New Mexico State Library

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Letters About Literature 2017- the Contest Begins!


Dear Teachers, Principals, Librarians, and other Colleagues:

The State Library cordially invites your students to participate in Letters About Literature, sponsored by the New Mexico State Library in cooperation with The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress and Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Letters About Literature is a writing contest designed to promote reading and thoughtful writing by encouraging young readers to read a book and then write a letter to the author explaining how his or her work shaped their perspective on the world or themselves. This is the fifth year New Mexico State Library has sponsored the competition.

Readers in grades 4-12 write a personal letter to an author describing their personal reaction to a book, story, or poem. Students may write about works of fiction or nonfiction. Entries in Spanish will be accepted and translated for the New Mexico judges. State judges will select the top letter writers in New Mexico, who then advance to the national competition.

Letter writers compete at three levels: Level I is grades 4-6; Level II is grades 7-8; and Level III is grades 9-12. The one winning letter from each level from each state is entered into the final national competition. There will be cash prizes for the three state winners and also for the national winners.

Please see the attached Letters About Literature participation guidelines and the entry form at the end of this message, or visit
Level 3 entries must be postmarked by December 2, 2016.
Level 1 and 2 entries must be postmarked by January 9, 2017.

The entry form is for teachers or librarians submitting class or group entries, as well as for individual students who prefer to enter separately on their own. Individual entries are signed by a parent or guardian rather than a teacher or a librarian.

Please visit Letters About Literature 2017 to learn more about the contest. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at or call me at 505-476-9717.

I look forward to working with you and truly hope you will participate in the New Mexico Letters About Literature contest.

Download the guidelines and entry form here: Entry_Guidelines_LAL_2017pile-of-books

Lori Smith Thornton
New Mexico Letters About Literature Coordinator
Chief, Public Services Bureau
New Mexico State Library

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