Letters About Literature in Illinois Illinois Center for the Book
Sponsored by Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, and the Illinois Center for the Book, Letters About Literature is a statewide reading and writing promotion. Students in grades 4 – 12 are invited to read a book of their choice, reflect on it, and write a personal letter to its author explaining the impact this work had on them.
Students can enter individually, or through school, library and youth organizations. There are three writing levels based on the student’s grade in school:
Level I - Grades 4 - 6
Level II - Grade 7 & 8
Level III - Grades 9 - 12.
There is one winning letter selected per Level. Winners receive a cash prize and a plaque from the Illinois Secretary of State. Teachers of the winners receive a certificate and a cash prize for the school to purchase books for the school library.
Runners Up from each Level receive certificates.
2022 Contest Information
The deadline to enter is December 15, 2021. Winners will be announced after May 2022.
- Entry Form and Guidelines(Become available each Fall)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Letters About Literature Supports National Language Arts and Reading Standards, and Common Core State Standards
- Teacher/Student Checklists
- Teaching Guide
- Secretary of State Press Release Inviting Students to Enter
- Level I, Grades 4-6: Alexander See of Arlington Heights wrote to Kate Messner, author ofThe Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. Alexander is a student at Patton Elementary School in Arlington Heights His letter was submitted by his teacher, Carrie Cioni.
- Level II, Grades 7-8: Sophia DiPasquale of Hinsdale wrote to Naoki Higashida and David Mitchell, authors ofThe Reason I Jump. Sophia attends Clarendon Middle School. Her letter was submitted by her teacher, Jen McCredy.
- Level III, Grades 9-12: Sarah Friedman of Skokie wrote to Jean-Dominque Bauby, author of The Diving Bell and the Butterflyem. Sarah attends Ida Crown Jewish Academy. Her Letter was submitted by her teacher, Tirza Kahan.
- Winning Letters