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Letters About Literature 2016

The Letters About Literature awards ceremony took place on Friday, May 6 in the rotunda of the Round House in Santa Fe. State Librarian, Kathleen Moeller-Peiffer, welcomed everyone and awards were then presented to the three New Mexico state champions who read their letters aloud, the three second place winners, the three third place winners, and the honorable mention letter writers.

Grace Logsted, a fifth grade student at Estancia Valley Classical Academy, 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 Estancia Valley Classical Academy, is the Level 2 champion. Kate wrote her letter to Stuart Hill about his book The Cry of the Icemark.

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

Each of the state champions received a certificate acknowledging their achievement and $150 from the State Library. The second place, third place, and honorable mention writers also received a certificate and a $25 gift card for Collected Works Bookstore.  The three New Mexico champions' letters were sent to the Library of Congress for the national competition. The winners of the national competition will be announced in early May.

There were 621 New Mexico students who entered the 2016 contest.   Their letters were considered in the first round of the competition and 103 finalists were chosen.  From those 103 writers in round two, 55 state finalist letters moved forward to round three state judging.  From those 55 writers, the state champions, second and third place, and honorable mention letters were chosen by the New Mexico state judges.  All of the finalists and state finalists were sent a certificate in the mail.

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.

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:

Thank you to all the students, teachers, librarians, and families who participated 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.