Washington's Letters About Literature 2015



Washington's 2015 Letters About Literature Awards Ceremony

The Letters About Literature awards ceremony for this year's state champions, runners up, and honorable mentions was held on Friday, May 15 in the Columbia Room in the Legislative Building in Olympia.  State Librarian Rand Simmons welcomed everyone and Secretary of State Kim Wyman presented the honorable mentions and runners up with their award certificates.  Secretary Wyman also introduced the Level 1 and Level 2 state champions and invited them to read their letters.  The Level 3 state champion was not able to attend, but a video of her reading her letter was played during the ceremony.

Alison Amirault, a sixth grade student at Eastside Catholic Middle School in Sammamish, is the Level 1 state champion.  She won $125 from the State Library.  Alison wrote her letter to Rob Buyea about his book Because of Mr. Terupt.

Emily Cordero, an eighth grade student at McFarland Middle School in Othello, is the Level 2 state champion.  She won $125 from the State Library.  Emily wrote her letter to Chris d'Lacey about his book The Fire Within.

Teresa Zhan, an eleventh grade student from Bellevue, is the Level 3 state champion.  She won $125 from the State Library.  Teresa wrote her letter to Laurie Halse Anderson about her book Wintergirls.

TVW recorded the ceremony and it can be viewed on their website.

Watch a video featuring interviews with the state champions here.

Runners Up and Honorable Mentions

The Level 1 runner up is Emma Bronson.  The honorable mentions are Kate Ashton, Akasha Burgess, Eileen Chen, Catherine Cordell, Reese Gosselin, Rayan Habib, Lauren Harvey, Remi Miller, Indira O'Byrne, and Chloe Vlases.

The Level 2 runner up is Josephine Beaudoin.  The honorable mentions are Amelia Alam, Olivia Gaines, Jake Hull, Jacqueline Johanneson, Matthew Lallas, Joseph Lane, Lauren Payne, Destiny Stevens, and Marcell Szabo.

The Level 3 runner up is Brianna Walsh.  The honorable mentions are Yasmine Bellon, Lisa Burnett, Nicholas Fiorillo, Christopher Hardy, Thanh Nguyen, Lauren Rath, Ben Reijonen, Renee Smith, Lhanze Tum, Kathryn Wood, and a student from Bothell.

State Semifinalists

The champions, runners up, and honorable mentions were selected by our state judges from 217 semifinalist letters.  There were 79 semifinalists in Level 1, 96 semifinalists in Level 2, and 42 semifinalists in Level 3.  All state semifinalists were mailed an award certificate signed by Secretary of State Wyman and State Librarian Rand Simmons.


Our special thanks to this year's judges:

Level 1

Kelly Milner Halls, author, Spokane
Jonathan Potter, librarian, Eastern Washington University, Cheney
Jan Walsh, former Washington State Librarian, Olympia

Level 2

Susan Austin, retired middle school librarian, Chehalis
Betty Gard, retired university librarian, Seattle
Lenora Rain-Lee Good, author, Kennewick

Level 3

Sam Reed, former Secretary of State, Olympia
Mary V. Thornton, Library Manager, Timberland Regional Library, Hoquiam
Sharma Shields, author, Spokane

Washington Entries

Approximately 3,251 Washington students submitted letters for the 2015 contest.  648 letters advanced to round 2 judging and 217 semifinalist letters returned to WA for round 3 state judging.  From the 217 semifinalist letters, the state judges selected three champions, three second place runners up, and 30 honorable mentions.  The three champions' letters will be sent to the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress for the national competition.  The results of the national judging will be announced in early May.  

87 schools from around the state had students enter this year's contest.  We appreciate the support of teachers, librarians, and parents for Letters About Literature.

Level 1 (grades 4-6)

WA Entries Round 2 Judging Round 3 Judging (State Semifinalists) Champion Runner Up Honorable Mentions
1,617 269 79 1 1 10


Level 2 (grades 7-8)

WA Entries Round 2 Judging Round 3 Judging (State Semifinalists) Champion Runner Up Honorable Mentions
1,254 270 96 1 1 9


Level 3 (grades 9-12)

WA Entries Round 2 Judging Round 3 Judging (State Semifinalists) Champion Runner Up Honorable Mentions
380 109 42 1 1 11


Letters About Literature encourages young readers to read a book and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their view of the world or themselves.  Students can write about works of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.  Letter writers compete at three levels: Level 1 is grades 4-6, Level 2 is grades 7-8, and Level 3 is grades 9-12.  State judges select the top letter writer in each level and those letters advance to the national competition.  One national winner per level receives a $1,000 cash award and one national honor per level receives a $200 cash award.  

This is the tenth year the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, has sponsored the competition as part of Washington Reads.  Letters About Literature is also sponsored by the The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.  

To learn more about the Letters About Literature Contest at the national level, please click here: Letters About Literature - National Homepage

To find out about Washington's participation in past Letters About Literature contests and to read winning letters, please click on the links below:

Washington's Letters About Literature 2013-2014
Washington's Letters About Literature 2012-2013
Washington's Letters About Literature 2011-2012
Washington's Letters About Literature 2010-2011
Washington's Letters About Literature 2009-2010
Washington's Letters About Literature 2008-2009
Washington's Letters About Literature 2007-2008
Washington's Letters About Literature 2006-2007
Washington's Letters About Literature 2005-2006