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We are pleased to announce the 2018 winners of Letters About Literature, a national writing contest presented by Humanities TN and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. More than 900 students entered the statewide contest this year. Students read a book and then write a letter to the author discussing why the book was meaningful to them. 
“Reading and writing are core skills that help prepare students for any career,” said Tim Henderson, executive director of Humanities TN. “Just as importantly, developing a love of reading and of writing at any age expands our critical thinking skills, increases our capacity for empathy, and provides lifelong pleasure in the written and spoken word.”
The 2018 Tennessee winners are:
Level 1: Grades 4-6
  • First Place: Serenity Donnell, Christiana Elementary School, Christiana 
  • Second Place: Annabelle Gary, Hutchison School, Memphis
  • Third Place (Tie): Nuriyah Bilal, Hutchison School, Memphis
  • Third Place (Tie): Bebe Falkner, Christiana Middle School, Christiana
Level 2: Grades 7-8
  • First Place: Hamna Tameez, Hutchison School, Memphis
  • Second Place: Lillie Hollabagh, Hutchison School, Memphis
  • Third Place: Minnu Reddivari, White Station Middle School, Memphis
Level 3: Grades 9-12
  • First Place: Sukanya Barman, White Station High School, Memphis
  • Second Place: Xinyi Tan, White Station High School, Memphis
  • Third Place: Name withheld upon request. 
The first place winner in Tennessee at each level receives a $100 award from Humanities TN. The second place winner receives a $50 award. The third place winner receives a $25 award. The Level 3 winner also receives a full-ride scholarship to our Tennessee Young Writers' Workshop. Tennessee has had five national winners in the contest since its inception in 1998. The first place winner at each level advances to national competition against the winning entries from every state. 
Humanities TN fosters community and civility in Tennessee through public programs that examine and reflect upon ideas, stories, history, arts, and culture. The organization conducts and supports programs focusing on community history, literary arts, and civic life.