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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.

2014 Timeline: For the 2014 program, we sent materials to libraries and schools in September. The 2014 letters are due in two waves, which is new this year. Level III entries have a deadline of December 10, 2013 and Level I and II entries have a deadline of January 10, 2014. The state and national winners will be announced in May 2014.

2014 Entry Form & Materials 2013 RESULTS
  • State Level I winner (grades 4-6) - Kathleen Carroll of Grosse Pointe Farms ($250 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Grant to Brownell Middle School Library Media Center), who wrote to author Joan Bauer about the book Almost Home.
  • State Level II winner (grades 7-8) - Austin Langlinais of Mattawan ($250 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Grant to Mattawan Middle School Library Media Center), who wrote to Harper Lee about the book To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • State Level III winner (grades 9-10) - Ana Mohr of Traverse City ($250 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Grant to Traverse City Central High School Library Media Center), who wrote to author Shannon Hale about the book Forest Born.

  • State Finalists
    • Bryce Smith of St. Johns - Level I
    • Noah Bien of West Bloomfield - Level I
    • Ryan Frank of West Bloomfield - Level I
    • Sydney Misak of Kalamazoo - Level II
    • Logan Forshee of Kalamazoo - Level II
    • Anna Cool of Schoolcraft - Level II
    • Cara Ferguson of Traverse City - Level III
    • Noah DeLaRosa of Allegan - Level III
    • Mansoor Mubeen of Bloomfield Hills - Level III

    Mary Jo Cobb from Mattawan Middle School is the 2013 Michigan Teacher of the Year.

    2013 Winning Letters
    2013 Press Release

    Judging: Letters are reviewed by the National LAL staff, who select semi-finalists. Volunteer teachers and librarians from Michigan select a 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:
    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 02/06/2014
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