Letters About Literature

Polish up your reflective writing skills and write a letter to an author—living or dead—explaining how his or her work changed your view of yourself or your world.

ENTER ON ONE OF THE THREE COMPETITION LEVELS:

  • Level 1: Grades 4, 5 and 6
  • Level 2: Grades 7 and 8
  • Level 3: Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12

Deadline: For More Information, select your state:

HOW TO ENTER IN 10 EASY STEPS!

  1. Select a book that you have read and about which you have strong feelings.
  2. Imagine sitting down with the author of this work and sharing your personal thoughts. Your letter should be personal and sincere, more like a private conversation rather than book report or a fan letter.
  3. Share specific details both about the book and about your reaction to the book.
  4. Keep in mind that this is a reflective writing contest and that means you need to think about what you read and the meaning you gleaned from the author’s words.
  5. Type your entry.
  6. Complete the entry coupon and staple it to your entry. Download registration form (pdf, 1.04 MB)
  7. Enclose the letter in a large, flat envelope 8” x 10” (or larger). Please do not use letter–sized envelopes.

TEACHERS’ NOTE: PLEASE MAIL CLASS SETS IN ONE LARGE ENVELOPE.

  1. Indicate the competition level on the envelope—Level 1, or Level 2 or Level 3—depending on your grade. If you are submitting for more than one level, use a separate envelope for each level.
  2. Mail your entry to:

    Letters About Literature
    Library of Congress
    101 Independence Ave. SE
    Washington, DC 20540-4921

  3. Download participation certificate starting November 1, 2017

Dear Lisa Genova:

...Your book helped me understand what is happening with my grandma. I realized that it’s not her fault at all that she can’t remember things. There would be nothing that Alice or my grandma could have done to prevent their memory loss. It’s a tragedy of Alzheimer’s disease. I understand now my grandma’s every day struggles and try to help her as much as I can. Your book taught me to be patient and enjoy every day with my grandma. I try to spend as much time with her as I can now. I praise her for things that she can still do and remember...

Mark Leschinsky
Mahwah, New Jersey
2017 National Honor Award Winner – Level 1