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California Center for the Book at UCLA Announces State Winners of “Letters About Literature” Student Writing Contest

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TheCalifornia Center for the Book, housed at the UCLA Graduate School of Education& Information Studies and affiliated with the Library of Congress,announced the three California winners of the 24th annual "Letters About Literature" national writing contest.

WinnersJulie Greiner, from Redwood Middle School in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and MichaelSturgis, from Pioneer Junior High School in Upland, Calif., presented theirletters April 22 at UCLA's 14th annual Frances Clarke Sayers Lecture. WinnerNicholas Oeffinger, from West Bay High School in SanCarlos, Calif., was unable to attend the event.

Toenter, students wrote a personal letter to an author, living or deceased,explaining how his or her work had changed their view of the world orthemselves. Students could select authors from any genre — fiction ornonfiction, contemporary or classic. Approximately 4,600 California studentsentered the contest this year.

Adistinguished panel that included authors Cecil Castellucciand Michael Jaime-Becerra and editor Cheryl Kleinselected the three winners from among 30 finalists, one from each of threecompetition levels: grades 4–6, grades 7–8 and grades 9–12. All 30 finalists' lettershave been published in a commemorative booklet available at www.calbook.org.

Thethree California winners received cash prizes and $50 Target store gift cardsand will advance to the national competition, where the top prize includes atrip to the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., in September.

TheCenter for the Book of the Library of Congress, in partnership with TargetStores, sponsors the "Letters About Literature"national program. Additional state sponsors include the California SchoolLibrary Association, the California Teachers Association and the Children'sLiterature Council of Southern California.

TheCalifornia Center for the Book is supported by the United States Institute ofMuseum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services andTechnology Act, administered in California by the state librarian.

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