Letters About Literature

The Library of Congress has discountinued this program.  Without their support, it is with regret, we also have to discontinue the program.

2018 Winners

Level One – Elementary (Grades 4 -6)

Maya Tratt, 6th grade – Westchester Day School, Mamaroneck, NY


Level Two – Middle (Grades 7-8)




Pepe Baselga-Garriga, 8th grade – Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York, NY


Level Three – High (Grades 9-12)


Lila Villasenor, 9th grade – Clarkstown High School South, West Nyack, NY

2017 Winners


Level 1 (grades 4-6) - Odelya Bergner-Phillips - grade 5, Hunter College Elementary School

Level 2 (grades 7-8) - Mika Langel - grade 8, Great Neck South Middle School

Level 3, (grades 9-12) - Madison Mangogna - grade 11, Great Neck South High School



2016 Winners 

Level 1  Ava Zajfe 5th Grade New York City
Level 2 John Finnie-Maloney 8th Grade Commack, NY
Level 3 Violet Fearon 11th Grade Pleasantville, NY
Ava Jajfe, Violet Fearon and John Finnie-Maloney

2015 Winners 

Level 1 Julianna Yu 6 Grade  New York, NY
Level 2 Helen Schauffler 8 Grade  Woodstock, NY
Level 3 Aissatou Toure 10 Grade  New York, NY

Aissatou Toure, Helen Schauffler and Julianna Yu

2014 Runners-up

Level 1 Jesse DeMatteo Grade 6 Center Moricjes, NY
Level 1 Albert Jajati Grade 6 Brooklyn, NY
Level 2 Ben Gramarossa Grade 7 Kings Park, NY
Level 2 Sammy Kishk Grade 7 Brooklyn, NY
Level 3 Carina Hahn Grade 11 New York, NY
Level 3 Sherry Yang Grade 12 Great Neck, NY

2016 Letters About Literature Information

The Empire State Center for the Book is a participant in the national Letters About Literature program sponsored by the Library of Congress’ National Center for the Book.  New York State students in grades 4-12 are eligible to participate in the state program.  The state winners in the three age categories go on to represent New York on the National Level.

The program has student readers write to an author, living or dead, describing how that author’s work somehow changed the reader’s view of the world or himself/herself. Readers respond to the book they’ve read by exploring the personal relationship between themselves, the author, and the book’s characters or themes.

There are three competition levels:
• Level I for grades 4 through 6;
• Level II for grades 7 and 8,
• Level III for grades 9 and 12.

Once again LAL Level 3 will be open to students in grades 9 through 12.  The deadline for entries for Level 3 is December 15, 2015.

Entries for Levels 1 and 2 will be accepted through January 15, 2016.   Entry guidelines are available on the www.read.gov/letters/ website for all competition levels.

NYS Letters about Literature Winners & Finalists:

The Empire State Center for the Book’s Letters About Literature program will select a state winner and two finalists in each of the three age categories.  The winners will be recognized at the New York State Writers Hall of Fame Gala in June.

National winners, announced in late April, receive additional prizes.

For more information contact:

Ellen Rubin, NYS Letters About Literature Coordinator
ellenbr47@gmail.com / 845-546-8444

2016 Sponsor

Information on previous years' winners





Sponsorship Opportunities