Library of Congress and Mid-Atlantic Public Libraries Kick Off Summer Essay Contest

National Book Festival 2018 poster. Source: US Library of Congress
National Book Festival 2018 poster. Source: US Library of Congress

Rising 5th and 6th Graders Asked to Write About “A Book That Shaped Me”

The Library of Congress today launched its annual summer essay contest, in conjunction with public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region, to encourage rising 5th- and 6th-grade students to reflect on books that have made a personal impact on their lives.

The “A Book That Shaped Me” Summer Writing Contest is administered as part of summer reading programs at participating public libraries in:

  • Washington, DC
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • Delaware
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

Prizes will be awarded and top winners will be invited to present their essays during a special presentation at the 18th Library of Congress “National Book Festival“, Saturday, September 1, 2018 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC.

Students entering 5th and 6th grades in the fall of 2018 are eligible. Essays, focused on a single book, should be one page in length and must be submitted with an entry form, in person, at participating public library locations. The deadline for essay contest entries is Saturday, July 7, 2018.

“A Book That Shaped Me” will award prizes to five finalists and one winner per state, and to three overall grand-prize winners. The 30 finalists will be selected by a panel of scorers composed of members of the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association. The three grand-prize winners will be selected by a panel of judges assembled by the Library of Congress, including educators, children’s authors and Library of Congress staff.

Submission forms are available at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center in Room G-29 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street SE, Washington, DC or at participating public library locations.

Launched in 2012 with the DC Public Library, “A Book That Shaped Me” has since expanded throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with the help of public libraries in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; Delaware; Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Public library systems in these states may sign up through May 11, 2018, by contacting for program details.

The Library kicked off the 2018 contest as part of its Children’s Book Week, a celebration sponsored by the Children’s Book Council, which is a reading-promotion partner of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at


Source: US Library of Congress

TGA Banner Ad
About Kay Whatley 2309 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.