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Jesse White urges student readers to enter Letters About Literature competition

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 11:00 a.m. CDT

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is urging students in Grades 4-12 to enter the 2015 Letters About Literature contest, a national reading and writing competition sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book.

Letters About Literature invites students to read a book of their choice and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their life or view of the world. Student can enter on their own or through their schools, libraries or other youth organizations.

“Every year thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspiring competition,” White said. “Illinois has had more entries than any other state for seven years in a row. Anyone who has read these letters can see how literature inspires and touches the lives of our young people. I encourage all our students to take part in Letters About Literature, and I hope their participation leads to a lifetime of reading.”

There are three levels of participation: Level I for Grades 4-6; Level II for Grades 7-8; and Level III for Grades 9-12. One Illinois winner will be selected for each level and receive a $200 cash award. Teachers of the winning students will receive a $100 cash award to purchase materials for their school library. Winners and teachers will be invited to an awards ceremony in Springfield. The state winners letters will be forwarded for national judging.

The deadline to enter the competition is Jan. 15 for Levels I and II and Dec. 15 for Level III. State winners will be announced in April 2015. For more information about the competition, contact Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or Information is also available at

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