Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature

Contest Information

Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. If you are in grades 4-12, you are eligible to enter the Letters About Literature reading and writing contest.

The 2018-19 Letters About Literature contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations. The Indiana contest is additionally supported by the James and Madeleine McMullen Family Foundation and the Indiana State Library Foundation.

Important Dates:

  • November 1, 2018 – Submission link will open
  • January 11, 2019 – Deadline to submit entries for the Indiana competition
  • April 13th, 2019: Ceremony

Teacher's Guide

Check out the LAL Teacher's Guide featuring valuable resources and lesson plans. Visit http://www.read.gov/letters/  for more resources.

2019 Youth Literary Day & Awards Ceremony

All Indiana Letters About Literature winners will be invited to the Indiana Youth Literary Day & Awards Ceremony sponsored by the James & Madeleine McMullan Family Foundation on April 13, 2019. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in creative writing workshops presented by Indiana writers and will be honored at a ceremony following the day’s activities. All winners in attendance will receive free books and will be invited to an exclusive book-signing reception following the ceremony.

About the Indiana Program

There are three competition levels:

  • Level I: Grades 4-6
  • Level II: Grades 7 & 8
  • Level III: Grades 9-12

Prizes in Indiana are awarded to the following winners in each level:

  • First Place: $100.00 (National Competitor)
  • Second Place: $75.00
  • Third Place: $50.00
  • Runners Up: $20.00 (Multiple Runners Up are selected each year.)
  • Honorable Mentions (Multiple Honorable Mentions are selected each year. Honorable Mentions do not receive prize money, but are invited to the Indiana Literary Day & Awards Ceremony.)

All Indiana winners are announced in late March and receive an invitation to the Indiana Literary Day & Awards Ceremony. All students who attend the Indiana Literary Day & Awards Ceremony receive free books, attend writing workshops, listen to authors speak and attend an exclusive author book signing. Students must attend the event to receive the free books.

Indiana First Place winners move on to complete in the national competition. Visit http://www.read.gov/letters/  to learn more about the National Competition.

LAL supports educational standards established for reading and language arts as recommended by the International Reading Association and the National Council for the Teaching of English.

IYRC SW 10-5-2018