Letters About Literature

Each year the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in partnership with affiliate state centers for the book, invites readers in grades 4-12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre—fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves. There are three competition levels with three winners at each level: Level I for children in grades 4-6; Level II for grades 7 & 8, and Level III, grades 9–12. For each level, first place winners receive $100, second place winners receive $50, and third place winners receive $25. 

Information for Students and Teachers

  • This year will be our first accepting online submissions! Please visit this page to submit yours or your classes letters.
  • Submissions will still be accepted via mail, but may not be duplicated from online submissions. Please mail to 1500 Senate Street, Columbia, SC 29201 Attention: SC Center for the Book with a completed entry coupon
  • Submissions from all competition levels must be submitted online or postmarked by January 11, 2019.
  • The Letters About Literature Teaching Guide provides activities teachers can use to guide their students through the book discussion and letter-writing process. Worksheets for duplication and assessment checklists are also included.
  • State winners receive cash prizes provided by the South Carolina State Library Foundation.


For any questions regarding Letters About Literature, please contact Andersen Cook at 803-545-4432 at acook@statelibrary.sc.gov.