For the past 13 years, the Washington State Library has sponsored a contest called Letters About Literature. The straightforward contest asks students in grades 4-12 to write a letter to an author about how his or her book changed their view of the world or themselves. We wrote a little about the contest earlier in the year.
Each year when the letters written by Washington students arrive, we read them and cannot believe the depth of feeling and insight contained in a few pages. The 2018 winning letters were incredible and can now be read on our website.
On Friday, May 11, the contest culminated in an awards ceremony in the Capitol in Olympia. We were thrilled by the return of Secretary of State Kim Wyman as host of the event. The gathering included the students and their families, teachers, judges, and even state Senator Sam Hunt came to cheer on his district’s students. The turnout filled almost every chair in the room.
The three groups of honorable mentions, the three runners-up, and the three state champions were each introduced, presented with a certificate, and congratulated by Secretary Wyman and State Librarian Cindy Aden. The program culminated with the three champions reading their letters out loud to the audience. By the time they were done, there were no dry eyes left in the room.
Wondering what you missed? Luckily, TVW was on hand to record the ceremony.
And an album of photos is hosted on our Flickr site.
The Letters About Literature contest is a national program developed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book in Washington, D.C. The Washington State Library and the Seattle Public Library have partnered to develop and grow the Washington Center for the Book (WCB), and the contest this year is sponsored by the WCB.