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New Hampshire Students in Grades 4-12 are Invited to Enter Letters About Literature 2019

Letters About Literature is a national reflective writing competition sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and presented in association with affiliate State Centers for the Book with funding provided by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Students are asked to write to a favorite author—past or present—describing how that author’s work changed the reader’s view of the world. Readers respond to the book they’ve read by exploring the personal relationship between themselves, the author and the book’s characters or themes. Readers may select authors, living or dead, from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic.
A wide variety of books have inspired students whose letters were selected as New Hampshire semi-finalists in recent years. There are three competition levels: 4-6 grade (level 1), 7-8 grade (level 2), and 9-12 grade (level 3). New Hampshire semi-finalists will receive certificates and prizes of $100 will be given to one student at each competition level. The state winners will move on to the national competition. National winners for each of the three competition levels receive $1,000, and national honor winners for each level will receive $200.

Enter Online

Beginning this year there is an online submission platform for Letters About Literature entries set up by the Library of Congress. We encourage everyone to use this method of entering Letters About Literature. The online Submittable form will be available beginning November 1, 2018 and all entries must be complete by midnight, December 14, 2018. Check out the Official RulesAdobe Acrobate for more details. You will be asked to agree to the Library of Congress' LAL Terms of Use when you submit the entries this way. There is a video about how to submit online entries which walks you through the full submission process.

Will you be 13 on November 1, 2018?Because the entries for Letters About Literature will be entered into an online form (even if you mail them to us they will end up in the online form), any student whose work is entered and who is under the age of 13 (as of 11/1/2018) must include with their entry a consent form signed by their parent/legal guardian to be eligible for entry. Entries by/for students under the age of 13 without a signed consent form will be ineligible and their entries will have to be discarded. We strongly recommend collecting signed permission forms prior to beginning the submission process as the system won't let you proceed to submit the entry without one. Online entries will need to upload a scanned pdf or image of a hand-signed copy of the permission formAdobe Acrobate. Mailed entries will need to include an original signed copy of the form.

Enter by Mail

If you cannot use the online form, the Center for the Book at the New Hamsphire State Library will accept entries by mail this year. Entries must be postmarked no later than December 14, 2018 and must include (along with the letter):

Send your complete entry to:

Letters About Literature
Center for the Book at NHSL
20 Park Street
Concord, NH 03301

Teachers are welcome to send one envelope with multiple entries, but each MUST have its own entry coupon (2 sided!) and a signed release form attached.

Teacher Resources

The Library of Congress has a Teachers Page with resources they have created to help you use Letters About Literature in your classroom. The Letters About Literature Teaching GuideAdobe Acrobate provides activities teachers can use to guide their students through the book discussion and letter-writing process. The guide addresses the LAL teaching strategies and ways in which the program can dovetail with national standards for teaching reading and writing as well as Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Also included are worksheets for duplication and assessment checklists. There are also videos your students can view.

Questions?

If you have questions about Letters About Literature in New Hampshire, please contact Mary Russell at 603-271-2866.

Past New Hampshire LAL Winners

Julianna Kajka, a fifth grader at Hampstead Middle School, wrote the letter that was selected as the 2018 Level I NH winning letter to Sara Pennypacker.

Brianna Leo, a student at Milford Middle School, wrote the 2018 Level II NH winning letter to Ben Mikaelsen.

Stephanie Chambers, an eleventh grader at Prospect Mountain High School (Alton), wrote the 2018 Level III NH winning letter to Stephen Chbosky.

Isabella Reichard, a sixth grade student at Captain Samuel Douglass Academy (Brookline), wrote the letter that was selected as the 2017 Level I NH winning letter to Esther Earl. Isabella's letter was also selected for a National Honor Award.

Megan McLaughlin, an eighth grader at Hollis Brookline Middle School, wrote the 2017 Level II NH winning letter to Jerry Spinelli.

Kaiden Gilbert, an eleventh grader at Prospect Mountain High School (Alton), wrote the 2017 Level III NH winning letter to Gary Paulsen

Liliana Pistor, a sixth grader at Captain Samuel Douglass Academy (Brookline), wrote the 2016 Level I NH winning letter to R. J. Palacio.

Anthony Perriello, an eighth grade student at Plainfield Elementary School (Meriden), wrote the letter that was selected as the 2016 Level II NH winning letter to Paul Volponi.

Kaitlyn Grant, a senior at Somersworth High School and Career Technical Center, wrote the 2016 Level III NH winning letter to Neil Hilborn.

Zachary Cassidy, a fourth grader at Infant Jesus School (Nashua), wrote the 2015 Level I NH winning letter to Robert Lawson.

