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Texas Center for the Book Announces 2022-2023 Letters About Literature Texas Contest Winners 

Austin – The Texas Center for the Book has announced the winners of the 2022-2023 Letters About  Literature Texas contest, a statewide event sponsored by the Texas Library and Archives Foundation. This annual competition invites 4th through 12th grade students to write letters to authors—living or  dead—about how that writer’s words affected them or changed their worldview. 

Hundreds of Texas students selected a book, book series, essay, play, poem, short story or speech that  touched their lives and submitted their letters to the program. First place winners will be honored at the  2023 Texas Library Association Conference in Austin and will receive travel assistance. Thanks to the  generosity of the Nora Roberts Foundation and the Texas Library and Archives Foundation, all winners  receive enhanced cash prizes and their school library will receive a $200 stipend. 

The winners: 

Level 1 (Grades 4-6) 

First place: Julia Rogers of Addison, the Greenhill School  

wrote to Sharon Draper, author of Out of My Mind 

Second place: Daniel Hu of Sugar Land, Sartartia Middle School 

wrote to Lisa McMann, author of The Unwanteds 

Third place: Aria Fan of Austin, Canyon Vista Middle School 

wrote to Pam Ryan, author of Esperanza Rising 

Level 2 (Grades 7-8) 

First place: Tristan Sun of Dallas, Highland Park Middle School 

wrote to Michelle Zauner, author of Crying in H Mart 

Second place: Lucas Liu of Sugar Land, Sartartia Middle School 

wrote to Neal Schusterman, author of The Schwa Was Here 

Third place: Serena Liu of Dallas, Highland Park Middle School 

wrote to Lauren Wolk, author of Beyond the Bright Sea 

Level 3 (Grades 9-12) 

First place: Destiny Nieves of Princeton, Princeton High School 

wrote to John Green, author of Turtles All the Way Down 

Second place: Ethan Liaw of Sugar Land, William P. Clements High School 

wrote to Benjamin Hoff, author of The Tao of Pooh

Third place: Lewis Reid of Grand Prairie, Frontier STEM Academy 

wrote to Amanda Gorman, author of The Hill We Climb 

“I want to thank each and every Texas student who participated in this year’s Letters About Literature  program,” said Gloria Meraz, TSLAC Director and Librarian. “All our letter writers demonstrated their  appreciation for literature, and I congratulate the librarians, teachers, and parents who supported them.  Of course, I want to applaud our winners in each of the categories for their outstanding work and  writing. Congratulations to them all—their letters are wonderful and truly convey the power of the  written word.” 

The winning letters are published on the TSLAC website at Winners are encouraged to share the link, as well as to reach out directly to the author and publisher. 

One of 50 state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Texas  Center for the Book is under the direction of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and  partners with library professionals, educators, authors, publishers and booksellers for a shared mission  of promoting a love of literature to the more than 26 million residents of the Lone Star State. For more  information contact Rebekah Manley at (512) 936-2505 or visit


The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need  to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service  capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their  records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit

1 Comment

  1. Sharon M. Draper on April 13, 2023 at 11:42 am

    To Julia, who wrote about Out of my Mind, and to all the other honorees, thank you and congratulations!
    The Texas Center for the Book program has always been excellent, and I’m proud to be a supporter of books and students and readers and especially the Texas Center for the Book! I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, and I love all book programs and the young people who read those books and continue to read! I salute you! Read on!

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