Congratulations to Tennessee's top winners!
The 2013 winners are...
Level 1 (4th-6th grades)
1st place: Ansley Stamper, 6th grader from Hutchison School in Memphis. Ansley wrote to R.J. Palacio about Wonder. Read her letter here.
2nd place: Maggie Warren, 6th grader from Oakland Middle School in Murfreesboro. Maggie wrote to Cynthia Lord about Rules. Read her letter here.
3rd place: Kyler Hamilton, 6th grader from White Station Middle School in Memphis. Kyler wrote to William H. Armstrong about Sounder. Read his letter here.
Level 2 (7th-8th grades)
1st place: Ariel Asher, 8th grader from Blackman Middle School in Murfreesboro. Ariel wrote to Orson Scott Card about Ender's Game. Read her letter here.
2nd place: Emilee Taylor, 8th grader from Christiana Middle School in Christiana. Emilee wrote to Angela Johnson about When I Am Old With You. Read her letter here.
3rd place: Haley Wright, 7th grader from Siegel Middle School in Murfreesboro. Haley wrote to Judy Schachner about Skippyjon Jones. Read her letter here.
Level 3 (9th-12th grades)
1st place: Christine Lee, 11th grader from Germantown High School in Germantown. Christine wrote to J.D. Salinger about The Catcher in the Rye. Read her letter here.
2nd place: Sudeshna Barman, 11th grader from White Station High School in Memphis. Sudeshna wrote to Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner about Freakonomics. Read her letter here.
3rd place: Tela Taylor, 10th grader at Overton High School in Memphis. Tela wrote to Kristin Cashore about Fire. Read her letter here.
What is Letters About Literature?
Books have wings. You can't see them, but they're there. On books' wings, readers can soar to new places where they meet intriguing characters and experience exciting adventures. A book's wings can help readers rise above difficult situations so that they see the world — or perhaps themselves — with new understanding.
The Letters About Literature (LAL) is a writing contest that encourages students in grades 4–12* to write a personal letter to the author (living or dead) of a fiction or nonfiction book, a short story, poem, essay or speech (sorry, no song lyrics) they have read and about which they have strong feelings. The letter should explore those feelings and why you reacted the way you did during or after reading. It's a great way to get young people to think critically about something they're reading right now or something they've already read.
Letters About Literature satisfies Tennessee English/Language Arts Curriculum and Common Core Standards. If you'd like more information on ways you can adapt this program to Common Core Standards for Writing, please see these worksheets from the national Letters About Literature office.
State Prizes: Humanities Tennessee has its own panel of judges who select the top entries in the state. State Winners at each level will receive a cash award from Humanities Tennessee (1st at each level receives $100, 2nd place receives $50, and 3rd place receives $25) and a certificate. The 1st place winner on Level 3 will also be awarded a full scholarship to attend the TN Young Writers' Workshop in July 2013.
National Prizes: First place winners (in grades 4-10 only)* advance to the national level 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 to receive a $1,000 cash award. The judges will also select one second place winner on each competition level to receive a $150 cash award.
*National level judging will accept entries from writers in grades 4-10 only. Humanities Tennessee continues to allow 11th-12th graders to participate and should an 11th-12th grader win at the state level, Humanities Tennessee’s LAL panel of judges will select a representative from Level 3 to send to the national competition.
If you have questions about this year's LAL contest, contact Lacey@HumanitiesTennessee.org or call 615.770.0006 x19. The program is presented by Humanities Tennessee, home of the Tennessee Center for the Book in affiliation with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
Read the winning Letters About Literature winners from 2012 here...
Past National Letters About Literature winners from Tennessee
- 2010: Siori Koerner for her letter to J.D. Salinger about Catcher in the Rye. Siori earned Christiana Middle School in Christiana a $10,000 reading grant from Target.
- 2010: Malli Swamy won a National Honorable Mention for her letter to Paolo Coelho about The Alchemist. Malli earned White Station High School in Memphis a $1,000 reading grant.
- 2009: Caroline Hoskins for her letter to Cynthia Lord about Rules. Caroline earned St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis a $10,000 reading grant.
- 2008: Ayesha Usmani for her letter to Amy Tan about The Joy Luck Club. Ayesha earned White Station High School in Memphis a $10,000 reading grant.
- 2006: Martha Park for her letter to J.D. Salinger about Catcher in the Rye. Martha was invited to read her letter at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
|LAL ENTRY guidelines 2013.pdf||236.31 KB|
|Common Core & LAL.pdf||527.53 KB|
|2013 LAL press release.pdf||358.06 KB|