NMSL Announces 2022 New Mexico Literature Essay Contest Winners

NMSL News:

SANTA FE – The New Mexico State Library (NMSL) announces the winners of the 2022 New Mexico Literature Letters competition.

Letters About Literature encourages young readers in grades 4-12 to read a book and write a personal letter to the author explaining how the book has changed or shaped their perspective on themselves or the world.

NMSL believes that the lives of young readers in our state are enriched when they are asked to reflect on literature in this way.

Students can write about works of fiction, non-fiction or poetry and participate in three levels depending on their grade level. Cash prizes are awarded to first, second and third place winners in each level of competition and Collected Works gift cards are awarded to honorable mentions.

The winners of the 2022 competition are:

  • Stella Marine;
  • Lily Muller; and
  • Madison Rae Edwards.

Sailor: A fifth-grade Albuquerque student is the Tier I champion.

She wrote her letter to Lupita Nyong’o about her book, Sulwe.

Sulwe, a children’s fiction book, which follows the story of a young girl who wishes her dark skin was lighter.

The story is ultimately about colorism and learning to love yourself, regardless of skin color.

Muller: A seventh grader in Albuquerque is the Tier II champion. His letter is addressed to Terry Irwin who is the author of Steve and Me.

This book is a biographical account of Terri Irwin’s life with her late husband, zoo owner and television personality Steve Irwin, The Crocodile Hunter, in which she recounts the unforgettable adventures they shared fighting over snakes. venomous, saving deadly crocodiles from poachers and swimming among humpback whales.

A uniquely talented naturalist, Steve was first and foremost a wildlife warrior dedicated to rescuing endangered animals.

Edwards: An eleventh-grade Aztec student is the Level III champion.

She wrote her letter to Tara Dairman about her book, All Four Stars.

All Four Stars is a deliciously sweet novel, which revolves around the life and love for cooking of an adorable sixth-grade student named Gladys.

This year, 169 students from New Mexico participated in the Literature Letters competition, and judging took place in three rounds across the different levels of competition. A panel of judges, made up of librarians, authors and book professionals from across the state, helped select the winners.

Among the 27 finalists, a list of first place, second place, third place and honorable mention writers was collected. Many New Mexico schools and home-schooled students across the state entered the competition. Additionally, NMSL appreciates the support of teachers, librarians, and parents for Letters About Literature.​

Letters About Literature is made possible by NMSL, which is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs and an affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. This is the ninth year that NMSL has sponsored the competition.

To read the three winning letters or learn more about the New Mexico Literature Letters Contest, visit https://lettersaboutliterature.nmculture.org/.

About Christopher Rodgers

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