RENO—Nevada Humanities has announced the winners of the statewide Letters About Literature program. 305 students from Nevada submitted entries to the national competition at the Library of Congress, and 35 Nevada students passed the first round of judging.
Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12, run through the Library of Congress. Students across the country are asked to read a book, poem, or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter the Letters About Literature competition each year, with over 42,000 entries submitted to the Library of Congress in 2018. Encouraging students to write to authors deeply engages children with the content of the books that they read, and Letters About Literature encourages students to reflect and respond.
A judging panel in Nevada made up of representatives from State of Nevada government agencies and other volunteers, evaluated students’ letters on content, expression, structure, and grammar, as well as how well the entry provided reflective details to support how the author’s work changed the reader’s view of the world or self.
The following Nevada students will advance to the national competition:
Level 1 (Grades 4, 5, and 6): Elise Choi, home school, Las Vegas, NV, with her letter to Victor Hugo, author of Les Misérables.
Level 2 (Grades 7 and 8): Katelyn Lee, Hyde Park Middle School, Las Vegas, NV, with her letter to Plato, author of Ion.
Level 3 (Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12): Gus Pappas, Silverado High School, Henderson, NV, with his letter to Connor Franta, author of Note to Self.
Honorable mentions go to the following Nevada students:
Level 1 2nd Place: Diva Saxena, Hyde Park Middle School, Las Vegas, NV, with her letter to Holly Goldberg Sloan, author of Counting by 7’s.
Level 1 3rd Place: Cara Lee, Staton Elementary School, Las Vegas, NV, with her letter to Nanci Turner Steveson, author of Swing Sideways.
Level 2 2nd Place: Reece Ditto-Piccolo, Becker Middle School, Las Vegas, NV, with her letter to John Green, author of Looking for Alaska.
Level 2 3rd Place: Erin Choi, home school, Las Vegas, NV, with her letter to Mark Twain, author of The Prince and the Pauper.
Level 3 2nd Place: Faith Galli, George Whittell High School, Zephyr Cove, NV, with her letter to Chris Colfer, author of The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell.
Level 3 3rd Place: Marissa Thompson, Desert Rose High School, Las Vegas, NV, with her letter to C.S. Lewis, author of The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Level 3 3rd Place: Samantha Gould, Northwest Career and Technical Academy, Las Vegas, NV, with her letter to Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape.
Nevada Humanities will recognize and award prizes to the state winners, as well as second and third place finishers, at an awards ceremony on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 4:00 pm at The Writer’s Block, 1020 Fremont St #100, in Las Vegas. A reception will follow. The Library of Congress will announce all National Honor Winners in Spring 2018 and will publish all state-level winners on its website.
Next year’s competition will be announced in Fall 2018. Go to read.gov/letters for details on national awards and ceremonies.
About Nevada Humanities:
Nevada Humanities is one of 56 independent state and territorial humanities councils affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. With offices in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada Humanities creates public programs and supports public projects statewide that define the Nevada experience and facilitate the exploration of issues that matter to Nevadans and their communities. Nevada Reads and Nevada Center for the Book are programs of Nevada Humanities, and made possible with support from Nevada State Library, Archives, and Public Records; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Library of Congress Center for the Book promotes books and libraries, literacy and reading, and poetry and literature. Library of Congress programs include a diverse range of events, series, lectures, partnerships, prizes, contests, and awards. For more information, visit nevadahumanities.org. Or call 800-382-5023 in Reno or 702-800-4670 in Las Vegas.