INDIANAPOLIS- The Indiana Center for the Book honored Crawfordsville High School English teacher, Dr. Helen Hudson, and 12 Crawfordsville High School students on Saturday at the Letters About Literature Awards Ceremony at the Indiana State Library in Indianapolis.

Dr. Hudson won the inaugural Letters About Literature Instructor of the Year Award. She had a state record 12 students chosen as Letters About Literature state semifinalists in 2009.

One of her students, Ariel Demoret, took second place overall in the high school level of the competition. Hannah Anderson, Grace Vaught, Lindsay Leech, Kyle Covault, Abigail Douglas, Michele Slentz, Tanner Huss, Lauren Mesaros, Chris Levesque, Katherine Stanley and Autumn Clark were named semifinalists.

Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest for students in grades 4-12, named 90 students from Indiana as national contest semifinalists. Of the 90 students, state judges selected 12 to receive top state honors for the 2009 competition. Letters About Literature is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Stores, and is administered statewide by the Indiana Center for the Book. To enter, students in grades 4-12 wrote a personal letter to an author, explaining how his or her work changed their view of the world or themselves.

"These young people should be proud to be included in the top 9 percent of nearly 54,000 Letters About Literature entrants nationwide," said Roberta Brooker, Indiana State Librarian. "After reading the essays and meeting many of the entrants, it's easy to see why these young Hoosiers are among Indiana's best and brightest."

The Indiana Center for the Book, a program of the Indiana State Library, recognized 78 semifinalists and 12 finalists in an awards ceremony held at the Indiana State Library on Saturday. Over 200 students, teachers, and their guests attended the ceremony which was headlined by Margaret McMullan - an award-winning young adult author and University of Evansville English Professor.

"The State Library is very grateful to Margaret McMullan, Dr. Hudson, and the hundreds of students and proud parents who joined us on Saturday," said Brooker. "Letters About Literature is an exciting and educational program for everyone involved and that sentiment was reflected during the awards ceremony."