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2016-2017 Letters About Literature: Reading and Writing Contest

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels. Tens of thousands of students from across the country enter Letters About Literature each year. If you are in grades 4-12, you are eligible to enter.

The 2016-2017 Letters About Literature contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations.

If you are in grades 4-12, you are eligible to enter the Letters About Literature reading and writing contest. You do not have to enter through a class. You can enter on your own. To read more about the contest, learn about the guidelines, and to download an entry coupon, please go to www.read.gov/letters.

Also located on the website is The Letters About Literature Teaching Guide. The guide provides activities teachers can use to direct their students through the book discussion and letter-writing process. The guide addresses the LAL teaching strategies and ways in which the program can dovetail with curriculum for teaching reading and writing. Also included are worksheets for duplication and assessment checklists.

The contest is promoted by the Alabama Center for the Book, a state affiliate of the national Center of the Book.  State winners will be announced next spring at a state award ceremony at Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library at The University of Alabama.

For more information about the contest, please contact Donna Adcock, Alabama state coordinator, at dbadcock@ua.edu.

 

Letters About Literature Award Ceremony 2016

Letters About Literature Award Ceremony Scheduled for May 14

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama Center for the Book will host the 2016 Letters About Literature Award Ceremony on Saturday, May 14, at 11:00 am in the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library in room 205 at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.  State winners, semi-finalists, families, and teachers are invited to attend the ceremony.  Author Jeff Weddle will be the guest speaker.

Weddle’s stories, poems and essays have appeared in many print and online publications. His latest book is a short story collection, When Giraffes Flew(Southern Yellow Pine, 2015). He won the Eudora Welty Prize for Bohemian New Orleans: The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press (University Press of Mississippi, 2007). Jeff’s other books include a poetry collection, Betray the Invisible (OEOCO, 2010) and, as co-author, The Librarian’s Guide to Negotiation: Winning Strategies for the Digital Age (Information Today, 2012). He is an associate professor in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama.

All students will receive a certificate.  Student winners in each level will receive cash prizes. The first place winner in each level will compete at the national level.

Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12. Students are asked to read a book, poem or speech and write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. Letters are judged on state and national levels.

List of Alabama Winners

Level 1 (grades 4-6)

First Place
Caileigh Moose (4th grade)
Highlands School, Birmingham
Teacher: Janie Fahey
Second Place
Caroline Reddington (5th grade)
Highlands School, Birmingham
Teacher: Anna Shelley
Third Place
Jeana Strickland (6th grade)
Chelsea Middle School, Chelsea
Teacher: Brittany Beatty

 

Level 2 (grades 7 & 8)

First Place
Lexie Fowler (8th grade)
Berry Middle School; Hoover
Teacher: Alison Parker
Second Place
Ella Russell (7th grade)
Liberty Park Middle School, Vestavia Hills
Teacher:Linda Rummell
Third Place
JHunter Grace Fairfax (8th grade)
Berry Middle School, Hoover
Teacher: Alison Parker

 

Level 3 (grades 9-12)

First Place
Ariana Cherry (10th grade)
Wenonah High School (Wenonah College Writer’s Program), Birmingham
Teacher:Dr. Fred Ashe
Second Place
Victoria Terry (9th grade)
Wordsmiths Writing Program, Birmingham
Teacher:Gin Phillips
Third Place
Juahmun Sturgeon (10th grade)
Wenonah High School (Wenonah College Writer’s Program)
Teacher: Dr. Fred Ashe

Alabama’s creative writers to be honored in new Alabama Writers Hall of Fame

MONTGOMERY, AL — Two statewide literary arts entities announce a joint initiative to launch the state’s first comprehensive Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

According to Lou Pitschmann, Dean of Libraries at the University of Alabama and director of the Alabama Center for the Book, and Jeanie Thompson, executive director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum, the time has come for significant recognition of Alabama’s literary talent in creative writing.

“Our state honors athletes, engineers, and musicians, among others, with Halls of Fame. We believe it’s time for Alabama’s rich literary heritage to be recognized in a statewide effort that showcases the best, from the beginning to the present,” Thompson said. “After all, we are the home state of the most beloved novelist on the planet – Harper Lee – and we have many others who also deserve recognition in a formal setting such as the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.”

“The University of Alabama Libraries, which already houses the statewide Alabama Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, has offered the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame a future home,” Pitschmann said. “People from all over the state, as well as national and international visitors, will be able to walk into Gorgas Library and meet Alabama’s exemplary writers from 1819 to the present. While the University of Alabama is the host, and not a manager, of the new initiative, it is happy to provide space to display icons of Alabama creative writing.”

