Category: News

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

Letters About Literature – Author Ted Dunagan Coming

Author Ted Dunagan will be speaking at the Letters About Literature Award Ceremony May 9th.
 
Ted is an award winning young adult fiction writer. He has successfully completed four books with a fifth on the way. 
 
Ted got started on his writing journey young in life. At five years old his cousin shared with him his first story. Ted says he remembers repeatedly running through the story in his head. To this day the story of Hansel and Gretel is still burned into his mind from that fateful day. 
 
From then on Ted was hooked on books. His next literary stage took place at age 12 when he was introduced to works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Daniel Defoe, Mark Twain, and many others. At first he thought he wanted to be just like the characters Tom and Huck. Later on in life however, he realized he wanted to emulate not the characters, but the authors. 
 
Life however got in his way and he engaged in business instead of his true passion. The flame however never died, always waiting in the back of his mind, ready to strike. 
 
His opportunity to become a writer soon presented itself to him and he jumped on it with full force. Many obstacles presented themselves along the journey, but nothing could stop him from attaining his dream. 
 
So he took his first steps forward, swearing that what he wrote would be of the highest good, and would inspire, not degrade. “Something that would make my grandchildren proud” he said. Fast forward a few years and he has done just that. 
 
Now Ted either spends his time writing new books, or traveling across the south visiting elementary and middle schools. He loves teaching kids about what it was like to be a kid long ago, the wonder of reading, and the art of writing. 
 
We are honored to welcome Ted as our 2015 Letters About Literature guest author. To read more about Ted Dunagan visit his website at http://teddunagan.com.

Letters About Literature – Alabama Finalists and Semi-Finalists

Finalists
 
Level 1
 
First Place – Whitney Byington
Highlands School, Anna Shelley, teacher
 
Second Place – Matthew Coleman
Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell, teacher
 
Third Place – Ella Russell
Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell, teacher
 
Level 2
 
First Place – Abby Fleenor
Tuscaloosa Academy, Cita Smith, teacher
 
Second Place – Anastasia Zellner
Berry Middle School, Alison Parker, teacher
 
Third Place – Anna Kulczycka
Advent Episcopal School, Wanda Williams, teacher
 
Level 3
First Place – Kate Gorveatte
Tuscaloosa, Individual Entry
Second Place – Ella Huffaker
Tuscaloosa Academy, Cita Smith, teacher
Third Place – Brandon Rieff
Florence High School, Darlene Freemon, teacher
 
Semi-Finalists 
Level 1
Name School,Teacher
Alexander, Reese Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Altamirano, Olivia Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Ayers, Alli Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Bayne, Audrey Liberty Middle School, Linda Rummell
Bentley, Victoria Anne Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Bergert, Olivia Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Bodnar, Francie Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Bramblett, Jake Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Brown, Alden Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Cannon, Emily Gray Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Crawford Adelia Highlands School, Janie Fahey
David, Kiersten Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Davis, Maddox Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Dixon, Julie Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Donald, William Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Downes, Harrison Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Effinger, Katherine Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Escario, Elgen Nathan Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Gonzalez, Arabella Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Gonzalez, Carys Highlands School, Janie Fahey
Green, Lexi Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Honeycutt, Olivia Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Humphrey, Will Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Komisar, Sela Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Kratz, Lydia Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Kugler, Kaden Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
LaHue, Molly Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Lee, Nathan Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
MacNicol, Tate Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Meacham, Virginia The Montgomery Academy, Gene Johnson
Miller, Anne Claire Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Miller, Kayla Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Morris, Gordy Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Murch, Kellyn Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Murray, Braeden Halcyon Elementary, Robin Dean
Osborne, Savannah Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Pak, Finn Highlands School, Janie Fahey
Parisher, Caroline Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Patterson, Lee Taylor Edgewood Elementary, Christian Sloderbeck
Reese, Leighton Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Rinker, Claire Anneliese Edgewood Elementary, Christian Sloderbeck
Rosser, Levi Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Schwebel, Andy Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Serrano, Nelson Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Simms, Rachel Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Slaughter, Taylor Beverly Middle School, Sarah Sansbury
Teel, Emily Liberty Park Middle School, Linda Rummell
Thompson, Avery Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Thompson, Lauren Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Thompson, Zola Highlands School, Bobbie Pyron
Tucker, Jeb The Montgomery Academy, Gene Johnson
Wever, Morganne Highlands School, Anna Shelley
Wolfe, Emma Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Wood, Kelsey Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty
Yi, Lukas The Montgomery Academy, Gene Johnson
Zhang, Emily Chelsea Middle School, Brittany Beatty

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame

 

June 8, 2015
Dinner and Induction Ceremony
Bryant Conference Center
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Ticket Sales:  Donna Adcock, 205-348-1416, dbadcock@ua.edu
 
In 2014 two statewide literary arts entities, the Alabama Center for the Book and the Alabama Writers’ Forum, announced a joint initiative to launch the state’s first comprehensive Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.
To learn more about the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame including the inaugural class and induction dinner, visit http://www.writersforum.org/hall-of-fame/

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame Announces Inaugural Class

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A University of Alabama professor has been selected to the inaugural class of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

Rick Bragg, professor of writing in UA’s College of Communication and Information Services, is a New York Times bestselling author whose memoirs include “All Over But the Shoutin’” and “Ava’s Man.” Bragg is one of 12 Alabama writers selected for induction in June 2015.

