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Letters About Literature 2015


Letters About Literature 2015

New Mexico’s Champions Announced!

Kayla Ayala, a sixth grade student at Tularosa Intermediate School, is the Level 1 champion.  Kayla wrote her letter to Janet Shaw about her book The Silent Stranger.

Arielle Foxx Moosman, an eighth grade student in Ramah, is the Level 2 champion. Arielle wrote her letter to Katherine Paterson about her book Bridge to Terabithia.

Michaela Bluedorn from Lovington, who is a senior student at Lovington High School, is the Level 3 champion. Michaela wrote her letter to Erin Hanson about her poem The Storyteller.

There were 586 New Mexico students who entered the 2015 contest.  Of those 586 entries, 88 semifinalists advanced to round two state judging.  In Level 1, there were 137 entries with 25 letters advancing to round two.  In Level 2, there were 169 entries with 32 letters advancing to round two.  In Level 3, there were 280 entries with just 31 letters moving on to round two.  All of the state semifinalists who advanced to round two state judging will receive an award certificate in the mail.  

From the 88 New Mexico semifinalists, the state judges selected three champions, three second place writers, three third place writers, and ten honorable mention letters.  The three New Mexico champions' letters have been sent to the Library of Congress for the national competition.  The results of the national judging will be released in early May.

Many New Mexico schools and home schoolers from around the state participate in the competition.  We appreciate the support of teachers, librarians, and parents for Letters About Literature.

Our special thanks to the New Mexico judges:

Level 1 - Veronica N. Gonzales, Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs, Santa Fe;
Michael DeLello, Interim State Librarian, New Mexico State Library, Department of Cultural Affairs, Santa Fe;
Ben Wakashige, Retired State Librarian, Rio Rancho
Level 2 - Angelina Manfredie, Head of Youth Services, Mesa Public Library, Los Alamos; Ken Dayer, Assistant Director/Public Services Manager, Silver City Public Library; David L. Caffey, Chair, New Mexico Library Commission, Clovis
Level 3 - Veronica Beckett, Co-Owner Coas Books, Las Cruces; John W. Byram, Director, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque; Michael McGarrity, Novelist, Santa Fe
Letters About Literature encourages young readers to read a book and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their view of the world. The writers compete in the state contest to win $150 cash prize per competition level and a $1,000 cash award per competition level in the national contest.

This is the third year New Mexico State Library has sponsored the competition.

Readers in grades 4-12 wrote a personal letter to an author explaining how his or her work shaped their perspective on the world or themselves. Students could write about works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Entries in Spanish were accepted and translated for the New Mexico judges. State judges selected the top letter writers in New Mexico, who then advanced to the national competition.

Letter writers competed at three levels: Level I is grades 4-6; Level II is grades 7-8; and Level III is grades 9-12. One winning letter from each level from each state is entered into the final national competition.

For more information about New Mexico’s Letters About Literature contest, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or call Lori Thornton at 505-476-9717.

To read about the Letters About Literature contest at the national level, please click here:

Letters About Literature – Center for the Book – Library of Congress

Thank you to all the students, teachers, librarians, and families who participate in New Mexico's Letters About Literature program.  Keep reading and writing!


Letters About Literature is sponsored by the New Mexico State Library, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. Letters About Literature is also sponsored by The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.