Letters About Literature

Each year the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in partnership with affiliate state centers for the book, invites readers in grades 4 through 12 to enter Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest.

To enter, readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre– fiction or nonfiction, contemporary or classic, explaining how that author’s work changed the student’s way of thinking about the world or themselves. There are three competition levels: Level I for children in grades 4 through 6; Level II for grades 7 and 8, and Level III, grades 9 – 12.

State winners receive cash prizes provided by the South Carolina State Library Foundation. View photos from 2014-2015 awards ceremony.

Find out more about the program and how your school or individual child can get involved.

Speaker at the Center Lunchtime Programs

In Summer 2007, the SC Center for the Book initiated a Speaker at the Center lunchtime series.   The program is free and open to the public and attendees should feel free to bring a bag lunch. Visit our events page for a current listing.

River of Words

The South Carolina Center for the Book is proud to promote the River of Words Contest to South Carolina students, in partnership with the Library of Congress and the River of Words organization.

River of Words is a free, international poetry and art contest for youth on the theme of watersheds. The contest is designed to help youth explore the natural and cultural history of the place they live, and to express, through poetry and art, what they discover.

The contest is open to any child in South Carolina (and the world!), from 5-19 years of age. Students may enter on their own or as part of a group (classroom, Scout troop, 4-H, etc.) The deadline for entries for the 2008 contest is February 15th, 2008. For more information about the contest and how to enter, please see the Web site at

For questions, please visit the River of Words website.

Let’s Talk About It

Let’s Talk About It is a reading and discussion program created by the American Library Association and offered free to South Carolina public libraries through a partnership of the South Carolina State Library and The Humanities Council SC.

Book Series

Let’s Talk About It series consist of 4-5 books or films on the same topic or theme, which participants study with the help of scholar facilitators who add depth and breadth of understanding. There are over 36 series from which to choose, ranging in theme from women’s autobiography to the importance of heritage in South Carolina literature.


The South Carolina State Library and The Humanities Council SC provide all the materials and expertise necessary to implement a Let’s Talk About It program in a public library, including full sets of books and other media and a $500 grant to pay for scholar honorarium.