Grant opportunity provided by: The Nebraska Center for the Book
This grant opportunity is made possible by funding provided to the Nebraska Center for the Book by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, with support from the Nebraska Library Commission.

Purpose of Grant: Grants will support Letters About Literature (LAL) Letter Writing Clinics (to be held in Nebraska) to introduce students to the Letters About Literature contest and letter writing techniques. Work with them to select books and craft letters to the authors. Applicants will choose their target market(s) and describe their plans for their proposed Letter Writing Clinic(s). One idea is to split the clinic into two sessions: the first to introduce the idea and to help the students to select books and a second session to learn letter writing techniques and to craft the letters. Following the Clinic(s), completed letters should be collected and submitted to the contest. The Letter Writing Clinic/Letters About Literature competition should NOT be a school assignment. The grant-funded Letter Writing Clinics should be offered at no charge to interested students.

Target Market for Letter Writing Clinics: The target market(s) will be selected by the applicant. The grade-level competition categories for the contest are set by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Contest participants compete on three levels:

  • Level I for young readers in grades 4-6
  • Level II for young adult readers in grades 7-8
  • Level III for readers in grades 9-12
The grant applicant should select one or more of the above target audiences. The Contest deadline for Level III is generally early December and the contest deadline for Levels I and II are early January.

Grant Opportunity Deadline is Past
Timeline for the Grant Opportunity:
Grant Applications Accepted: February 1, 2017 to March 30, 2017
Grant Deadline: March 30, 2017, 11:59 p.m. CT
Notification: The last week of April 2017
Funded Letter Writing Clinics must be held no earlier than May 15, 2017 and no later than October 31, 2017.

Grant Amount: Five grants will be awarded. Each grant awarded will be in the amount of $300. The grant funds can be used for items such as instructor honorariums, supplies, marketing, small participation prizes, etc. 

Eligible Grant Applicants: Eligible Nebraska applicants include the following: public libraries, public and private schools (Elementary, Middle, Jr. High, High Schools), public librarians, public and private school librarians, public and private school teachers (grades 4–12). Partnerships between schools and libraries are encouraged.

Grant Expectations: Awarded applicants will be expected to:

  • Provide information to the Nebraska Center for the Book - JoAnn McManus
    RE: time and location details about the Letter Writing Clinic at least two weeks prior to the event.
  • Report on how many students were served, how many letters were submitted to the contest, and the primary trainer for the clinic(s). Pictures taken during the clinic along with signed photo releases will also be appreciated.

Letters About Literature Contest: To learn more about the Letters About Literature Contest, refer to the Letters About Literature web page on The Nebraska Center for the Book’s website at: The 2016/2017 contest is currently featured on the site. Grants for Letter Writing Clinics will be funded to support the 2017/2018 Contest. It is expected that deadlines for the 2017/2018 contest will be in early December 2017 and early January 2018, depending on the grade level of the students. Information about the 2017/2018 Contest will be posted on the Nebraska Center for the Book website in early September 2017.

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Nebraska Book Awards


JoAnn McManus, Nebraska Library Commission at 402-471-4870, 800-307-2665.