An advisory committee of scholars, writers, and arts volunteers has met once to consider selection criteria and will meet again in June to consider a field of nominees and to select the first class of inductees. While committee members are submitting their own lists, nominations from the field are encouraged and will also be accepted through June 9. For submission guidelines, contact writersforum@bellsouth.net.

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame Advisory Committee members include Donna Adcock, Alabama Center for the Book and UA Libraries Director of Public Relations; Julie H. Friedman, Alabama Writers’ Forum (VP – Board of Directors), UA Library Leadership Board (Executive Committee), and long-time member of the Alabama State Council on the Arts; William Gantt, Founder, Southern Literary Trail and partner in the firm of Huie, Fernambucq and Stewart, LLP; Trudier Harris, UA English professor, Eugene Current-Garcia Award recipient for literary scholarship (2002), and Alabama Writers’ Forum Board member; Bert Hitchcock, retired Auburn University Professor of English and Eugene Current-Garcia Award recipient (2001); Jay Lamar, director of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission; Don Noble, retired University of Alabama English professor, host of Alabama Public Television’s BookMark, book reviewer for Alabama Public Radio, and Eugene Current-Garcia Award recipient (2000) ; Pitschmann; and Thompson.

The first class of inductees in the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame will be honored at an event to be scheduled and announced at a later date, most likely in early 2015, Thompson said. Funds will be raised to commission and design commemorative artwork for the inductees, to plan the display area, and to develop public programs and educational curricula associated with the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame, Pitschmann said.

“We hope to have an Alabama artist design our artwork, specifying Alabama materials such as Sylacauga marble or cast-bronze. It is our intention to display the best of Alabama’s creative writers interpreted by our talented visual artists so that the entire effort is truly ‘made in Alabama,’” Thompson said.

For further information about the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame contact the Alabama Writers’ Forum at 334-265-7728 or writersforum@bellsouth.net

BACKGROUND

The Alabama Center for the Book is an affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. It was established in 2000 at Auburn University under the direction of Jay Lamar for its first ten years. In 2010 it was relocated to the University of Alabama Libraries under the direction of Louis Pitschmann. The Alabama Writers’ Forum (Montgomery), a statewide service organization and partnership program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts since 1993, has been integrally involved in the evolution of the Alabama Center for the Book since its inception.

Graphic of logos available upon request: gambledanny@bellsouth.net

The Alabama Writers’ Forum
PO Box 4777
Montgomery AL 36103-4777
Office: 334 265 7728
Fax: 334 262 2150

Deadlines for Letters About Literature

 

Deadlines Are Approaching: Entries must be postmarked by-
 
• Level 3 (high school, grades 9-12) December 15, 2014
• Level 2 (middle school, grades 7 & 8) January 15, 2015
• Level 1 (upper elementary, grades 4-6 ) January 15, 2015

 

Mail all letters (individual and class sets) to:

Letters About Literature
Competition Level (Indicate level 1, 2 or 3 on the envelope)
P.O. Box 5308
Woodbridge, VA 22194

TEACHERS:
Mail class sets in a flat 8×10″ envelope or larger. Indicate the competition level — either 1, 2 or 3 — on the envelope. Include a complete return address on your mailing envelope.

Each class set should include a teacher cover letter that provides contact information plus a list of the names of each student submitting a letter. Cover letters do not take the place of entry coupons. Each student’s letter must have its own entry coupon.

FOR ADDITIONAL CONTEST INFORMATION VISIT:
http://www.read.gov/letters/

Letters About Literature 2014 National Winners

 

Letters About Literature 

 
2014 National Winners
  • National Winners Level 1 (tie): Becky Miller, Wellesley, MA & Jayanth V. Uppaluri, Clayton, MO
  • National Winner Level 2: Jisoo Choi, Ellicott City, MD
    National Honorable Mention Level 2: Jane Wang, Chandler, AZ
  • National Winner Level 3: Devi Acharya, University, MO
    National Honorable Mention Level 3: Riddhi Sangam, Saratoga, CA

Literary Lunch with Alabama Authors

 

authors

 

Authors @ Gorgas presents: Earl H. Tilford, Turning The Tide: The University of Alabama in the 1960s.

