Letters About Literature
2013 Letters About Literature Winners
Back row, left to right: Dagmar Smith, Lindsey Morris, Sidney Draffen, Katheryn Robbins, Secretary of State Jason Kander; Front row, left to right: Elizabeth Behan, Aria Bell, Jenna Liu, Marissa Brady, Stella Vansant, Ariana Stein, Ahmed Elhadi (Tim Richner not pictured).
The annual Letters About Literature Awards Ceremony was held on April 24, 2013, at the Kirkpatrick State Information Center in Jefferson City. The winners and their families and friends were welcomed by Secretary of State Jason Kander and Board President Larisa Cassell, and celebrated with a reception following the ceremony. Missouri author Christine Taylor-Butler was the featured guest speaker, encouraging these young writers to continue with their aspirations.
Letters About Literature is a competition which challenges young readers to write a personal letter of reflection to an author whose work somehow inspired them or changed their view of the world or themselves. The contest is sponsored nationally by the Library of Congress and locally by the Missouri Center for the Book and the Missouri State Library. The Missouri Center for the Book has sponsored the statewide contest since 1995, and in that time over 20,000 students in Missouri alone have participated in the program. There were 46,000 participants nationwide in 2013.
Entries are divided into three competition levels:
Level I (grades four through six)
Level II (grades seven and eight)
Level III (grades nine and ten)
First place, second place, and two honorable mention winners are awarded for each of the three competition levels in the state.
The 2013 winners are:
Aria Bell, Pleasant View Middle School, Springfield, 1st Place Level I, for her letter about After Ever After to author Jordan Sonnenblick
Tim Richner, Martin Warren Elementary, Warrensburg, 2nd Place Level I, for his letter about Out of my Mind to author Sharon Draper
Elizabeth Behan, Mid-Rivers Elementary, St. Peters, Honorable Mention Level I, for her letter about the Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison to author Lois Lenski
Stella Cansant, Lewis and Clark Middle School, Jefferson City, Honorable Mention Level I, for her letter about Dark Diaries to author Rachel Renee Russell
Ahmed Elhadi, West Junior High School, Columbia, 1st Place Level II, for his letter about The Count of Monte Cristo to author Alexandre Dumas
Dagmar Smith, Parkway Central Middle School, Chesterfield, 2nd Place Level II, for her letter about The Tale of Despereaux to author Kate DiCamillo
Marissa Brady, Parkway Central Middle School, Chesterfield, Honorable Mention Level II, for her letter about 13 Gifts to author Wendy Mass
Ariana Stein, Parkway Central Middle School, Chesterfield, Honorable Mention Level II, for her letter about Out of my Mind to author Sharon Draper
Katheryn Robbins, California High School, California, 1st Place Level III, for her letter about Slaughterhouse-Five to author Kurt Vonnegut
Jenna Liu, West Junior High School, Columbia, 2nd Place Level III, for her letter about Thirteen Reasons Why to author Jay Asher
Sidney Draffen, California High School, California, Honorable Mention Level III, for her letter about Ordinary People to author Judith Guest
Lindsey Morris, California High School, California, Honorable Mention Level III, for her letter about Little Men to author Louisa May Alcott