Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is encouraging students in grades four through 12
to enter the 2023 “Letters About Literature in Illinois” reading and writing competition, which is
offered by the Illinois State Library’s Illinois Center for the Book.
“Letters About Literature in Illinois” invites students to read a book of their choice and write a letter
to the author about how the work changed their life or view of the world. Students can enter directly
on their own or through their locally participating school.
“Every year, thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspiring competition,” said
White. “Anyone who has read past letters can see how literature inspires and touches the lives of our
young people. I encourage all our students to take part in ‘Letters About Literature in Illinois,’ and I
hope their participation leads to a lifetime of reading.”
There are three levels of participation: Level 1 for grades 4-6, Level 2 for grades 7-8 and Level 3 for
grades 9-12. The deadline for submission is Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.
One winner will be selected for each level and receive a cash award and a plaque signed by the
Secretary of State. Teachers of the winning students will receive a certificate and their school will
receive a cash award to purchase books for the library.
Winners are scheduled to be announced toward the end of the 2022-2023 academic year.
For more information about the competition, contact Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry forms, a teacher guide and additional information are available at