New Mexico “Letters About Literature” Champions Announced
Kayla Ayala, Arielle Foxx Moosman, and Michaela Bluedorn move on to national competition
The New Mexico State Library has announced the state level champions of the 2015 Letters About Literature competition. Administered nationally by the Library of Congress Center for the Book, Letters About Literature is a reading and writing contest for students in grades 4-12.
Students are asked to read a book, poem, or speech and write to that author about how the literature changed their view of the world. The State Library manages the state level program and submits a champion to the national competition for each of the three levels.
Kayla Ayala, a sixth grade student at Tularosa Intermediate School, is the Level 1 (grades 4-6) champion. Ayala wrote her letter to Janet Shaw about her book, “The Silent Stranger.”
Arielle Foxx Moosman, an eighth grade student from Ramah, won the Level 2 (grades 7-8) competition. Her letter is addressed to “Bridge to Terabithia” authorKatherine Paterson.
Michaela Bluedorn, a senior from Lovington High School, is the Level 3 (grades 9-12) champion. Bluedorn wrote a letter to Erin Hanson about her poem, “The Storyteller.”
Five hundred and eighty-six New Mexico students entered the 2015 contest. Entries were received from nearly 50 schools as well as from home school students. Of those 586 entries, 88 semifinalists advanced to round two of state judging. All semifinalists will receive an award certificate. In addition to the three champions, judges named three second place writers, three third place writers, and ten students earned honorable mention recognition. Champions will receive a $150 cash prize.
The judging panel was comprised of government officials, librarians, authors, and book professionals from across the state including Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Veronica Gonzales, Deputy Secretary and Acting State Librarian Michael Delello, Retired State Librarian Ben Wakashige, and State Library Commission Chairman David L. Caffey.
Champions, second and third place winners, and honorable mention recipients will be honored at the State Capitol on May 8 at 1:30 p.m. Secretary Gonzales will congratulate the students, and they will read their letters aloud.
The three New Mexico champions’ letters have been sent to the Library of Congress for national judging. National champions will win a $1,000 cash prize. Winners will be announced in early May.