Jesse White urges student readers to enter “Letters About Literature” competition

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is urging students in grades 4-10 to enter the 2013 “Letters About Literature” (LAL) contest, a national reading and writing competition.

“Every year thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspiring competition,” White said.  “Illinois has had more entries than any other state for five years in a row. I encourage all of our students to take part in Letters About Literature, and I hope their participation leads to a lifetime love of reading.”

 Students read a book and write letters to the authors, living or deceased, describing how a book positively impacted their life. The contest is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in cooperation with the Illinois Center for the Book. There are three levels of participation: Level I for grades 4, 5 and 6, Level II for grades 7 and 8 and Level III for grades 9 and 10.   One winner will be selected for each level and receive a $100 award.  Teachers of the winning students receive a $100 award to purchase materials for their school library.  Winners and teachers are invited to an award ceremony in Springfield.  State winners’ letters are forwarded for national judging.  One national winner for each level will receive $1,000 and one second place national winner for each level will receive $150. 

The deadline to enter the competition is January 11, 2013.  State winners will be announced in April 2013.  For more information about the competition, contact Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or More information can also be found at

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