Texas Center for the Book
There are presently no open calls for submissions.
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.
The contest is supported by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation (TxLAF). To support the Texas Letters About Literature program, consider donating to TLAF.
- Submittable opens for Letter Submissions: November 4, 2021
- Deadline for Letter Submissions: December 17, 2021, 5:00 p.m. (Central)
- Judging Process: January - March 2022
- Submitters Notified of Placement: By March 30, 2022
- Recognition Ceremony for Winners: April (Virtually) Texas Library Association Annual Conference
To be considered, all letters must be submitted electronically through this online portal by December 17, 2021, 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, 2021) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.