Letters About Literature contest open; Latino authors at LSU event
The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana, with the support of the Louisiana Writing Project, is continuing its state sponsorship of Letters About Literature (LAL), qualifying young readers in grades 4 though 10 to participate in the national writing competition presented by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress through its affiliate state centers.
Last year, 60,000 students entered; and one of Louisiana’s state winners received a National Honor Award for grades 4-6, while another was a finalist for grades 7-8. All state winners will be recognized at the Louisiana Book Festival.
The Letters About Literature competition is now open. To enter, the student reader writes a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre — fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, contemporary or classic — explaining how that author’s work, whether book, short story, poem, essay, or speech, changed the reader’s way of thinking about the world or oneself. The submission, in the form of a personal letter rather than a book report or fan letter, should express how the chosen book has impacted the reader’s life or worldview.
There are three competition levels: Level I for students in grades 4-6; Level II for grades 7-8; and Level III, grades 9-10 (Note: due to national funding cuts, not grades 11-12).
A young reader from a participating state may enter either through a classroom teacher/school or library, or as an individual, on his or her own. Entrants must be at least 9 years old; grade levels refer to the 2012-13 school year.
Submissions must be sent directly to the Letters About Literature, P.O. Box 5308, Woodbridge, VA 22194; entries must be postmarked by Friday, Jan. 13, 2013, and received at LAL Central no later than Jan. 23, 2013. Submissions sent to the Louisiana Center for the Book will not be forwarded or returned. Further information and detailed guidelines for Letters About Literature and the downloadable entry coupon may be found at http://www.lettersaboutliterature.org (How to Enter). Teachers and Librarians: see the specific attached instructions or website instructions regarding group submissions. School/library information is required on each entry. Individuals: Home schooled students and other individuals entering on their own are encouraged to participate using the same form.
LAL Central, the national Letters About Literature team, will choose the top 30-50 entries in each competition level from each state. From these, a panel of Louisiana judges, primarily composed of Louisiana language arts teachers and librarians chosen in partnership with the Louisiana Writing Project, will choose a first, second and third place winner for each grade level on or about March 15, to be announced as soon as possible thereafter. State honorable mentions may be awarded at the sole discretion of the state judges. The letters by the state first-place winners for each competition level are sent back to LAL Central where they are then in the running for the national awards.
State winners in each competition level, to be announced in April, will receive $100 for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place, made possible by a grant from the Library of Congress. A National Winner for each competition level will be announced mid-May and will receive a $1,000 cash award, with second place winners receiving $150.
Louisiana language arts teachers, school librarians, public children’s and YA librarians, and home school parents/instructors are encouraged to visit the Letters About Literature website for more information and lessons plans, and to incorporate the Letters About Literature into their curriculum and programming to facilitate Louisiana youth’s participation in and representation of the state in this reading and writing activity.
Cantú and Toscano
The public is invited to join LSU Readers & Writers at HopKins Black Box Theatre on campus at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, for the second event of the group’s 20th anniversary season, “Shifting Borderlands: Latino/a Poetry, Folklore, and Performance,” featuring folklorist and memoirist Norma Cantú and poet Rodrigo Toscano. Cantú’s publications on border literature, the teaching of English, quinceañera celebration, and the matachines have earned her an international reputation. She is author of a memoir, Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la frontera. Toscano is an experimental poet, playwright, and labor activist whose work explores the nature of borders: the borders between languages and cultures, between poetry and political action, between the made thing and its making, and between speech and theater. Toscano is the author of several collections of poetry, including Collapsible Poetics Theater (2008), which was chosen for the National Poetry Series.
This event is free and open to the public, and a reception and book signing will follow. For more information, go to http://www.lsureadersandwriters.com
Grand Coteau book release
At 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, Casa Azul hosts a presentation by John Slaughter and a book release party for his photography book Grand Coteau (UL Press) at Catahoula’s Restaurant, 234 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Grand Coteau. The book includes color and black and white photographs by Slaughter from 1977 through the present, and Patrice Melnick provides the introduction and captions. Grand Coteau includes iconic images of this small, country town including St. Charles College, St. Charles Church and the Academy of the Sacred Heart. Slaughter will discuss his vision and process as a photographer at 8 p.m., followed by special guests who will share oral narratives about Grand Coteau. There will be light refreshments and cocktails.
The 6th annual Heart of Louisiana Romance Readers Luncheon will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Juban’s Restaurant, 3739 Perkins Road, Baton Rouge. Best-selling authors scheduled to attend include Heather Graham, F. Paul Wilson, Erica Spindler and more. Nearly 20 novelists will be on hand to share their experiences. Each attendee will be seated with at least one author and all authors will be easily accessible during the pre-luncheon “meet and greet” and post-luncheon book signing from 2-4 p.m. The event is sponsored by Heart of Louisiana, also known as HeartLA, the Baton Rouge chapter of the Romance Writers of America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the support, encouragement and education of aspiring writers of all romance genres. Visit http://www.heartla.com.
