The Indiana Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library of Congress housed in the Indiana State Library, is open for entries for two writing contests for youth this fall. The Indiana Statehood Day Essay Contest is open to Indiana fourth graders and the Indiana Letters About Literature Contest is open to Indiana’s fourth through 12th graders.
For the Indiana Statehood Day Essay Contest, Indiana fourth graders are invited to write an essay on the theme of “Playing IN Indiana.” Judges are looking forward to seeing students’ interpretation of the theme which can encompass Indiana sports, recreation in Indiana’s parks, playing music, visiting Indiana’s amusement parks and so much more. The Indiana Statehouse Tour Office partners with the Indiana Center for the Book for this contest which commemorates Indiana Statehood Day each year. Indiana’s 207th birthday is Dec. 11. Winners of the essay contest will be honored at a Statehood Day Celebration. The 2023 celebration is on Dec. 8 at the Indiana State Museum and on Dec. 11 at the Indiana Statehouse. Four top winners will be selected. Each winner will receive a CollegeChoice 529 Deposit of $529 made possible by the Indiana Education Savings Authority! All Indiana fourth graders should take advantage of this exciting opportunity. Find out more about the contest at the contest website. The deadline to enter is Oct. 27.
The Indiana Letters About Literature contest is also now open for the 2023-24 contest cycle. This contest is a reading and writing contest for Indiana students in grades four through 12. Students are asked to read a book, poem, essay or speech and to write to the author – living or deceased – about how the work affected how they see themselves or how they see the world. Letters are judged on how well they interpret the theme of the power of literature to change readers as well as on expression, voice, structure and grammar. One hundred state winners are announced each spring. All winners get published in the annual Indiana Letters About Literature anthology, and top winners receive cash prizes. All winners are invited to an annual virtual celebration where they will get to meet an Indiana author. This year’s author is Rob Harrell, Indiana author of “Wink.” The Indiana Letters About Literature program is supported by the James and Madeleine McMullen Family Foundation and the Indiana State Library Foundation. For more information about Indiana Letters About Literature, visit the contest website. The deadline for entries is Jan. 19, 2024.
The judges are hoping that hundreds of students enter each contest. For questions, please reach out to Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book. Good luck to all the young Hoosier writers who enter either – or both – contests.
This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center librarian Suzanne Walker.