Illinois students urged to write ‘Letters About Literature’

Staff Report

Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White (D) is urging students in grades 4 through 12 to enter the 2014 “Letters About Literature” contest, a national reading and writing competition sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the Illinois Center for the Book.

Letters About Literature” invites students to read a book of their choice and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their life or view of the world. Students can enter on their own or through their schools, libraries or other youth organizations.

Every year, thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspiring competition,” said White. “Illinois has had more entries than any other state for six years in a row. Anyone who has read these letters can see how literature inspires and touches the lives of our young people. I encourage all our students to take part in ‘Letters About Literature,’ and I hope their participation leads to a lifetime of reading.”

There are three levels of participation: Level I for grades 4, 5 and 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8; and Level III for grades 9-12. One Illinois winner will be selected for each level and receive a $200 cash award. Teachers of the winning students will receive a $100 cash award to purchase materials for their school library. Winners and teachers will be invited to an awards ceremony in Springfield, Ill. The state winners’ letters will be forwarded for national judging. One national winner in each of the three competition levels will receive a $1,000 cash award, and one national honor in each level will receive a $200 cash award.

The deadline to enter the competition is Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, for Levels I & II, and Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, for Level III. State winners will be announced in April 2014. For more about the competition, contact Bonnie Matheis at (217) 558-2065 or Information also is available at

From the Nov. 20-26, 2013, issue

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