In their letters, students told authors that they wanted to be authors themselves and that reading the books had inspired them.

FRAMINGHAM – More than 600 letters written by local students will soon find their way to the mailboxes of authors and illustrators around the world.

In November, Jillian Holmberg, assistant supervisor of children's services at the McAuliffe Branch Library, celebrated National Write to an Author Day by extending it for the entire month. The library reached out to children at several elementary schools in the city and asked them to write letters to their favorite writers and illustrators.

Holmberg then visited classrooms to walk students through how to write a letter, type on a computer or improve their handwriting.

"You don't see this as often - handwriting and mailing letters - with texting and how everything's digital," said Holmberg. "They were like, 'Wait - I can write a letter and mail it?'"

Among the authors who received letters include Raina Telgemeier, Mo Willems, Jeff Kinney, Mary Pope Osborne and David Wiesner.

In their letters, students told authors that they wanted to be authors themselves and that reading the books had inspired them. Some children wrote to say they eagerly await the writer's next book and re-read older ones in the meantime.

"We had some students ask if the authors could put their names in a book," said Holmberg. "'You should put it on page 20, that way I'll know it's me.'"

Holmberg said the exercise allowed children to show their appreciation for the authors, saying it was in some ways an act of kindness.

"We asked them how they'd feel if they wrote a book and received fan mail from kids telling them how much they loved it. That resonated with them in thinking, 'I would want that too,'" said Holmberg. "Kids kept writing more and more letters. They'd write one and then remember, 'Well, I love this author too, and I have to tell them how much I love them too.'"

The bulk of the letters are now at City Hall, said Holmberg, and will eventually be sent out to addressees.

Zane Razzaq writes about education. Reach her at 508-626-3919 or zrazzaq@wickedlocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @zanerazz.