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Letters About Literature 2018

New Mexico’s Champions Announced!

Kaelyn Siefkes, a fifth grade student at Estancia Valley Classical Academy in Moriarty, is the Level 1 champion.  Kaelyn wrote her letter to Rachel Renee Russel about her series, The Dork Diaries.

Allie Vice, a seventh grade student at Eisenhower Middle School in Albuquerque, is the Level 2 champion. Her letter is addressed to Out of My Mind author, Sharon M. Draper.

Steffen Ortiz, a tenth grade student at East Mountain High School in Sandia, is the Level 3 champion. Steffen wrote his letter to Markus Zusak about his book, The Book Thief.

Letters About Literature encourages young readers in grades 4 -12 to read a book and write a personal letter to the author explaining how the book changed or shaped their perspective on themselves or the world. Students could write about works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Letter writers compete at three levels: Level I is grades 4-6; Level II is grades 7-8; and Level III is grades 9-12. 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.  One winning letter from each level from each state is entered into the final national competition.

Five hundred and nineteen New Mexico students entered the 2018 contest.  Of those 519 entries, 45 writers advanced to round two.  In Level 1, there were 230 entries with 10 letters advancing to round two state judging.  In Level 2, there were 154 entries with 17 letters advancing to round two state judging. In Level 3, there were 135 entries with 18 letters moving on to round two state judging.  All of the state finalist writers who advanced to round two will receive an award certificate in the mail.  

From the 45 New Mexico state finalists, the state judges selected three champions, three second place writers, three third place writers, and six honorable mention letters.  The three New Mexico champions' letters now advance to the national competition and will be sent to the Library of Congress for the national judging round.  The results of the national contest will be released in May.

Many New Mexico schools and home schooled students 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; Norice Lee, Associate Library Director, Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, Health Sciences Library, Las Cruces; Ben Wakashige, Retired State Librarian, Rio Rancho

Level 2 – Anne Price, Youth Services Manager, Octavia Fellin Public Library, Gallup; Malcolm Alonzo, Library Services Supervisor, The Public Library of Albuquerque and Bernalillo, Alamosa Branch; Deanne Dekle, Youth Services & Outreach Consultant, New Mexico State Library, Santa Fe

Level 3 – Susan Beck, Professor and Head of Access Services, New Mexico State University Library, Las Cruces; Craig L. Newbill, retired Director, New Mexico Humanities Council, Albuquerque; Sarah Stark, Author, Santa Fe

This is the sixth year New Mexico State Library has sponsored the 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.