24th Annual Letters About Literature Contest - Grades 4-12

What: Writing Contest
Theme: "How did an author's work change your view of the world or yourself?"
Who: Students Grades 4-12
Deadline: December 2, 2016 - Grades 9-12
                January 9, 2017 - Grades 7 &8, Grades 4-6
Websites:  Letters About Literature site, Guidelines (pdf), Teaching Guidelines (pdf)
from Cathy Lancaster, Youth Services Librarian, LM
As Nathaniel Hawthorne so elegantly wrote in The Scarlet Letter, "She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom." I read it in the ninth grade and while many in my class moaned and groaned, and quite frankly hated it, I was absorbed into the world of Salem, Massachusetts in 1642. Absorbed into the plight of Hester Prynne and her daughter Pearl. It was an awakening to examine how the world has, or has not, changed in our treatment of women in the centuries since. Now the details of the plot and much of the book itself have faded from my memory, but I definitely recall the impact the book and its author had on my view of the world.
"How did an author’s work change your view of the world or yourself?" is this year’s Letters About Literature (LAL) contest theme. It is designed to encourage students to select a fiction or nonfiction book, a poem or play that gave them strong feelings. LAL asks students to reflect on how the work changed them, how they knew of its effect and why they or their view is different. Finally students are asked to write a personal letter to the author supporting their ideas with specific details. Deadlines for submissions are December 2, 2016, for Grades 9-12, and January 9, 2017, for Grades 7-8 & 4-6. Details, resources and submission forms can be found on the LM website or at http://read.gov/letters.
A committee of volunteers will select Michigan finalists in early spring and those selections will be sent to the National level for award consideration. We are looking forward to learning what books and authors are inspiring and opening our students' minds today.


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