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Press Release
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The Center for the Book at New Hampshire State Library

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 07, 2015

Shelly Angers, N.H. Department of Cultural Resources
603-271-3136
shelly.angers@dcr.nh.gov

NH student receives national writing award

Oyster River Middle School student Emmy Goyette has received a National Honor Award in the 2015 Letters About Literature competition, one of three recipients in the seventh- and eighth-grade category nationwide.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing promotion program of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and is coordinated in New Hampshire by the Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library. To enter, young readers wrote a personal letter to an author explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves. Readers selected authors from any genre: fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic.

Goyette chose to write to author Laurie Halse Anderson about her book “Speak,” which chronicles a high school student’s struggle to find her voice after a traumatic experience.

“I hope to take inspiration from Melinda’s courage to cry out,” Goyette wrote. “I hope to take control of myself, and my words.”

“Of all the wonderful and heartfelt letters we judged, I found myself coming back again and again to Emmy Goyette's letter to Laurie Halse Anderson,” noted New Hampshire author Paul Durham, who served as one of the state judges. “Emmy's words lingered with me well after I'd read them. They were raw and haunting, but possessed a simple beauty and clarity at the same time.”

Nationally, 52,000 letters were submitted to Letters About Literature in 2015, with 776 letters coming from New Hampshire students. Sixty-eight semi-finalists had their letters sent along to the national competition.

In New Hampshire, Zachary Cassidy, a fourth grader at Infant Jesus School in Nashua, wrote the N.H. Level I (grades 4-6) winning letter to Robert Lawson, eighth-grader Goyette was the N.H. Level II (grades 7-8) winner, and Joonho Jo, a tenth grader at Philips Exeter Academy, wrote the N.H. Level III (grades 9-12) winning letter to Chinua Achebe.

For more information about New Hampshire Letters About Literature, visit http://lal.nhbookcenter.org

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