Polish up your reflective writing skills and write a letter to an author—living or dead—explaining how his or her work changed your view of yourself or your world.
ENTER ON ONE OF THE THREE COMPETITION LEVELS:
- Level 1: Grades 4, 5 and 6
- Level 2: Grades 7 and 8
- Level 3: Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12
For deadlines, online submission forms and more information, select your state:
- Watch our video series for guidance on participating in Letters About Literature and writing your letter. Watch here
- A video walkthrough of the online submission process for students, teachers and parents is embedded in the instructions section of each online submission form and is also available at this link: https://youtu.be/DEjkwyfTPY4.
HOW TO ENTER IN 10 EASY STEPS!
- Select a fiction or nonfiction book, book series, short story, poem, essay, or speech (excluding song lyrics) that you have read and about which you have strong feelings.
- Imagine sitting down with the author of this work and sharing your personal thoughts. Your letter should be personal and sincere, more like a private conversation rather than book report or a fan letter.
- Share specific details both about the book and about your reaction to the book. Write honestly and from your own perspective.
- Keep in mind that this is a reflective writing contest. Think about what you read and the meaning you gleaned from the author’s words.
- Type your letter, which must use at least 400 words and no more than 800 words.
- Make sure your letter includes a date, greeting, body, closing, and your name or signature. Please do not include a return address on your letter. Note: All letter elements are included in the total word count.
- Read the official rules, and find submission details and your state-specific deadline by selecting your state from the drop-down menu above.
- If you are under the age of 13 (as of November 1, 2018), you must must obtain and upload a permission form signed by a parent or legal guardian to be eligible for entry (download permission form here).
- Submit your typed letter via the Letters About Literature online submission platform at lettersaboutliterature.submittable.com. You can upload your letter as a PDF or Word document, or you can type your letter directly into the submission form.
- Remember to complete all required information fields on the entry form before submitting your letter online.
STUDENTS & PARENTS: HOW TO SUBMIT AN ENTRY ONLINE
- Find your state’s entry form by selecting your state in the above drop-down menu, or navigate directly to lettersaboutliterature.submittable.com/submit and choose your state’s entry form.
- On lettersaboutliterature.submittable.com/submit, click the Submit button next to your state. Once you have selected your state’s entry form, scroll down and click Create your account / Have an account? Sign in.
- If you don't have a Submittable account, create a free account by filling out the Create your account form.
- Click the Create Account and Continue button to continue with the Letters About Literature submission process.
- Read the full submission instructions, including the 2018-19 Letters about Literature rules, before you complete your entry.
- Enter your address and contact information before clicking Save Address and Continue.
- On the submission page, under “Who is submitting this form?”, choose “a student” or “a parent,” as appropriate.
- Complete all required fields for submission, upload or type your letter entry, and click Submit.
- If you are under 13 before November 1, 2018, you will be prompted to pause, save your progress, and upload a scanned pdf or image of a hand-signed parent permission form. This form is required.
- You will receive an email confirming your entry.
- Congratulations! You have successfully submitted to the 2018-19 Letters About Literature contest.
For further submission details or questions, please consult the FAQ.
Dear Rick Riordan:
...Nico’s struggle with accepting himself really resonated with me, and still does to this day. The first time I read it, I was probably twelve, and going through a struggle of my own. Like Nico, I was trying to navigate my own sexual orientation, and I was having trouble coming to grips with it. But when I saw I wasn’t alone in this, and that it was okay to feel how I felt, I really started to both accept myself and be proud of who I was. You never know how helpful it is to see someone going through the same things you are, even if it’s in a book...
2018 National Honor Award Winner – Level 2