Letters about Literature

 The California School Library Association (CSLA) cordially invites students to participate in 25th Annual Letters About Literature (LAL), sponsored by CSLA in cooperation with The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress  and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

The Program:
Letters About Literature is a writing contest designed to promote reading and thoughtful writing by encouraging young readers to write a letter to an author-living or dead-explaining how his or her work changed their perspective on the world or themselves. Letters should be personal and sincere, more like a private conversation than a book report or fan letter.

In the past CSLA has been a co-sponsor of Letters About Literature partnering with the California Center for the Book, the California Department of Education and other state organizations. We are very proud to announce that this year for the first time CSLA is coordinating this program statewide.

Readers in grades 4-12 write a letter to an author describing their personal reaction to a book, story or poem. Students may write about fiction or non-fiction. Letter writers compete in three levels: Level I is grades 4-6; Level II is grades 7-8; and Level III is grades 9-12. State judges will select the top letter writers in California, who then advance to the national competition. There will be a cash prize for the three state winners. In addition, nine letters from each level will be selected for honorable mention. State winners will be recognized at a special reception in Spring 2018 and all 30 letters will be published on the CSLA website.

Contact Us:


• An informational poster to use in your schools, libraries & communities download.pdf
• A video produced by the Texas Center for the Book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzcTvTsdaQs&feature=youtu.be
• What Would You Say? A writing prompt download.pdf


• October-December 2017 Young readers write & submit letters
• January 12, 2018 California submission deadline using the official entry coupon download.pdf
• April 13, 2018 California winners and honorable mention recipients are announced
• May 5, 2018 National winners are announced
• Spring 2018 California winners’ reception date, time & place TBA
• Spring 2018 Winning letters published on the CSLA website


• CCSS & LAL Connections download.pdf
• What Would You Say? A writing prompt download.pdf
• An informational poster to use in your schools, libraries & communities download.pdf
• Contest guidelines, entry coupon, teaching guide, letters by winners from past years, FAQs and a promotional video are available at http://read.gov/letters/
• Contact us: CSLA.LAL.letters@gmail.com

Be a Sponsor:

If you are interested in helping sponsor the Letters About Literature in California, please contact Connie Williams at CSLA.LAL.letters@gmail.com