Letters about Literature

Letters about literature logo

The Michigan Center for the Book and the Library of Michigan participate in the national Letters about Literature, an annual 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.

2017 Timeline:

  • Level III Deadline (Grades 9-12) - December 2, 2016
  • Level II Deadline (Grades 7-8) - January 9, 2017
  • Level I Deadline (Grades 4-6) - January 9, 2017
  • March 2017 - volunteers will read and begin judging entries
  • April 2017 - winners, finalists and semi-finalists will be notified 

2016 RESULTS: Congratulations to our 2016 winners, finalists and semi-finalists and all the students who wrote outstanding letters about how the books they read deeply affected their lives. 

2016 Winning Letters

  • State Level I winner (grades 4-6) - Beatrice Mulder, a 6th-grader at Holland Christian Schools, who wrote to author Sharon Draper about her book, Out of My Mind. She won a reading promotion grant to the Herrick District Library.
  • State Level II winner (grades 7-8) - Alexis Krumbach, a 7th-grade at Williamston Middle School, who wrote to author Joni Eareckson Tada about her book, Joni, An Unforgettable Story. She won a reading promotion grant to Williamston Middle School.
  • State Level III winner (grades 9-12) - Sophia Nam. Sophia, a student at Skyline High School, wrote to author Maya Angelou about her book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. She won a reading promotion grant to Skyline High School library.

State Finalists

  • Andrew Ouellette of Beverly Hills – Level I
  • Olivia Frye of Grosse Pointe Farms – Level I
  • Madeline Gibb of Fenton – Level I
  • Trucy Phan of Williamston – Level II
  • Zyk Hlavacek of Saginaw – Level II
  • Jacqueline Mularoni of Bloomfield Hills – Level II
  • Name withheld of Dexter – Level III
  • Hannah-Noel Lucas of Perry – Level III
  • Molly Hulbert of Middleville – Level III

Michele Ellis of Williamston Middle School was chosen as the 2016 Michigan Letters about Literature Teacher of the Year.

Previous Results:

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.

*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.

Please contact Cathy Lancaster at LancasterC5@michigan.gov or 517-335-8129 with any questions.

Updated 3/9/2017