“We are pleased to be able to present the Letters About Literature Texas contest each year to encourage students to read closely, think critically and express themselves so eloquently through their amazing letters.”
The Texas Center for the Book has announced the winners of the 2020-2021 Letters About Literature Texas contest, a statewide event sponsored by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation. This annual competition invites fourth– through twelfth-grade students to write letters to authors—living or dead—about how that writer’s words affected them or changed their worldview.
Hundreds of Texas students selected a book, book series, essay, play, poem, short story, or speech that touched their lives and submitted their letters to the author this year. Winners across three competition levels receive a $100 cash prize and were honored at the 2021 Virtual Texas Library Association Conference.
Level 1 (Grades 4-6)
- Reese Owen of Austin wrote to Kate DiCamillo
Book title: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
- Caroline Mebane of Austin wrote to Meredith Davis and Rebeka Uwitonze
Book title: On Her Own Two Feet
- Davis Martin of Austin wrote to J. K. Rowling
Book series title: Harry Potter
Level 2 (Grades 7-8)
- Max Yan of Dallas wrote to R. J. Palacio
Book title: Wonder
- Darby Rosetta of Lubbock wrote to Donna Gephart
Book title: Lily and Dunkin
- Abigail Durnin of Leander wrote to Steven Levenso
Book title: Dear Evan Hansen
Level 3 (Grades 9-12)
- Olivia O’Reilly of Houston wrote to Chaim Potok
Book title: The Chosen
- Cara Shield of Beaumont wrote to Mary Oliver
Poem title: “When Death Comes”
- Andi Lopez of New Braunfels wrote to Jessica Day George
Book series title: Dragon Slippers
“Congratulations to our outstanding winners and runners-up, and a big thank you to all the students who wrote letters, as well as the librarians, teachers, and parents who supported their participation,” said Mark Smith, Texas State Library and Archives Commission Director and Librarian. “We are pleased to be able to present the Letters About Literature Texas contest each year to encourage students to read closely, think critically and express themselves so eloquently through their amazing letters.”
The winning 2021 letters are published on the TSLAC website (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature), and all students are encouraged to share the link, as well as to reach out directly to the author and publisher.
Established in 1987, the Texas Center for the Book seeks to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy, and libraries. The Center builds partnerships with library professionals, educators, authors, publishers, and booksellers who provide support to our shared mission of promoting a love of literature throughout the Lone Star State. The Texas Center for the Book is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at the Lorenzo De Zavala State Archives and Library Building in Austin.