INTRODUCTION

Letters About Literature (LAL) is reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. LAL is administered by the Texas Center for the Book, a program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. The LAL contest has students read a fiction or nonfiction book, book series, short story, poem, play, essay, or speech (excluding song lyrics) and write to the author (living or deceased) about how the work affected how they see themselves or how they see the world. State winners are announced each spring.

In 2019, after administering the contest for 27 years, the Library of Congress (LOC) decided to give state centers full control over their Letters About Literature programs. In Texas, we remain committed to continuing the contest at the state level using the LOC’s rubric, standards, and judging framework. Although there will not be a national prize, we will continue the Texas tradition of awarding a $100 cash prize to each first-place winner in three age group levels. Additionally, the first-place winners will receive travel assistance to attend their awards ceremony at the Texas Library Association Conference. 

In 2023, thanks to the generosity of the Nora Roberts Foundation and the Texas Library and Archives Foundation, participants of the 2022-2023 contest are eligible for enhanced cash prizes. Each winner’s school library will receive a $200 stipend! View the details for cash prizes for students and libraries.

The contest is supported by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation (TxLAF). To support the Texas Letters About Literature program, consider donating to TLAF.

Timeline:

  • Submittable opens for Letter Submissions: November 4, 2022
  • Deadline for Letter Submissions: December 17, 2022, 5:00 p.m. (Central)
  • Judging Process: January - March 2023
  • Submitters Notified of Placement: By March 30, 2023
  • Recognition Ceremony for Winners: April Texas Library Association Annual Conference

CONTEST INFORMATION

To be considered, all letters must be submitted electronically through this online portal by December 17, 2022, 5:00 p.m. (Central). All letters become the property of the Texas Center for the Book.

Students Under 13: Students under the age of 13 (as of November 4, 2022) must obtain and upload signed consent from their parent/guardian to be eligible for entry. The downloadable consent form can be found at www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature/resources.  Entries by/for students under the age of 13 without a signed, uploaded form will be ineligible and discarded.

Teachers: Please go to tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature to review the online teacher’s resource page for specific tips and to download our free Teacher’s Guide. Teachers may submit class sets online by using one account and completing the online submission from for each entry.

Students: Please go to tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature to review the online student’s resource page for specific tips on writing and submitting your letter.

Contact Information: You can find our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) here. For additional questions, please contact LettersaboutLit@tsl.texas.gov.  For problems or questions with the Submittable platform, please email letters@submittable.com.

Submitters do not need to sign up for a Submittable subscription at www.submittable.com to make a submission. Instead, if you submit to an organization that uses Submittable, you'll be asked to create a free Submittable account on the organization's submissions page.

2023 ENHANCED PRIZES INFORMATION

In 2023, thanks to the generosity of the Nora Roberts Foundation and the Texas Library and Archives Foundation, participants of the 2022-2023 contest are eligible for enhanced cash prizes. Each winner’s school library will receive a $200 stipend! View the details for cash prizes for students and libraries.

As always, there are three categories for contestants:

Level 1 - Grades 4 - 6   
Level 2 - Grades 7 - 8
Level 3 - Grades 9 - 12

Winners in all three categories will win a stipend.

1st place = $300   
2nd place = $200

3rd place = $100

First place winners will be honored at the 2023 Texas Library Association and will receive travel assistance.

Letters About Literature Texas
Please use this form to submit your entry for the 2022-2023 Letters About Literature writing contest.

  • See www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature for full contest details. Before you submit your entry, please read the official rules
  • Students: Visit www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature students for instructions and video guides.
  • Teachers: Please see www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature teachers for instructions on submitting multiple entries on behalf of your students. When completing the address part of this form, please remember to use your school address and to enter the school name in "Address Line 1."
  • By completing this form, you are entering the Texas state competition. Texas state winners receive a cash stipend, online recognition with a press release, and will be honored at the 2023 Texas Library Association Conference with a special recognition ceremony. Visit www.tsl.texas.gov/lettersaboutliterature for state recognition and contest details. 

Letters About Literature is an annual writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Letters About Literature Texas writing contest is made possible by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation with additional support from gifts to the Texas Center for the Book.


We will update the submission portal tutorial video below shortly. In the meantime, please reference this example.




 

Texas Center for the Book