winners receive a letter of recognition from the State Librarian, a $50 Schuler Books & Music gift card and a $250 grant in his/her name for a community or school library.
*The Teacher of the Year for Michigan receives a letter of recognition from the State Librarian and a $50 Schuler Books & Music gift card.
*National Second Place Winners receive an additional $150 cash award.
*National Winners receive a receive an additional $1000 cash award.

All prize funds were donated by the Library of Congress and the Michigan Center for the Book.


Previous Program:
2014 Winning Letters
2014 Press Release
2013 Winning Letters
2013 Press Release
2012 Winning Letters
2012 Press Release
2011 Winning Letters
2011 Press Release
2010 Winning Letters
2010 press release
2009 Daniel Harrison Letter

Please contact Karren Reish at reishk@michigan.gov or 517-241-0021 with any questions.

Updated 07/21/2015