A Wyoming student has placed nationally a Library of Congress writing competition. The program, Letters About Literature, asks students in grades 4 through 12 to write to an author about how their work has affected their lives. More than 29,000 students from across the country participated.

Saimaa Widi of Cheyenne received a National Honor Award in Level 2 (grades 7-8) competition, along with a prize of $500. Widi was inspired by the poem Why Am I Not Good Enough by Olivia Vella.

“I saw myself in the words you were speaking, realizing how many times I had felt the way you said you felt,” Widi wrote. “I watched that video over and over and over again, holding on to everything you were saying. That’s the day I became a whole lot happier.”

You can read Widi’s letter, along with those from other state-level winners, on the Wyoming State Library’s website at library.wyo.gov/letters-about-literature/.

This is the poem by Olivia Vella that inspired Saimaa (read it here):