Letters About Literature 2018

A National Reading and Writing Promotional Program for Children and Young Adults.
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with and in cooperation with affiliate state centers for the book, invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest. To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre– fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves.

Each year the contest is planned and coordinated by Mr. Timothy Phillips, Subject Department Librarian and Ms. Amy Dawson, Manager, Literature Department/Ohio Center for the Book at Cleveland Public Library (CPL).

2018 Letters About Literature: Ohio
A total of 3,110 students throughout Ohio submitted an entry into the 2017/2018 Letters About Literature contest. Of that total, 1,107 students (representing 23 counties and 42 sponsors) were in Grades 4, 5, or 6 (Level I); 1,231 (representing 20 counties and 47 sponsors) were in Grades 7 and 8 (Level II); and 862 (representing 32 counties and 31 sponsors) were in Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12 (Level III). We’d also like to thank the judges for this year’s contest: Linda Feagler, Senior Editor, Ohio Magazine; Janet Ingraham Dwyer, Youth Services Consultant at the State Library of Ohio; Todd K. Masuda, Lawyer with Schneider Smeltz Spieth Bell; and Mindy McGinnis, Edgar-Award-winning author. Finally, we thank Cleveland’s Friends of the Library and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress for their support.

On Saturday, May 12, 2018, the Ohio Center for the Book held its annual Letters About Literature ceremony in the Louis Stokes Wing Auditorium at Cleveland Public Library. The following are Ohio’s Letters About Literature 2017/2018 winners and honorable finalists. To read more about the Ohio’s 2016/2017 Letters About Literature contest, click here to download/view the commemorative booklet.

Level I (Grades 4 – 6)

First Place Winner: Sara Goodlive – sponsor Jill Cecutti
Saint Brigid of Kildare School, Dublin, Ohio
Letter for Cynthia Lord, Rules

Second Place Winner: Anna Mancino – sponsor Donna Dieterich
Dover Intermediate School, Dover, Ohio
Letter to Audrey Penn, The Kissing Hand

Third Place Winner: Charlotte Musselmann – sponsor Monica Standring
Kensington Intermediate School, Rocky River, Ohio
Letter to Catherine Ryan Hyde, Pay It Forward

Honorable Finalists:

Justice Duerk, North Ridgeville Academic Center, North Ridgeville, Ohio
Letter to J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Madison Petty, Central Intermediate School, Wadsworth, Ohio
Letter to Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Fish in a Tree

Ariel Page, Moreland Hills Elementary School, Pepper Pike, Ohio
Letter to R.J. Palacio, Wonder

Grace Sugaski, Dover Intermediate School, Westlake, Ohio
Letter to Erin Hunter, Bluestar’s Prophecy

Level II (Grades 7 and 8)

First Place Winner: Lauren Kelly – sponsor Amy Krajeck
Saint Michael School, Canton, Ohio
Letter to Natalie D. Richards, We All Fall Down

Second Place Winner: Sophia Hudson – sponsor Vincent De Maria
Hastings Middle School, Upper Arlington, Ohio
Letter to Sharon Draper, Out of My Mind

Third Place Winner: Lillie Forbes – sponsor Sara Latkowski
Lee Burneson Middle School, Westlake, Ohio
Letter to Shelley Pearsall, Crooked River

Honorable Finalists:

Laura Flaker, Wadsworth Middle School, Wadsworth, Ohio
Letter to Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall

Thomas Gorenc, Birchwood School of Hawken, Cleveland, Ohio
Letter to Kate DiCamillo, The Tiger Rising

Paul Abou Haidar, Birchwood School of Hawken, Cleveland, Ohio
Letter to S.E. Hinton, The Outsiders

Shelby Tupciauskas, Anthony Wayne Junior High School, Whitehouse, Ohio
Letter to Lynda Mullaly Hunt, One for the Murphys

Level III (Grades 9 – 12)

First Place Winner: Sandy Shen, Solon, Ohio (self-entered)
Letter to Celeste Ng, Little Fires Everywhere

Second Place Winner: Thalia Soto – sponsor Linda Roth
Dublin Scioto High School, Dublin, Ohio
Letter to Ashley Rhodes-Courter, Three Little Words

Third Place Winner: Grace Ann Watkins — sponsor Dr. Christen Clemson
Maplewood High School, Cortland, Ohio
Letter to Holly Goldberg Sloan, Counting By 7s

Honorable Finalists:

Makiyah Brown, Westerville Central High School, Westerville, Ohio
Letter to Matthew Quick, Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock

Maria Burdjalov, Orange High School, Pepper Pike, Ohio
Letter to Alexander Pushkin, Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish

Sylvia Nica, Cincinnatti, Ohio (self-entered)
Letter to Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Allison Roberts, Middletown, Ohio (self-entered)
Letter to Lou Ann Walker, A Loss for Words: The Story of Deafness in a Family