EBR Parish Library
Get a jump on your Halloween celebration by attending the Zombie Prom at the Carver branch, 720 Terrace St., 3-5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31. Tweens and teens are invited to parade around the Library in zombie style, so come dressed in your spookiest zombie gear and find out who will be crowned the king or queen of the zombies. Need your monster makeup done? The library staff will be available to apply the gory details at 3 p.m., and the prom will start at 4 p.m. For more information, call (225) 389-7450.
Margaret Dunbar Cutright, co-author of A Case for Solomon: Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping that Haunted a Nation, will be at the Bluebonnet Regional branch, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd., at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. For more information, call (225) 763-2283.
- Science Fiction Book Club will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Greenwell Springs Road Regional branch, 11300 Greenwell Springs Road. Members will discuss A Fire upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge.
- Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life book group will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, in the Main Library auditorium, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Members will talk about Step 11 of Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps for a Compassionate Life. For more information, call (225) 231-3710.
Livingston Parish Library☻
Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs, will host authors signing and selling copies of their current works at the Library’s fourth annual Holiday Book Bazaar, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 3. The event features fiction and nonfiction authors for both adults and children across many genres. Meet some of your favorite local authors while doing your holiday shopping all in one place. Call (225) 665-8118 for details.
W. Feliciana Parish Library
Genealogy Guild will meet 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at the library, 11865 Ferdinand St., St. Francisville. Call (225) 635-3364.
Jefferson Parish Library
The New Orleans World War II Discussion Group will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the East Bank branch, 474 W. Napoleon Ave. in Metairie. The speaker will be Howard Hunter who will talk about Germany and Italy before the war. The event is free and open to the public.
East Baton Rouge Parish Library: http://www.ebrpl.com/.
Livingston Parish Library: http://www.livingston.lib.la.us/.
Ascension Parish Library: http://main.ascension.lib.la.us/.
West Baton Rouge Parish Library: http://www1.youseemore.com/WBatonRouge/default.asp.
Iberville Parish Library: http://www.iberville.lib.la.us/.
West Feliciana Parish Library: http://wfplibrary.org/.
Audubon Regional Library: http://www2.youseemore.com/AUDUBON/.
Lafayette Public Library: http://lafayettepubliclibrary.org/.
St. James Parish Library: http://www.stjames.lib.la.us/.
St. John the Baptist Parish Library: http://www.stjohn.lib.la.us/.
St. Charles Parish Library: http://www.myscpl.org/.
Jefferson Parish Library: http://www.jefferson.lib.la.us/.
New Orleans Public Library: http://nutrias.org/.
St. Bernard Parish Library: http://www.stbernard.lib.la.us/.
St. Tammany Parish Library: http://www.sttammany.lib.la.us/home_flash.html.
Writers’ Guild of Acadiana will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Barnes & Noble, 5705 Johnston St., Lafayette. WGA is an organization of local writers, published and unpublished, which meets to share and gain knowledge in the craft of writing. Beginners and veterans of the writing industry are all welcome.
Barnes & Noble Westbank, 1601B West Bank Expressway in Harvey, host a Writers’ Group, 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays. This is a networking and critiquing forum for writers of all skill levels. Be prepared to read your work, to take constructive criticism and to give it.
Soniat to read
Katherine Soniat will read from and sign her sixth collection of poetry, A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the UNO Sandbar in The Cove, 2000 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans. This event is free and open to the public.
Arthé A. Anthony, author of Picturing Black New Orleans, will sign copies of her book at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. in New Orleans.
Poet Beau Boudreaux, author of Running Red, Running Redder, will sign copies of his book at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29, at Maple Street Book Shop, 7529 Maple St. in New Orleans. Joining Boudreaux will be Theodore Ross, author of Am I a Jew?: Lost Tribes, Lapsed Jews, and One Man’s Search for Himself.
Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, editor of Meanwhile, Back at Cafe Du Monde, will sign copies of her book 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
Poet Katherine Soniat, author of A Raft, A Boat, A Bridge , will sign copies of her book at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. in New Orleans.
Artist Phil Sandusky, author of New Orleans Impressionist Cityscapes, will sign copies of his book at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Barnes & Noble Westbank, 1601B West Bank Expressway in Harvey.
Michael Allen Zell, author of Errata, will sign copies of his book at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28, at Maple Leaf Bar, 8316 Oak St. in New Orleans, and 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3, at Faubourg Marigny Bookshop, 600 Frenchmen St. in New Orleans.
Johnette Downing, author of How to Dress a Po’Boy will be in concert at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at New Orleans Jazz Park Visitors Center, New Orleans, and will sign copies of her book, noon-1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Tisket A Tasket Books and Gift Shop, 910 Decatur St., New Orleans.
Information for Book Events was provided by the Louisiana Center for the Book, LSU Readers and Writers, Casa Azul, HeartLa, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library, West Feliciana Parish Library, Jefferson Parish Library, Writers’ Guild of Acadiana, Barnes & Noble and Katherine Soniat.