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National Book Festival

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Young award winners at the National Book Festival

Express yourself! Check out these writing, art and poetry contests and compete with kids around the world.

“A Book That Shaped Me” - National Book Festival Summer Writing Contest

A Book That Shaped Me. The Library of Congress National Book Festival Summer Writing Contest

Books have the power to shape people by changing the ways we think and feel. Tell us about a book that has made a difference in your life by entering the “A Book That Shaped Me” summer writing contest. The contest is being administered by participating public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region, and top winners will be honored at the Library of Congress National Book Festival in September on the National Mall. Students entering 5th or 6th grade in the fall can participate and entries must be submitted in person at participating public library in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia.

Letters about Literature

Have you always wanted to write a letter to your favorite author? If you enter the Letters about Literature contest you can do just that and win prizes! This national reading and writing program invites readers in grades 4-12 to write personal letters to authors, past or present, who have changed their views of the world or of themselves.

River of Words

If you are an artist or poet (or both!), check out the River of Words contest, an international poetry and art project that encourages K-12 students to explore and interpret their natural homes through the arts.

Poetry Out Loud

If you love to be on stage, then Poetry Out Loud is for you. This national poetry recitation contest for high school students brings poems to life as students compete by performing their favorite poems through the use of slam poetry, spoken word and theater.