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Letters About Literature 2014

Letters About Literature 2014

New Mexico’s Champions Announced!

Audrey Rodriguez, a sixth grade student at Eisenhower Middle School, is the Level 1 champion.  Audrey wrote her letter to Lynda Mullaly Hunt about her book One for the Murphys.

Leah Downey, a seventh grade student in Las Cruces, is the Level 2 champion. Leah wrote her letter to Deborah Ellis about her book The Breadwinner.

Katya Waid from Mountainair, who is a ninth grade student at New Mexico Connections Academy, is the Level 3 champion. Katya wrote her letter to Harper Lee about her book To Kill a Mockingbird.

There were 523 New Mexico students who entered the 2014 contest.  Of those 523 entries, 133 semifinalists advanced to round two state judging.  In Level 1, there were 166 entries with 31 letters advancing to round two.  In Level 2, there were 192 entries with just 40 letters advancing to round two.  In Level 3, there were 165 entries with 62 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 133 New Mexico semifinalists, the state judges selected three champions, three second place writers, three third place writers, and eleven 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 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;
Devon Skeele, State Librarian, New Mexico State Library, Department of Cultural Affairs, Santa Fe;
Flo Trujillo, Youth Services Coordinator, Farmington Public Library
Level 2 - Becky Ewing, Manager, Books Etcetera, Ruidoso; Joe Hayes, Author & Storyteller, Santa Fe;
David L. Caffey, Chair, New Mexico Library Commission, Clovis
Level 3 - John W. Byram, Director, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque; Ken Dayer, Assistant Director, Silver City Public Library; Dorothy Massey, Co-Owner, Collected Works Bookstore, 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 second 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.