“In a state where great writers seem born from the red clay, I am deeply honored and humbled to be included among them in this fine honor,” Bragg said. “My people have discovered many things in that dirt — from coal to iron ore to cotton. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised they raised at least one writer from it.”

The Alabama Center for the Book and the Alabama Writers’ Forum have partnered to create the state’s first comprehensive Alabama Writers Hall of Fame. Dr. Louis Pitschmann, dean of UA libraries and director for the Alabama Center for the Book, and Jeanie Thompson, executive director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum, said the time has come for significant recognition of the state’s creative literary talent.

“The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame will generate awareness of literary works written in Alabama from the early days of our state to the present,” Thompson said. “The first class includes writers known internationally for their contribution to literary arts across all genres.”

In addition to Bragg, the first class for the hall of fame includes Johnson Jones Hooper (1815-1862), Augusta Jane Evans Wilson (1835-1909), Helen Keller (1880-1968), Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) and William March (1894-1954). Two recently deceased authors, Albert Murray (1916-2013) and Helen Norris Bell (1916-2013), are also being inducted along with additional 20th century authors: Andrew Glaze, Harper Lee, Sonia Sanchez and Sena Jeter Naslund. Lee and Bell graduated from UA, and March attended the UA School of Law.

The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame aims to share the deep literary history of the state. With a rich and diverse list of writers to honor, the Alabama Center for the Book and the Alabama Writers Forum have a proactive plan to keep the state’s authors vibrant and relevant in the digital age, organizers said. The first class of honorees is a building block toward the future.

“Other plans for the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame include design and production of a traveling display suitable for a number of public venues, and the development of public programs and educational curricula associated with the hall of fame,” Pitschmann said.

An advisory committee of scholars, writers and arts volunteers met in June 2014 to consider a field of nominees and name the first class of inductees.

The Alabama Center for the Book is the Alabama affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book and is housed in the University of Alabama Libraries at UA. Starting in 1984, the Center for the Book in the Library began to establish affiliate centers in the 50 states.

Today, there is a state center for the book in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These affiliates carry out the national center’s mission in their local areas, sponsor programs that highlight their area’s literary heritage, and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries.

The Alabama Writers’ Forum in Montgomery is a partnership program of the Alabama State Council on the Arts. A not-for-profit organization, the Forum promotes writers, literary publishing, and literary arts education statewide. http://www.writersforum.org

Book Em’…featuring Rene Denfeld

August 2, 2014, 9 a.m.-TBA
 
Location: Northport Civic Center, Northport, AL
 
Description: The public is invited to attend the first-ever book event in Tuscaloosa County at which the community can join authors and book lovers of all genres for addresses, panel discussions, and readings. Featured writer Rene Denfeld is an international bestselling author, journalist, and death penalty investigator living in Portland, Oregon. The event will also feature a Skype interview with the Kirby Howell, the author of Autumn in the City of Angels, Autumn in the Dark Meadows, and Autumn in the City of Lights. Local author Earl Tilford and six other Alabama authors (to date) also will be featured. This free event is a fundraiser for the Books to Prisons Project.
 
Contact Information:

Mary Ann Robbins

2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival

2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival
The Hidden Summer by Alabama Author Gin Phillips Selected to Represent Alabama
Make plans to join the Alabama Center for the Book at the 14th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, August 30, 2014.
 
There is an affiliated Center for the Book in each state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Each year every Center selects a children’s book to represent their state, district or territory.  The 2014 selection for the state of Alabama is The Hidden Summer written by Gin Phillips, a native of Montgomery now living in Birmingham.
 
The Alabama Center for the Book will be represented in the Pavilion of the States. Visitors to the Pavilion are encouraged to pick up a map and visit each state table for a stamp with interesting state symbols.  States will also have information about literacy and reading programs in their areas. This year’s festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite poets and authors, get books signed, hear special entertainment, have photos taken with storybook characters and participate in a variety of activities.
 
To learn more about Gin Phillips and her latest book about self-discovery, family, and friendship visit http://ginphillips.com/.
 
For additional information about the festival including a list of this year’s authors visit http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/ .