Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Readers Writing To Authors :-)


OK, here’s how it goes

Students write to their favorite authors and, if their letter wins a contest, they get a $500 gift card, plus they get to nominate a library to receive $10,000!

The contest is Letters About Literature: LAL is a national reading promotion program of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in the U.S.

All the student winners are listed at that last link but the top winners (and their ages range from about 12 – 18) were:

Margaret Lim, Searcy, AR, grade 6, wrote to Sharon Draper, author of Out of My Mind
Darius Atefat-Peckham, Huntington, WV, grade 5, wrote to Mark Doty, author of Dog Years
Diana Lanni, Fairbanks, AK, grade 8, wrote to  Robert Service, author of The Three Voices
Abbie Beaver, Hot Springs, AR, grade 8, wrote to George Orwell, author of Animal Farm
Amber-Nicole Watty, Grantville, GA, grade 12, wrote to Jay Asher, author of Thirteen Reasons Why
Alexandra McLaughlin, Minneapolis, MN, grade 12, wrote to Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried

The libraries that won $10,000 were:

  • Noel Wien Public Library, Fairbanks, AK
  • Jessieville Vell Meredith Middle/High School Library, Jessieville, AR
  • Southwest Middle School Library, Searcy, AR
  • Grantville Public Library, Grantville, GA
  • Robert Trail Library,   Rosemount, MN
  • Meadows Elementary, Huntington, WV

And, there were also $1,000-winning libraries of the LAL Award.

The winning letters for the LAL initiative are all worth reading and I’ll give you a few choice excerpts to entice you to take that link:

“A lot of books have flashes of insight, but only few of them have those bursts of fireworks that snap open the reader’s mind and make them realize something new.”

“When I read the lines of your poem, I can feel the hard packed dirt and roots under me, feel the warmth of the fire on my face, and feel the very longing you describe.”

“I feel the most significant impact your book has had on my life was to make me question whether mankind has learned anything from the misery we have caused others.”

“Why would you choose to write about tragedy and despair; was it to identify with us teens?”

“I was not even alive during the Vietnam War, yet you brought me to that place.”

Have you written to an author lately?
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5 responses to “Readers Writing To Authors :-)

  1. Barbara Blackcinder June 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Nice connection Alex. My first instinct was to see what the kids are reading. Quite the collection.

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

      Yes, Barbara, seeing kids involved in reading is always a joy :-)

      Like this

  2. Simone Benedict June 26, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    It sounds like such a wonderful program. I really appreciated the thoughtfulness expressed in these young readers’ letters.

    I wrote to authors quite a bit when I was a kid and they always wrote me back. John Wayne, a non-writer I know but he didn’t write back. It was marked “return to sender” :(

    How about you Alexander? Do you write to authors?

    Like this

    • Alexander M Zoltai June 26, 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Well, Simone, I did write to my favorite author, C. J. Cherryh, and she did answer me :-)

      And, I also write to you on your blog — whoot !

      Like this

      • Simone Benedict June 26, 2012 at 11:01 pm

        I remember you posted a vid of your favorite author. I’ll have to look for C.J. Cherryh’s books at my local library as I’ve never read any.

        Like this

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