Illinois Center for the Book

Letters About Literature Illinois Center for the Book

2018-2019 Contest Information  |  Online Entries   |  Mail Entries  |  Additional Resources  |  Past Winners

Letters About Literature is a national reflective writing competition sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for the Book and presented in association with the Illinois Center for the Book and other affiliate State Centers for the Book. The contest is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book.

2018 winners with Secretary of State Jesse White
2018 winners Akosua Haynes, Sakura Fagan and Rylee Paige Johnson with Secretary of State Jesse White.

The program invites 4th–12th grade students to read a book of their choice, reflect on it and write a personal letter to the author explaining how the book changed their views of the world and/or themselves. Students can enter Letters About Literature on their own or through their schools, libraries or youth organizations.

The are three levels of participation:

One Illinois winner is selected for each level and receives a $200 cash award. Teachers of the winning students also receive $100 to purchase materials for their school library. Additionally, the state winners' letters advance to the national competition. National winners for each of the three competition levels receive $1,000, and national honor winners for each level receive $200.

2018-2019 Contest Information and Resources:

The deadline to enter is Friday, December 14, 2018. State winners will be announced in May 2019.

Online Entries

Entries will be accepted online beginning November 1, 2018.

Mail Entries

To enter by mail, complete an entry coupon for each entry and mail to:
Illinois Center for the Book
Illinois State Library
Gwendolyn Brooks Building
300 South Second St.
Springfield, IL 62701

Additional Resources

2018 Illinois Winners

** Akosua Haynes and Rylee Paige Johnson were also chosen by the Library of Congress as National Prize winners.

Past Letters About Literature Winners