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West Virginia Center for the Book

The Contest

Books have wings. You can't see them, but they are there just the same. On books' wings, readers can soar to new places where they meet intriguing characters and experience exciting adventures. But a book's wings can also help a reader rise above difficult situations, like peer pressure, bullying or prejudice, or to cope with disappointment and loss.

Have you ever felt the power and lift of literature? Has one book,  or perhaps one author, inspired you to change your view of yourself or of the world? If so, we encourage you to enter the Letters About Literature writing competition. All you have to do is write a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work affected you.

Competition Levels

The contest has three competition levels:

Level I—grades     4-6 Level II—grades 7 8      Level III—grades 9-12

State and National Prizes

State Level. The top essayist on each competition level will receive a cash award and a $50 Target Gift Card. The first-place winners in each state will then advance for national judging.

National Level Judges for The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select six (6) National Winners (2 per Level of Competition) and twelve (12) National Honorable Mention Winners (4 per Level of Competition). The National Winners will receive a $500 Target GiftCard, plus each will win a $10,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant for their community or school library so that others can experience personal relationships with authors and the stories they tell.

Additionally, the National Honorable Mention Winners will each receive a $100 Target GiftCard and a $1,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant for the community or school library of their choice. Community or school library selected for the National Winners and National Honorable Mention Winners is at the Sponsor's sole discretion. Refer to the National Level Judging in the Official Rules for more details.

2011 LAL W.Va. Winners, Releases, Photos & Anthology
2010 LAL W.Va. Winners, Releases (General, Taylor, Lovern, Laswell) Photos & Anthology
2009 LAL W.Va. Winners, Releases, Photos & Anthology
2008 LAL W.Va. Winners, Releases, Photos & Anthology
2007 LAL W.Va. Winners, Releases, Photos & Anthology

How to Enter
Official Rules
Lesson Plans

Download additional information regarding the national program at the Letters About Literature website.