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Letters About Literature Essay Contest

Theme
Think about a work of fiction or non-fiction that has touched your life in some way. It can be a book, short story, poem, essay, or speech. (NO song lyrics, however.) Write a letter to the author of your piece of literature in which you describe how the piece of literature changed the way you view the world and/or yourself. Your author does NOT need to be living. You may write to Shakespeare if you want! ☺ Here are some questions to consider, BUT they are NOT required. They are just to get you thinking. •Do the characters, conflicts, or setting mirror your life in some way? •What strengths and/or flaws do you share in common with one or more characters in the piece? •What did the piece of literature show you about the world that you never noticed before? •Has the piece of literature inspired you to try to change your own life or the world in some way? •What surprised you about yourself as you were reading this piece of literature? Instructions for Writing the Paper & Preparing the Entry Form •Level of Competition: You are Level 2 (for 7th and 8th grade students) •Word Count: 550 – 600 words (You can maybe squeeze it up to 625!) • General Format: 12 pt font, Times New Roman

Writing style: Informal – your paper should sound natural and flowing, without artificially trying to sound “smart” or “stuffy.” This is not a research paper or essay – you should sound as if you’re speaking directly to the author. •Things to avoid

oComplimenting the author excessively, so that it sounds more like a fan letter oSummarizing the plot
Structure of letter
oHeading
Your name and home address in the UPPER RIGHT
SINGLE-SPACE your heading
Your name should go on the first line, your street number and street name should go on the second, your city & state & zip should go on the third line

Skip a line and then provide the date
oIt should look like this: January 3, 2012 (you should use the...
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