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 program. The state winners in the three age categories go on to represent New York at 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 read by exploring the personal relationship between themselves, the author, and the book’s characters or themes.

There are three competition levels:
• Level 1 for grades 4-6
• Level 2 for grades 7-8
• Level 3 for grades 9-12

Submission deadlines to the Library of Congress national program are:
Level 3 – December 15, 2014
Levels 1 & 2 – January 15, 2015

The Empire State Center for the Book’s Letters About Literature program will select a state winner and 1-2 finalists in each of the three age categories. The winners and finalists will receive cash awards. The winners will be recognized at the New York State Writers Hall of Fame Gala on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at the Princeton Club in New York City. The NYS Writers Hall of Fame is also a program of the Empire State Center for the Book.

National winners, announced in late April, receive additional cash prizes. For more information and guidelines, please visit the national web site at:

Please contact Ellen Rubin, NYS Letters About Literature Coordinator, with any questions at: ellenbr47 at