May 12, 2014 Library of Congress and Mid-Atlantic Public Libraries Kick Off Summer Essay Contest

Rising 5th and 6th Graders Asked to Write About “A Book That Shaped Me”

Press Contact: Lola Pyne (202) 707-3128

The Library of Congress today launched its annual summer essay contest in conjunction with public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region encouraging rising 5th- and 6th-grade students to reflect on books that have made a personal impact on their lives.

The "A Book That Shaped Me" Summer Writing Contest is administered as part of summer reading programs at participating public libraries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Top winners will be honored during a ceremony at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, Oct.18, 2014. All students who enter the contest can redeem a free contest prize pack at the Library of Congress National Book Festival, which will take place Aug. 30, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Students entering 5th and 6th grades in the fall of 2014 are eligible. Essays, focused on a single book, should be one page in length and must be submitted with an entry form, in person, at participating public library locations. The deadline for entries is Monday, Aug. 11, 2014.

"A Book That Shaped Me" will award prizes to five finalists and one winner per state, and to three overall grand-prize winners. The three grand-prize winners will be selected by a panel of judges assembled by the Library of Congress including educators, children’s authors, and Library of Congress staff.

Submission forms are available at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., or at participating public library locations. The list of participating libraries, more information, and program updates will be available at

Launched in 2012 with the D.C. Public Library, “A Book That Shaped Me” has since expanded throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with the help of public libraries in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. More than 300 public libraries are registered to participate in this, the third program year. Public library systems in these states may sign up through May 31, 2014 by contacting for program details.

The Library kicked off the 2014 contest as part of its Children’s Book Week event featuring Lois Lowry, Newbery Medal-winning writer of "The Giver.” Children's Book Week is sponsored by the Children's Book Council, which is a reading-promotion partner of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at


PR 14-083
ISSN 0731-3527