Letters About Literature Contest: Our Top Five Theses

Let's face it, teachers, you're just riding it out until winter break. Well, you're in luck, because we know how to knock out -- what, a week? -- of lesson-planning with the annual Letters About Literature contest. Students are asked to write a conversational letter to authors who have inspired them or, alternatively -- and perhaps more realistically, if we're talking high school students -- who really piss them off.

Either way, we just love things that spark an interest in writing and books in kids. The contest is open to grades 4-12, ages 9 and up, and entries are due by January 6. Check out this flyer for more details.

We're obviously not teachers, and probably for good reason. But, here are our top five thesis suggestions:

1. Respond to FDR's first inaugural address with things that we do have to fear, other than fear itself, like velociraptors and Westboro Baptist Church.

2. Suggest to Shakespeare that suicidal teenagers are more compelling if there's an unplanned, half-vampire baby involved.

3. Analyze at length Wyoming as the setting for Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead before realizing you have it totally conflated with Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain."

4. Compose an Orwellian treatise on your iPhone.

5. Tell your teacher, "I would prefer not to."

So, get crackin'. We hear from Rachel Young, Children's Librarian at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, that Texas traditionally has a strong showing, and that one of last year's winners is from Plano. Make us proud.

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