A clever letter can really pack a punch!
Each year, as we read students’ completed magazines during the end-of-year Finish Line celebration, we find ourselves laughing out loud or nodding along at those Letters to the Editor that are particularly witty or informative. So much so that we decided to devote an entire contest to these creative exchanges. Pen your own back-and-forth between reader and magazine editor and win a prize in the process!
How Your Student Can Enter
1. Any student using Cover Story this school year is eligible to submit up to 2 letter-and-response pairs.
2. The letters must be submitted by the parent/teacher of the student.
3. To be eligible for prizes, the letter(s) must come from the student’s own mind, with no outside input from family, friends, or teachers.
4. The letters must be accompanied by the student’s first name, age, state/province of residence, and shipping address. (The address should be accompanied by a first and last name, but only the student’s first name will be listed next to his or her entries.)
Submission deadline is 11:59 p.m. Central Time on February 18, 2021.
• Prizes include a Bookshop.org (or equivalent book retailer) gift card and autographed copies of one of the novels from Mr. Schwabauer’s Legends of Tira-Nor series: Runt the Brave, Runt the Hunted, or The Curse of the Seer. (If your student wins an autographed book, we will email you to ask which book he or she would prefer.)
Thursday, February 25, at 10:00 a.m. Central for roughly 45 minutes of student submissions! Mr. S. and long-time Cover Story team member Tineke will read letter exchanges aloud, award prizes to the winners, and appreciate the creativity of each submission.
NOTE: You do NOT have to be present at the webinar to win your prize. But it will be fun, so don’t miss it!
Thursday, February 25, 2021
10:00 a.m. Central Time
You are not required to sign up in advance for this webinar, and we will send a reminder email before February 25.
The online “room” will be open a few minutes early—generally within 15 minutes of start time—so that you can connect and be ready before it starts. If it will be your first time watching one of our webinars, we recommend joining early so you have time to install the Zoom extension if you need to (the webinar service we use).
** We will send out a link to watch a recording, if you have to miss it. **
- We will only share your student’s submissions using their first name, age, and state/province of residence. No last names will be mentioned.
- Parents/family members: Only students are eligible to receive giveaway items. Again, please make sure that letters credited to students originated with the students themselves without input from the parent or other outside sources.
Letter to the Editor Guidelines
This particular contest submission is covered in Lessons 26–27 of the Cover Story Student Book.
Each “pair” (reader letter and editor response, combined) should be no more than 500 words in length. Longer pieces will be disqualified.
In order to be considered, each submission must include both a letter to the editor, from a fictional reader, and a response from the editor of the magazine. This might mean writing under your student’s own name, or it might mean adopting a persona to lend humor or credibility to the response. Students are limited to two submissions apiece—two letters and two corresponding replies.
This question-and-reply format lends itself to many rich possibilities! Your submission may be humorous or tongue-in-cheek in nature, or it may be more serious. Teach us something about your chosen subject, defend your magazine to a fictional detractor, or just make us laugh!
Your student may enter the letter from their magazine if they wish, or they may compose new letter-and-response pairs to send in. Please refer to the video lecture and the textbook chapter for more information on writing letters to the editor.