View this release online
Indiana State Library News Release

For immediate Release:

HEADLINE: National Reading/Writing Contest Recognizes Seventy Hoosier Students

Fort Wayne student receives national honors, wins $1,000 grant for high school library

INDIANAPOLIS (May 14, 2012) - The Indiana Center for the Book, a program of the Indiana State Library, honored 70 Indiana fourth through twelfth graders at the 2012 Letters About Literature Awards Ceremony.  The ceremony was held at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis. Over 200 guests, including students, teachers and family, attended the ceremony which was headlined by Margaret McMullan - an award-winning, young-adult author from Evansville.

This year’s ceremony was particularly noteworthy since it featured Indiana’s second National Honor winner in the history of the contest.  Paw Soe, a sophomore at New Tech Academy at Wayne High School in Fort Wayne, will receive a $100 GiftCard from TargetŪ for taking national honors.  Her school’s library will also receive a $1,000 reading promotion grant from TargetŪ as a result of her accomplishment. Both of these awards will be presented in a special ceremony at New Tech Academy later this month.

"It is an honor to recognize Indiana's best and brightest students for their exemplary work in the classroom," said Roberta L. Brooker, Indiana’s State Librarian. "This year's honorees should be proud to be chosen among the top 5 percent of nearly 60,000 Letters About Literature entrants nationwide."

Letters About Literature is a national reading-writing contest that asks students to write a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves. Letters About Literature is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with TargetŪ Stores, and is administered statewide by the Indiana Center for the Book.

The 16 finalists, including the author to which they wrote, are as follows:

Level I (grades 4-6)
1st Place:
Amanda Mitrovich, Fall Creek Intermediary School (Fishers) (Kate DiCamillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane).
2nd Place: Rachel Stemme of Zionsville Middle School (Sally Nichols, Ways to Live Forever).
3rd Place: McCall Kellams, Melton Public Library (West Baden) (Berkeley Breathed, Flawed Dawgs). 
Hon. Mention: Beki Slaughter, Zionsville West Middle School (Ellen Hopkins, Impulse).
Hon. Mention: Annie Hockel, Zionsville Middle School (Tom Burpo, author of Heaven Is for Real).

Level II (grades 7-8)
1st Place: Dominic Rossi, Zionsville Middle School (Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs).   
2nd Place: Luci Hulsman, Jasper Middle School (Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree).
3rd Place: Nick Luker, Zionsville West Middle School (Carl Deuker, Gym Candy).
Hon. Mention: Isabelle Shevitz, Hasten Hebrew Academy (Indianapolis) (Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak).

Level III (grades 9-12)
1st Place: Paw Soe
, New Tech Academy at Wayne High School (Fort Wayne) (Cynthia Kadahota, Kira Kira).
2nd Place: Shawn Randolph, Switzerland Cty High School (Brandon Mull, Fablehaven).
3rd Place (tie): Maddy Demeter, Crawfordsville High School (Matthew Logelin, Two Kisses for Maddy).
3rd Place (tie): Christine Smith, New Tech Academy at Wayne High School (Fort Wayne) (Patricia McCormick, Cut).

These finalists all received GiftCards courtesy of TargetŪ and the Indiana Center for the Book. All semifinalists and finalists in attendance also received a certificate and a copy of Sources of Light by Margaret McMullan, who met with students during an exclusive book signing following the awards ceremony.

The Indiana Center for the Book also honored Ginger Giessler of New Tech Academy at Wayne High School in Fort Wayne during the ceremony with its forth-annual Letters About Literature Instructor of the Year Award. Over the past two years, Ms. Geisler has submitted 136 entries resulting in 16 semifinalists and 3 award-winning essays, including this year’s national award-winner Paw Soe.

"I would like to thank Margaret McMullan and Ginger Giessler, and the hundreds of students and proud parents who joined us on Saturday," said Brooker. "Letters About Literature is an exciting and educational program for everyone involved and we are delighted with the success of these students on both the state and national level."

For more information about Letters About Literature, including previous years’ results and winning essays, visit  

About the National Center for the Book:
The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading.   For information about its activities and national reading promotion networks, visit  

About the Indiana Center for the Book:
The Indiana Center for the Book is a program of the Indiana State Library and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Center promotes interest in reading, writing, literacy, libraries, and Indiana's literary heritage by sponsoring events and serving as an information resource at the state and local level. The Center supports both the professional endeavors and the popular pursuits of Indiana's residents toward reading and writing.


Media Contact: Drew Griffis


© 2012 Indiana State Library. All rights reserved. The trademarks used herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
Indiana State Library, 315 W. Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.

Untitled Document Untitled Document