Pa. Center for the Book announces 2019 Letters About Literature contest winners

May 17, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Center for the Book has announced the Pennsylvania winners of the 2019 Letters About Literature Contest, a nationwide event sponsored by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. This contest invites students in three grade levels to write letters to authors — living or dead — about how an author’s words affected them or changed their worldview.

The Level I (grades four to six) winner, Aaron Concepcion, of Pittsburgh, is being honored for his letter to Jonah Winter about “Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates.” The Level II (grades seven to eight) winner, Ireland McDyre, of State College, wrote her letter to Kameron Hurley about “The Geek Feminist Revolution.” And the Level III (grades nine to 12) winner, Amaya Dressler, of Littlestown, is being honored for her letter to Marya Hornbacher about “Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia.” Winners will be awarded $200 each at a celebratory luncheon with their families on Saturday, June 8, at the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s University Park campus.

One honor of high distinction also is being recognized: Level III participant Jaden Jones, of Lancaster, who will be awarded $50 for her letter to Maya Angelou about “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.”

The Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s 2019 Letters About Literature contest judges included Alia C. Gant, diversity resident librarian, Penn State University Libraries, University Park, Pennsylvania; Linda Oatman High, author of books for children and teens, journalist and playwright, Narvon, Pennsylvania; Theresa M. Hoover, assistant professor of education, Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Pat Hughes, author of books for children and young adults, Narberth, Pennsylvania; and Erica King, curriculum specialist, Penn State University Libraries, University Park, Pennsylvania.

The annual nationwide Letters About Literature Contest is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. For participation guidelines, visit Letters About Literature at the Library of Congress.

The Center for the Book was established in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. Since 2000, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book has been sponsored by the Penn State University Libraries.

In addition to providing space and administrative support for the center’s offices, the University Libraries and the center’s co-sponsor, Dean of University Libraries and Scholarly Communications Barbara I. Dewey, provide in-kind contributions that include staff and faculty time as well as the Pennsylvania Center for the Book alcove in 201-A Pattee Library.

Along with Letters About Literature, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book also administers the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, Public Poetry Project, A Baker’s Dozen: The Best Children’s Books for Family Literacy, Poems from Life with Juniper Village, Words of Art, and the interactive Literary & Cultural Heritage Map of Pennsylvania.

For more information about the Letters About Literature contest in Pennsylvania, contact Nicole Miyashiro, editor, at nmm16@psu.edu, or visit the Pennsylvania Center for the Book website.

Last Updated June 10, 2019