PORTLAND – The Maine Humanities Council announces that for the fourth year it is the state sponsor in a national student essay contest, Letters About Literature. The contest is open to students from grades four through 12.

Participants are asked to write a short letter to an author, living or dead, explaining how that author’s book changed their way of viewing the world and themselves. The deadline for entries is Dec. 6.

The letters offer a chance for young readers to reflect on the work of their favorite authors and think about why reading their work was such an engaging experience. The content and style of the letters varies widely and ranges from anecdotes relating to characters in the book, to interests or qualities that a reader shares with a character in a story or the author. Creativity is encouraged.

Young readers can select authors from any genre, fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic.

The contest is free and open to all young readers. Entries can be made through schools or as individuals.

For more information and to obtain the required entry coupon, tips for writers and teacher guides, visit the council’s Web site at www.mainehumanities.org or call the council toll-free at 1-866-MeReader.

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