 

screen-shot-2014-04-30-at-9-31-19-am
Authors @ Gorgas will present Earl H. Tilford, the author of Turning The Tide: The University of Alabama in the 1960s, an institutional and cultural history of a dramatic decade of change at The University of Alabama set against the backdrop of desegregation, the continuing civil rights struggle, and the growing antiwar movement, on Thursday, May 15, 2014.
The event will take place in Gorgas Library, room 205, noon – 1:00pm.

Tilford’s book documents the period when a handful of University of Alabama student activists formed an alliance with President Frank A. Rose, his staff, and a small group of progressive-minded professors in order to transform the university during a time of social and political turmoil. Together they engaged in a struggle against Governor George Wallace and a state legislature that reflected the worst aspects of racism in a state where the passage of civil rights legislation in 1964 and 1965 did little to reduce segregation and much to inflame the fears and passions of many white Alabamians.

“Turning the Tide is essential reading for anyone who ever worked for, attended, or has been a fan or supporter of The University of Alabama. Then, too, anyone interested in the way changes in higher education foretold changes in contemporary society during the tumultuous 1960s will be fascinated by this book,” said Roger Sayers, former president of The University of Alabama.

Tilford is the author of Crosswinds: The Air Force’s Setup in Vietnam and Search and Rescue in Southeast Asia: USAF in Southeast Asia, and coeditor of The Eagle in the Desert: Looking Back on the United States Involvement in the Persian Gulf War.

The room will be set with tables and the attendees are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch or purchase lunch in the library’s grab-and-go café. Limited free public parking is available on Capstone Drive West, behind the library. For other parking options, please visit bamaparking.ua.edu/pages/visitor-parking.html. For more information about the event, please email: jdwilson@uapress.ua.edu.

Authors @ Gorgas is a free lunch-time speaker event spotlighting outstanding books by Alabama writers and is cosponsored by the Alabama Center for the Book, The University of Alabama Libraries and The University of Alabama Press.

2014 Letters About Literature Winners and Semi-Finalists

2013-lal-logo
2014 Winners and Semi-Finalists
Level 1
Rafe Jordan- 1st Place
Cragford, AL (Individual Entry)
Maxwell Jones
Fairhope, AL (Individual Entry)
Ridge Lindsey- Honorable Mention
The Montgomery Academy
Jack Cleary
The Montgomery Academy
Virginia Hope
The Montgomery Academy
Alisha Singh
The Montgomery Academy
Garrett Scott
The Montgomery Academy
Laine Martin
The Montgomery Academy
Mary Virginia Huffaker
The Montgomery Academy
Olivia Jones
The Montgomery Academy
Hannah Hollingsworth
The Montgomery Academy
Madi Caddell
The Montgomery Academy
Caroline Strickland
The Montgomery Academy
Level 1
Isabella Hosein
The Montgomery Academy
Jane Grey Battle- 3rd Place
Birmingham, AL
(Individual Entry)
Liliana Chambless
Highlands School
Lilla Carroll
Highlands School
Emma Lembke
Highlands School
Mary Catherine Touloupis
Highlands School
Anja Trierweiler
Highlands School
Joshua Hughes
Berry Middle School
Sophie Mayhew
Berry Middle School
Allie Milham
Berry Middle School
Taylor Slaughter
Berry Middle School
Kamryn Corey
Berry Middle School
Liza Devane
Berry Middle School
Grace Foy – 2nd Place
Berry Middle School
Hayden Carner
Berry Middle School
Kendall Irwin
Berry Middle School
Madison Oakman
Berry Middle School
Kayla Smoot
Berry Middle School
Level 1
Audrey Roller
Advent Episcopal School
Keith Owens
Advent Episcopal School
Jack McCormack
Advent Episcopal School
Lilly Geisen
Advent Episcopal School
Level 2
Caroline Greene
Tuscaloosa Academy
Clara Tenfelde
Tuscaloosa Academy
Shannon Kim
Tuscaloosa Academy
Harrison Neville – 1st Place
Briarwood Christian
O’Niyah Edmonds
Rutledge Middle School
Victoria Terry – 3rd Place
Bragg Middle School
Carlos Weber
Tuscaloosa Academy
Andrew Wade
Tuscaloosa Academy
Elizabeth Vann
Tuscaloosa Academy
Jenna Teesdale
Tuscaloosa Academy
Sarah Stipe
Tuscaloosa Academy
Jon Evan Smelley
Tuscaloosa Academy
Jonas Schanz
Tuscaloosa Academy
Jan Schoger
Tuscaloosa Academy
Level 2
Amanda Riggs
Tuscaloosa Academy
Katie Ray
Tuscaloosa Academy
Mason Palmer
Tuscaloosa Academy
Samuel Morrow
Tuscaloosa Academy
Hibst Mekonnen
Tuscaloosa Academy
Ali Marshall
Tuscaloosa Academy
Sarah Leuthner
Tuscaloosa Academy
Celina Koenig
Tuscaloosa Academy
Cedric Jetter
Tuscaloosa Academy
Ella Huffaker – 2nd Place
Tuscaloosa Academy
Harrison Howell
Tuscaloosa Academy
John Howard
Tuscaloosa Academy
Jack Horton
Tuscaloosa Academy
Lele Goldsmith
Tuscaloosa Academy
Adam J. Fuller
Tuscaloosa Academy
Luis Fuchs
Tuscaloosa Academy
Holly Dunn
Tuscaloosa Academy
Tripp Daniels
Tuscaloosa Academy
Kalin Burt
Tuscaloosa Academy
Level 2
Chase Buford
Tuscaloosa Academy
Hannah Brown
Tuscaloosa Academy
Caroline Bonhaus
Tuscaloosa Academy
Christopher Binder
Tuscaloosa Academy
Avery Anderson
Tuscaloosa Academy

