May 1, 2018 Library of Congress and Mid-Atlantic Public Libraries Kick Off Summer Contest

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

Press Contact: Lola Pyne (202) 707-3128
Public Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-3073

The Library of Congress today launched its annual summer essay contest, in conjunction with public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region, to encourage 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. Prizes will be awarded and top winners will be invited to present their essays during a special presentation at the 18th Library of Congress National Book Festival, Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Students entering 5th and 6th grades in the fall of 2018 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 Saturday, July 7, 2018.

"A Book That Shaped Me" will award prizes to five finalists and one winner per state, and to three overall grand-prize winners. The 30 finalists will be selected by a panel of scorers composed of members of the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association. 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 Room G-29 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., or at participating public library locations. The list of participating libraries and more information are available at this website.

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. Public library systems in these states may sign up through May 11, 2018, by contacting [email protected] for program details.

The Library kicked off the 2018 contest as part of its Children’s Book Week, a celebration sponsored by the Children's Book Council, which is a reading-promotion partner of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein. Charter sponsors include the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsors The James Madison Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; PBS is the Champion-level sponsor; Contributor-level sponsors National Geographic and Scholastic Inc.; and, in the Friends category, AARP, Booklovers Circle members, Bookshare – a Benetech initiative, Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., Dollar General Literacy Foundation, Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction administered by The University of Alabama School of Law, The Hay-Adams, The Junior League of Washington, Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, J.J. Medveckis Foundation, Timothy and Diane Naughton, Reading Is Fundamental, Small Press Expo (SPX) and the Whittle School & Studios. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at [email protected].

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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PR 18-061
2018-05-01
ISSN 0731-3527