Onteora Middle School student wins statewide writing contest – Times Herald-Record

May 10, 2019 at 2:01 AM

BOICEVILLE — Onteora Middle School student Thea Millenson-Wilens has been recognized as a winner in the New York State Letters About Literature competition. Thea’s letter to author Gayle Forman won in the Level 2 (grades 7-8) category.

As a state-level winner, Thea will go on to compete in the national Letters About Literature contest that is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.

In an email announcing Thea’s award, New York State Letters About Literature coordinator Ellen Rubin wrote, “Her letter to Gayle Forman about her book, ‘If I Stay,’ is incredibly insightful for someone in eighth grade.”

“I love to read and write,” said Thea, who initially wrote the letter to Forman as part of an assignment for Denise Maltese’s English class. “’If I Stay’ is about a girl who gets in a car accident and is in a coma. She is outside of her body, watching what is going on in the world. The book is really powerful.”

Thea, along with the other winners, has been invited to the New York Writers Hall of Fame induction, which will be held on June 4 at the Princeton Club in New York City. She will receive a $100 check and a framed certificate.

The Letters About Literature program is a national reading and writing promotion contest that is judged on the state and national levels. To enter, readers write personal letters to an author, living or dead, from any genre, explaining how that author’s work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves.

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