Twelfth Grade Student Named National Winner in Annual Student Writing Contest
Today, May 30, 2012, SAINT PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Book Awards, a program of The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, along with local cosponsors thePioneer Press and TwinCities.com and the Minnesota Council of Teachers of English, announced today the state-level winners of the 2012 annual national Letters About Literature Essay Contest, including National Honor Winner, Alexandra McLaughlin, first place winner in her category at the state level, and one of two national winners for her letter to Tim O’Brien, author ofThe Things They Carried.
59,000 adolescent and young adult readers nationwide in grades 4 through 12 participated in this year’s Letters About Literature program, which encourages young people to read, be inspired and write back to the author who has somehow changed their view of the world or themselves. The number of entries from Minnesota’s students was 1,414, and 78 student letters made it through to the state round level of judging in the three levels of competition. For more information about the contest, including free teaching resources to guide students through the reader response and writing process, visitwww.lettersaboutliterature.org.
The winners of the Letters About Literature essay competition were selected on three levels: Level I - for grades four through six, Level II – for grades seven and eight, and Level III - for grades nine through twelve.
The winners are:
First place: Grace Hoaglund, Montrose
Letter to Jerry Spinelli, author of Maniac Magee
Second Place: Claire Bruhn, Delano
Letter to Ally Condie, author of Matched
Third Place: Chase Dickson, Minneapolis
Letter to W. Bruce Cameron, author of A Dog’s Purpose
First Place: Will Kaback, St. Louis Park
Letter to Cornelia Funke, author of Inkheart
Second Place: Megan Lysford, Frazee
Letter to Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games
Third Place: Ryan Broll, Maple Plain
Letter to George Orwell, author of 1984
First Place: Alexandra McLaughlin, Minneapolis *National Winner*
Letter to Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried
Second Place: Sophia Deady, Minneapolis
Letter to Joan Larkin, editor of A Woman Like That: Lesbian and Bisexual Writers Tell Their Coming Out Stories
Third Place: Marisa Lin, Rochester
Letter to Elie Wiesel, author of Night
First place winners received a $50 Target gift card and a $50 gift card to Common Good Books in St. Paul. Second and third place winners also receive a gift card to Common Good Books. The National winners will receive a $500 Target gift card, plus each will secure a $10,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant in their name for his or her community or school library so that others can experience personal relationships with authors and the stories they tell. The recipient of the Reading Promotion Grant is the Robert Trail Library in Rosemount, part of the Dakota County Library system. The contest is sponsored nationally by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and Target stores.
To read the winning essays, please visit: www.thefriends.org