pexels min an 1196338PARK FOREST – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) joins Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White to invite students in grades 4-12 to enter a statewide reading and writing competition known as “Letters About Literature in Illinois,” offered by the Illinois State Library’s Illinois Center for the Book.

“Literature is a powerful tool, and this is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their love for reading,” said Joyce. “I encourage students to participate in the competition and submit an entry.”

To participate, students must 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.

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 to enter is Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Students can enter on their own or through their school, local library or other youth organization.

One winner will be selected from each group to receive a cash award and a plaque signed by Secretary White. Teachers of the winning students will receive a certificate and a cash award for their school to purchase books for the library.

“Every year, thousands of students in Illinois enjoy participating in this inspirational 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 the competition and I hope their participation leads to a lifetime of reading.”

Winners will be formally announced in May 2021. All runners-up will receive certificates in May prior to the end-of-the-year award ceremonies.

For more information, contact competition coordinator Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..