Emmy Goyette, a student in the eighth grade at Oyster River Middle School (Durham), wrote the letter that was selected as the 2015 Level II NH winning letter to Laurie Halse Anderson. Emmy's letter was also selected for a National Honor Award.

Joonho Jo, a tenth grader at Philips Exeter Academy, wrote the 2015 Level III NH winning letter to Chinua Achebe.

Salina Chadbourne, a sixth grader at Three Rivers School (Pembroke), wrote the 2014 Level I NH winning letter to Patricia Reilly Giff.

Anna Meldrum, a student in the eighth grade at Milford Middle School, wrote the letter that was selected as the 2014 Level II NH winning letter to Ben Mikealson.

Leah Stagnone, a senior at Campbell High School (Litchfield), wrote the 2014 Level III NH winning letter to Stephen Chbosky.

Elizabeth Ross, a fifth grader at Infant Jesus School, wrote the 2013 Level I NH winning letter to Rick Riordan.

Jillian C. Perriello, a student in the eighth grade at Plainfileld Elementary School, wrote the 2013 Level II NH winning letter to Nicholas Sparks.

Maddie Brown , a sophomore at Lebanon High School wrote the letter that was selected as the 2013 Level III NH winner to Stephen Crane.

Jaden Carrier, a fifth grader at Infant Jesus School, wrote the 2012 Level I NH winning letter to David Lubar .

Isabelle Todd, a student in the eighth grade at Oyster River Middle School, wrote the 2012 Level II NH winning letter to Natasha Friend.

Christopher Maloney, a senior at Goffstown High School wrote the letter that was selected as the 2012 Level III NH winner to Christopher Paolini .

Drew L. Stetson, a fifth grader at Stratham Memorial School, wrote the 2011 Level I NH winning letter to Robert Frost.

Erin Angel Choate, a student at Lisbon Regional School, wrote the 2011 Level II NH winning letter to David Pelzer.

Jake Tinkham, a senior at Gilford High School wrote the letter that was selected as the 2011 Level III NH winner to Brian Jacques.

A letter to Judy Blume from Kristin Chan, a fifth grader at Infant Jesus School (Nashua, NH), was selected as 2010 Level I NH winner.

Lauren Kiessling , a student at Haverhill Cooperative Middle School, wrote the 2010 Level II NH winning letter to Jodi Picoult.

Sarah Schott, a student at Belmont High School wrote the letter that was selected as the 2010 Level III NH winner to John Irving.

A letter to Lois Lowry from Peyton Plante, a sixth grader at Three Rivers School, was selected as 2009 Level I NH winner.

Merisa Dion, an eighth grader at West Running Brook Middle School in Derry, wrote the 2009 Level II NH winning letter to Allen Say.

A letter to Martha Tod Dudman from Heather Coen of Hopkinton was selected as the 2009 Level III NH winner.

A letter to Beverly Cleary from Angela Wang of Nashua, was chosen as the 2008 Level I NH winner.

A letter to Carolyn Mackler from Sydnie Spencer, a student at Oyster River Middle School, was the Level II 2008 New Hampshire winner.

A letter to Jodi Picoult from Livie Lane of Dover was the Level III New Hampshire winner for 2008.

Letter to Frances Hodgson Burnett from Marissa McCoo of Pembrook was chosen as the 2007 Level I NH winner.

Letter to Davida Wills Hurwin from Livie Lane of Dover was the Level II New Hampshire winner for 2007.

Letter to Anne Rice from Rachel Arnold, a student at Milford High School, was the Level III 2007 New Hampshire winner.

Letter to Natalie Babbitt from Izzy Starr of Hollis was chosen as the 2006 Level I NH winner.

Letter to Jenni Schaefer from Kylee Drugan-Eppich of Madbury was chosen as the 2006 NH Level II winner and as a runner-up in the national competition.

Letter to Rowland Sill from Steve Therrien of Exeter was the 2006 Level III NH winner.

Letter to Patricia Polacco from Shauna Casey, a homeschooled student from Salem, was chosen as the 2005 Level I NH winner.

Letter to Thornton Wilder from Evelyn Bulkeley, a student at the Runnemede School in Plainfield, was chosen as the 2005 Level II NH winner.

Letter to Candace Goldapper from Samantha Lo, a student at Thorntons Ferry School in Merrimack, was chosen as the 2004 Level I NH winner.

Letter to Tamora Pierce from Helen H. Aki, a homeschooled student from Weare, was chosen as the 2004 Level II NH winner.

Letter to Stephanie S. Tolan from Zoe Cannon, a homeschooled student from Nottingham, was chosen as the 2004 Level III NH winner.

 

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