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Read, Write, Enter, Win!

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2015 'A Book That Shaped Me' Summer Writing Contest poster
2015 ‘A Book That Shaped Me’ Summer Writing Contest poster
Calling all students in the Mid-Atlantic area entering 5th or 6th grade this fall! Tell the Library of Congress what book shaped you, and you could win a trip to the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., this Labor Day weekend.

The “A Book That Shaped Me” annual summer writing contest which asks students to consider the power that books have to shape us by changing the ways we think and feel, is now under way. Enter by writing a one-page essay about a book that had a personal impact on your life, and submit it in person along with an entry form to a participating library in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania or West Virginia by Friday, July 10, 2015. The full list of participating libraries, the entry form and full contest details can be found on the contest website.

First-, second-, and third-place grand prizewinners will receive $300, $250 and $200 respectively in prizes along with travel vouchers to come present their essays at the festival. All state winners and finalists – a total of 30 students – will also receive gift card prizes and be honored during a presentation at the 15th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, September 5, 2015, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The contest is made possible by private donors and corporate sponsors of the National Book Festival.
Students, get inspired to enter the contest, and discover books recommended by your peers, by reading the winning essays and watching the awards ceremonies from past years.

Perhaps the best prize of all is that scores of popular and award-winning authors will present at this year’s festival, which is free and open to the public. These include picture book, children’s and teen’s authors for readers of all ages. Come along to discover more authors and books that could shape your life!


  1. I simply want to say thank you to you, The Library of Congress, for providing our children the forum to make personal connections by reading and expressing their inner thoughts and feelings in writing. I attended this year awards ceremony at the National Book Festival. I left there inspired and was truly touched by the messages. READING IS SO POWERFUL!

    Again, thank you.

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