Level 3
Lauren Humber
Childersburg, AL
(Individual entry)
Madison Cash
Fairhope, AL
(Individual entry)
Markayla Goins
Ramsay High School
Malaka Denise Gross
Ramsay High School
Tearra Hargrove – Honorable Mention
Birmingham, AL (Individual entry)
Rupa Palanki
Mobile, AL
(Individual Entry)

Level 3
Abigail Denton
Mobile, AL
(Individual Entry)
Mary Sullivan Benton
Pelham High School
Cameron Liddell
Pelham High School
Rebecca Foushee
Pelham High School
Kaitlin VanDorsten
Pelham High School
Mason Tortorich
Pelham High School
Kaitlin Moon
Pelham High School
Kelsey Trimble
Pelham High School
Becky Fox
Pelham High School
Zach Powell
Pelham High School
Nils Abel
Pelham High School
Dixon Atkinson
Pelham High School
Jacob Squires
Pelham High School
Tristin Sharp
Pelham High School
Gabrielle Mauterer
Pelham High School
Daniel Counts
Providence Classical School
Catherine Ferzoco
Florence High School
Allie Bond
Florence High School
Level 3
Brandon Rieff
Florence High School
Sarah Mathews – 1st Place
Florence High School
Thomas Solomon – 2nd Place
Florence High School
Alex Smith
Tuscaloosa Academy
Conrad Smalley
Tuscaloosa Academy
Julia Schanz – 3rd Place
Tuscaloosa Academy
Timothy Rice
Tuscaloosa Academy
Marianna Block
Tuscaloosa Academy
Carlie Cochran
Tuscaloosa Academy
Ashleigh Tayler Daugherty
Tuscaloosa Academy
Edward Demonbreun
Tuscaloosa Academy
Stephen Golding
Tuscaloosa Academy
Trey Hudson
Tuscaloosa Academy
Maria Apfelbach
Tuscaloosa Academy

Literary Lunch with Alabama Authors

 

authors

 

Literary Lunch with Alabama Authors
R. Scott Duncan
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Free Series Offered by Alabama Center for the Book, University Press.

The Alabama Center for the Book, under the aegis of the University Libraries, and The University of Alabama Press have collaborated in a lunchtime speaker series spotlighting recent works by Alabama writers.

Each hour-long, free session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn from and engage directly with authors whose new books illuminate facets of the University, our state, region and world.

The next session of the series will be on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at noon, in room 205 of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library. R. Scot Duncan, associate professor of biology and urban environmental studies at Birmingham-Southern College, will explore Alabama’s amazing biological diversity, the reasons for the large number of species in the state, and the importance of their preservation in his new book “Southern Wonder: Alabama’s Surprising Biodiversity.”

Attendees are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch or purchase lunch in the library’s grab-and-go café, Java City.

Limited parking is available in a reserved area on West Capstone Drive.

The series continues with the following authors:
• April 3, 2014, Philip D. Beidler, “The Island called Paradise: Cuba in History, Literature, and the Arts”
• May 15, 2014, Dr. Earl Tilford, “Turning the Tide: The University of Alabama in the 1960s”

For more information on the series, contact JD Wilson at jdwilson@uapress.ua.edu or visit uapress.ua.edu/pages/centerforthebook.aspx.