A Book That Shaped Me

Summer Writing Contest for 5th and 6th Graders

Boy Writing at a DeskA Book That Shaped Me Logo

Books have the power to shape us by changing the way we think and feel. Think about a book that made a difference in your life. Did it change the way you see yourself? Your family? A classmate? The world? Write a one-page essay about how the book had an impact on your life.

Who Can Participate?
Students who will be entering 5th or 6th grade in the fall of 2013 may enter.

How Do I Enter?
Pick up an entry form at your neighborhood library.

  • Write a one-page essay (typed or hand-written)
  • Have your parent or guardian sign your entry coupon (this is required)
  • Submit your essay by Friday, August 16, 2013 to your neighborhood library. Be sure to staple the completed Entry Coupon to your essay. Essays will not be accepted online.

How Are Entries Judged?
Essays will be judged on:

  • Content (how well the essay addresses the contest theme)
  • Structure (spelling, grammar and punctuation)
  • Creativity (approach to theme, sentiment expressed, etc.)

Be sure to use examples from the book to make your points.

What Can I Win?
An expert panel of judges will select 3 top essays. Library winners each will receive a $50 Gift Card and additional fun prizes. The 3 top essays will advance to the Grand Prize level for judging along with essays from students in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Three Grand Prize Winners will be selected by a panel of judges assembled by the Library of Congress. The panel will include well-known children's authors, educators and Library of Congress staff. Grand Prize Winners each will receive a $200 Gift Card and additional fun prizes.

In addition, all 3 winners from D.C. will be honored during a presentation at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival on the Mall, September 20-21, 2013.

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