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Press Release
NHSL logo

The Center for the Book at New Hampshire State Library

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mary Russell, 603-271-2866
September 12, 2008

The NEW HAMPSHIRE Center for the Book
invites young READERS
TO ENTER LETTERS ABOUT LITERATURE

Write a letter to your favorite author, and you might win a Reading Promotion Grant of $10,000 for your school or community library!

The grant is the national prize in Letters about Literature, a writing contest for readers 9 years of age or older, in grades 4 through 12 which is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress in partnership with Target Stores and coordinated in New Hampshire by the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves. Young readers can select authors from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic.

On behalf of the New Hampshire Center for the Book, a panel of judges will select the top essayists in the state in each of the three competition levels: Level I for students in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8; and Level III, grades 9 through 12. In 2008 letters by Angela Wang of Nashua, Sydnie Spencer of Durham and Livie Lane of Dover were selected as the New Hampshire Letters About Literature winners.

The deadline for entries is December 6, 2008. Entries will be assessed on three criteria: content, or the writer’s achievement in addressing the contest theme; exposition, or the writer’s use of language skills; and voice, the writer’s style and originality of expression.

State winners will advance to national competition and the first-place winner for New Hampshire at each competition level will receive a $100 cash prize. A panel of judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will then select six national winners (two per competition level) and 12 national runners-up (four per competition level). Each national winner will receive a $500 Target GiftCard. In addition, they will win a Reading Promotion Grant of $10,000 for their school or community library. National winners will be instrumental in deciding how the library funds will be spent. The 12 national runners-up will win a $100 Target GiftCard, plus they will win a Reading Promotion Grant of $1,000 for their school or community library. “To be able to give such a generous gift to his or her hometown or school library is an empowering experience for a young person,” said Catherine Gourley, Letters About Literature's national project director. “The goal of these grants is not only to recognize our young readers but also to bring personal reading experiences to other young people across the country.

To obtain the required entry coupon visit the New Hampshire Center for the Book web site at www.nh.gov/nhsl/bookcenter/programs/letters.html. Complete contest rules, a teaching supplement to guide students through the reading-writing process, a list of books that inspired last year’s semi-finalist essays, and  winning essays from previous years are also available on the web site.

The Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library was founded in 2003 to celebrate and promote reading, books, literacy, and the literary heritage of New Hampshire and to highlight the role that reading and libraries play in enriching the lives of the people of the Granite State. It is the New Hampshire affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Information on the Center is available at www.nh.gov/nhsl/bookcenter.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its activities and national reading promotion networks, visit www.loc.gov/cfbook.

Target Stores, along with its parent company Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), gives back more than $2 million a week to its local communities through grants and special programs. Since opening its first store in 1962, Target has partnered with nonprofit organizations, guests and team members to help meet community needs.

Letters About Literature supports national standards for teaching language arts & reading as recommended by the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association.

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