The Florida Center for the Book at Broward County Library Announces "Letters About Literature" Student Writing Contest

Students writing.

Students grades 4-12 are invited to enter the "Letters About Literature" contest.

DATE: August 27, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Catherine McElrath
Libraries Division

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla.The Florida Center for the Book at Broward County Library and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress announce "Letters About Literature," a writing contest for young readers. Entrants are asked to write a personal letter to an author whose work changed your view of the world or yourself. Students must be at least nine years old and be in grades four through twelve. Here’s how to enter:

  • Determine Your Competition Level: Entrants fall into the following categories: Level One: Grades 4-6, Level Two: Grades 7-8 and Level 3: Grades 9-12.
  • Select and Reflect: Choose a fiction or nonfiction book that you’ve read and have strong feelings about. Explore your feelings and reactions to the author’s work. Consider the following questions:
    • What did the book show you about the world that you never noticed before?
    • What did you realize about yourself as a result of reading this book?
    • Why was this work meaningful to you?
    • How do you know the author’s work influenced you?
  • Write a Persuasive Letter to the Author Stating Your Opinion and Supporting Your Opinion with Specific Details: Write as if you were having a conversation with the author – letters are less formal and more fun than an essay or research paper. Write honestly and in your own voice. Remember to correspond, don’t compliment. Inform the author, don’t flatter him or her. All “fan” letters will be eliminated from the competition. Also, don’t summarize the book’s plot. Write about how the book affected you and why it did so. You are the only one who can explain your unique relationship with a book.
  • Submit Your Letter and the Required Entry Coupon by the Postmark Deadline. The deadline for Level 3 (Grades 9-12) is December 10, 2013. The deadline for Level 1 (Grades 4-6) and Level 2 (Grades 7-8) is January 20, 2014. Download or print the official entry coupon.

Letters About Literature awards prizes on both the state and national level, with state winners advancing to the national level. Each participating state center has its own panel of judges who will select the top essayists in the state. They will receive a cash award and will advance to the national level of judging. A panel of judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one “National Winner” per competition level to receive a $1,000 cash award. The judges will also select one “National Honor” per competition to receive a $200 cash award.

State winners will be notified on or about April 15, 2014 and national level winners will be notified on or about May 1, 2014. To read past winning entries, get more contest information and find program updates, visit the contest website, or contact the Florida Project Manager, Tara Zimmermann at 954-357-7386 or


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