Letters About Literature

December 4, 2015 and January 11, 2016
Maximum Award: 
$1,000 cash award
High school and elementary school students
For students in 4th through 12th grade.


Level 3 (high school, grades 9-12) December 4, 2015
Level 2 (middle school, grades 7 & 8) January 11, 2016
Level 1 (upper elementary, grades 4-6 ) January 11, 2016


The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress offers students who love to read an opportunity to enter a national reading-writing contest called Letters About Literature.

Readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre: fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, contemporary or classic--explaining how that author's work changed the student's way of thinking about the world or themselves.


There are three competition levels:

  • Level I for children in grades 4 - 6;
  • Level II for grades 7 and 8, 
  • Level III, grades 9 - 12.

The top letters in each competition level for each state are chosen. Then, two National winners are chosen from each of the three competition levels: Level 1 (grades 4-6), Level 2 (grades 7-8) and Level 3 (grades 9-12). National winners each designate a favorite library that they wish to receive a $10,000 grant from Target. The students each receive a $500 Target GiftCard.

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