Sec. of State Announces 16th Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition

Entry forms are now available; Deadline is June 30 

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced today that entry forms are available for the 16th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award. 

“We created the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition to promote creative writing and encourage new Illinois authors to develop and share their talents,” White said. “A number of our previous winners have seen their works published. Their outstanding creativity is adding to Illinois’ rich literary heritage.” 

The competition is named in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, and is co-sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book. The competition to recognize new literary talent in the state is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2020. The award for first place is $500, second place is $300 and third place is $100. Winning poems will also be submitted for possible publication in “Ninth Letter,” “Quiddity” and “RHINO” journals. 

Entry forms can be found at