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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.

2015 Entry Form & Materials


2015 Timeline:
  • Level III Deadline (Grades 9-12) - December 15, 2014
  • Level II Deadline (Grades 7-8) - January 15, 2015
  • Level I Deadline (Grades 4-6) - January 15, 2015

2014 RESULTS: Congratulations to our 2014 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) - Sylvia Fisher of St. Johns ($250 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Grant to St. Johns Middle School Information Center), who wrote to author Kate DiCamillo about the book The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
  • State Level II winner (grades 7-8) - Nureen Zahoor of Rochester Hills ($250 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Grant to West Hills Middle School Library Media Center), who wrote to author Laurie Halse Anderson about the book Speak.
  • State Level III winner (grades 9-12) - Nancy Huang of Lake Orion ($250 Letters About Literature Reading Promotion Grant to the International Academy Central Media Center), who wrote to author Amy Tan about the book The Joy Luck Club.

State Finalists
  • Isabella Kephart of Holland - Level I
  • Evelyn Ugval of Grosse Pointe Farms - Level I
  • Kurt Miraflor of Beverly Hills - Level I
  • Maria Gerring of Parma - Level II
  • Kinan Wagner of Bloomfield Hills - Level II
  • Madeline Schmidt of Kalamazoo - Level II
  • Kate Stanloski of Allegan - Level III
  • Marissa LaPorte of Escanaba - Level III
  • Ambika Vohra of Rochester Hills - Level III

Mark Honeyman from West Hills Middle School is the 2014 Michigan Teacher of the Year.

2014 Winning Letters
2014 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:
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 09/04/2014