ADM high school student writers Emily Pottebaum and Samantha Schepers were honored on April 27th at the Letters About Literature awards ceremony.



DES MOINES — The Iowa Center for the Book honored 18 student readers from across Iowa as winners and honorable mentions for the 2018 Iowa Letters AboutLiterature awards program at a ceremony on Friday, April 27 at the Urbandale Public Library.

Award-winning Iowa author Michelle Edwards gave an address to the attendees about storytelling and read her first children’s picture book Chicken Man. The students received their award certificates from Edwards and Michael Scott, State Librarian of Iowa.

“I am so impressed by these students and their creative ability to show how reading a special book led to a meaningful life experience,” said Scott. “We congratulate them on their accomplishment and know they are bound for great things.”

Sponsored by the Library of Congress, the prestigious national literary contest has student readers write a letter to an author of a book that has changed their view of themselves or their world.

For the 2018 program 1,750 Iowa students submitted letters, a 9 percent increase from 2017, with 159 passing the first round of review and returning to Iowa for further judging. First place winners in each level are submitted to the Library of Congress from each of the 52 participating states and territories to compete at the national level. In 14 years of participation, Iowa has had five national winners.

Level III (Grades 9 – 12)

First Place: Joseph Fisk 
Author/Book: William Ernest Henley, Invictus
School: Carlisle High School, Carlisle

Second Place: Emily Pottebaum 
Author/Book: John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
School: ADM High School, Adel

Third Place: Alyssa Enderton 
Author/Book: Susan Beth Pfeffer, Life As We Knew It
School: Carlisle High School, Carlisle

Honorable Mention: Samantha Schepers
Author/Book: Virginia Lee Burton, The Little House
School: ADM High School, Adel

Honorable Mention: Paul Linville 
Author/Book: Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are
School: Washington High School, Cedar Rapids

Honorable Mention: Emma Brewer 
Author/Book: Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
School: Carlisle High School, Carlisle