The West Virginia Center for the Book at the West Virginia Library Commission will hold the 2017 Letters About Literature awards ceremony at the state Culture Center on Thursday, May 18th, 2017, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Letters About Literature is a national reading and writing program, supported locally by the WV Center for the Book, an affiliate of the National Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Local author Belinda Anderson will speak at the event, where participating state students will be honored.
The theme for this year’s writing competition was How Did an Author’s Work Change Your View of the World or Yourself? Students in grades 4-12 (divided by Levels 1-3) wrote letters to authors (living or dead) telling them how a book, poem, or play by that author affected them personally. “It is amazing how students of all ages are impacted by the “written word” in very personal and meaningful ways; their letters leave their own lasting impression,” explained Gayle Manchin, Cabinet Secretary of Education and the Arts.
This year, 723 students from West Virginia were among the more than 47,000 students nationwide who wrote Letters About Literature. National screeners selected 117 of the West Virginia entries for state level judging. Judges, chosen by the West Virginia Center for the Book, determined the top letters in each competition level for the state. Entries for state level judging were selected on how well they met the required criteria of: audience, purpose, grammatical conventions, and originality.
Those receiving “Top Honors” advance to national level judging. The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress selects a panel of judges to award national winners and national honor winners. Karen Goff, WVLC Executive Secretary, says, “The Letters About Literature competition allows the most gifted students in the state to showcase their skills. The WVLC is proud to support this program, which creates a forum for students to excel in both reading and writing.”
The Library of Congress will announce all National and National Honor Winners and awards and will list all state-level winners on its website: www.read.gov/letters/