November 16, 2018 Library of Congress Writing Contest for Young Readers Across the Country Announced

Students in Grades 4-12 Can Win Cash Prizes of Up to $2,000

Press Contact: Benny Seda-Galarza (202) 707-8732
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Website: Letters About Literature Program

Learn more about the Letters About Literature writing competition at

Letters About Literature, the Library of Congress reading-and-writing contest now in its 26th year, is accepting applications beginning Nov. 1 for the 2018-19 cycle. For the first time, letters will be submitted electronically. For more information about the contest, including instructions for entering and deadlines for each state, visit

Letters About Literature asks students in grades 4-12 to read a book, poem, speech or essay by an author, living or dead, to think about how that work affected them and to write to the author on the work’s impact.

Students compete on the state and national level and receive cash prizes of up to $2,000. Deadlines are: Dec. 14, 2018, or Jan. 11, 2019, depending on the applicant’s state.

Research shows that children gain greater understanding of what they have read when they are given frequent opportunities to respond to it, especially through writing.

The writing response, in turn, helps to develop students’ critical reading and thinking skills. This reading-writing link is at the heart of the Letters About Literature program.

The contest is made possible through a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which administers the program through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations.

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $159 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 10 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, visit

The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," is a national force for reading and literacy promotion.

A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit

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, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at and register creative works of authorship at


PR 18-139
ISSN 0731-3527