SECRETARY OF STATE: Jesse White Announces 18th Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition

Entry forms are now available; Deadline is June 30

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White announced that entry forms are available for the 18th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.

“We created the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition to promote creative writing and provide an outlet for talented writers,” White said. “Great poems have the ability to enrich and enhance our lives, and I am looking forward to celebrating talented poets with this year’s competition.”

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 and Illinois Poet Laureate Angela Jackson.

The competition is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2022. Cash prizes will be awarded for first ($500), second ($300) and third place ($100). Winning poems will be submitted for possible publication in the “Ninth Letter” literary arts journal, “Quiddity International Literary Journal and Public Radio Program” and “RHINO Poetry” magazine.

Winners of the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition have gone on to achieve other great accomplishments, including winning other prestigious competitions, writing screenplays and publishing books.

Entry forms can be found at For more information, contact Illinois Center for the Book Coordinator Bonnie Matheis at 217-558-2065 or