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Letters About Literature 2016

Letters About Literature 2016

New Mexico’s Champions Announced!

Grace Logsted, a fifth grade student at the Estancia Valley Classical Academy in Moriarty , is the Level 1 champion.  Grace wrote her letter to James Dashner about his series, The Maze Runner.

Kate Colson, an eighth grade student at the Estancia Valley Classical Academy in Moriarty, is the Level 2 champion. Her letter is addressed to Cry of the Icemark author, Stuart Hill.

Arielle Moosman, a ninth grade student from Ramah, is the Level 3 champion. Arielle wrote her letter to Jerry Spinelli about his book Stargirl.

Six hundred and twenty-one New Mexico students entered the 2016 contest.  Of those 621 entries, 103 finalists advanced to round two state judging with 55 letters advancing to the third and final round of state finalist judging.  In Level 1 grades four through six, there were 247 entries with 16 letters advancing to round three.  In Level 2 grades seven and eight, there were 243 entries with just 12 letters advancing to round three. In Level 3 grades nine through twelve, there were 131 entries with 27 letters moving on to round three.  All of the state finalists who advanced to round two state judging will receive an award certificate in the mail.  

From the 55 New Mexico state finalists, the state judges selected three champions, three second place writers, three third place writers, and four honorable mention letters.  The three New Mexico champions' letters will be 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;
Kathleen Moeller-Peiffer, 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; Corey Bard, Director, Ruidoso Public Library; Elizabeth Martinez, New Mexico Library Commission, Santa Fe
Level 3 - Veronica Beckett, Co-Owner Coas Books, Las Cruces; John W. Byram, Director, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque; Anne Hillerman, Author, 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 fourth 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, the annual writing contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries, and other organizations.  In New Mexico, the contest is sponsored by the New Mexico State Library, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.