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Young Readers Invited to Write to Favorite Authors
Young readers in grades 4-12 are invited to write a personal letter to an author for the Letters about Literature (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing promotion program. The letter can be to any author (living or dead) from any genre-fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic-explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s view of the world. The 26th annual reflective writing competition is sponsored by the Library of Congress Center for the Book and presented in association with affiliate State Centers for the Book with funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Letters About Literature is coordinated and sponsored in Nebraska by the Nebraska Center for the Book and the Nebraska Library Commission, with support from Houchen Bindery, Ltd., Humanities Nebraska, and Chapters Bookstore in Seward.
Prizes will be awarded on both the state and national levels. The Nebraska Center for the Book’s panel of judges will select the top letter writers in the state, to be honored in a proclamation-signing ceremony at the state capitol during National Library Week in April 2019. Their winning letters will be placed in the Jane Pope Geske Heritage Room of Nebraska Authors at Bennett Martin Public Library in Lincoln. Nebraska winners will receive state prizes, and then advance to the national judging.
A panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one National Winner per competition level (Level I for grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8, and Level III for grades 9-12) to receive a $2,000 cash award, to be announced in May 2019. The judges will also select one National Honor winner on each competition level to receive a $500 cash award.
Teachers, librarians, and parents can download free teaching materials on reader response and reflective writing, along with contest details and information on the new online entry system, at www.read.gov/letters. Nebraska-specific information (including lists of Nebraska winners of past competitions) is available on the Nebraska Center for the Book website or watch the upcoming NCompass Live session on November 7, 2018. Get inspired by listening to Nebraska winners, Ashley Xiques and Sydney Kohl, read and talk about their winning letters to authors that meant something to them in their own lives, on NET Radio’s All About Books (netnebraska.org/basic-page/radio/all-about-books). Submissions must be completed online by December 14, 2018. For more information contact Tessa Terry, 402-471-3434 or 800-307-2665.
The Nebraska Center for the Book is housed at the Nebraska Library Commission and brings together the state’s readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, publishers, printers, educators, and scholars to build the community of the book, supporting programs to celebrate and stimulate public interest in books, reading, and the written word. The Nebraska Center for the Book is supported by the Nebraska Library Commission.
As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, “bringing together people and information.”