The U.S. Library of Congress and its Center for the Book are hosting the 24th annual Letters About Literature contest for kids in fourth through 12th grades.
To enter the contest, students must read a book, poem or speech and then write to the author (living or dead) about how the book affected them personally. The contest information lists the theme as "How did an author's work change your view of the world or yourself?"
Letters are judged on state and national levels in each of three age group categories -- 4-6, 7-8 and 9-12. The state winners in each category are awarded $200 each, and their entries are forwarded to the national level. The national winner in each category will be awarded $1,000.
For more details on how to enter, the criteria, etc., visit the Letters About Literature website, http://www.read.gov/letters/ . You'll especially want this PDF of entry guidelines and entry coupon http://www.read.gov/documents/LAL16-Guidelines.pdf .
If you are an adult, encourage the children in your life to enter this great contest! If you're a kid, find a great book to read and then write that letter! Good luck!