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2018-2019 Vermont Letters about Literature Competition

Letters about Literature 2018-2019


The Vermont Department of Libraries will once again be facilitating Vermont's state competition in the Library of Congress' 26th Annual Letters about Literature contest.

This contest asks students in grades 4-12 to write a letter to an author explaining how something they've written affected the student's worldview and/or self-perception. Students should not be assigned a piece, but rather select something themselves that truly impacted them on a personal level. Letters will be first be judged against other entrants from Vermont in a state competition, and the first-place letters from each level (grades 4-6, 7-8, and 9-12) will be sent on to the national competition.

There are several big changes to the program this year, including:

  • Online submission - entries in any format will not be accepted until November 1, 2018
      • Entries will still be accepted by mail (although online submissions are preferred) at:

Letters about Literature

Vermont Department of Libraries

60 Washington Street, Suite 2

Barre, VT 05641

  • Minimum/maximum word count for letters and strict judging of formatting (read contest rules thoroughly)
  • Parental permission form for entrants under the age of 13 as of November 1, 2018

Please read the contest rules thoroughly before beginning any writing with your students. The deadline for entries is January 11, 2019.

Important Documents & Links

Prizes and Award Ceremony

The winners of the Vermont state competition will be honored at a ceremony at the State House in Montpelier on May 31, 2019. First-place state winners will have the opportunity to read their letters to the assembled guests.

State winners will receive a certificate and a cash prize:

  • First-place: $150
  • Second-place: $125
  • Third-place: $100

State winners will be asked to submit a W-9 in order to receive their cash prize.

National winners of the competition in each level will receive a $2000 cash prize, and honor winners will receive $500.