IIllinois Emerging Writers Competition Illinois Center for the Book
Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award
Named for the late Pulitzer Prize winner and Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition provides a unique opportunity and outlet for recognizing new literary talent in the state. The competition is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over, and has an annual entry deadline of June 30.
Cash prizes are awarded for first ($500), second ($300) and third place ($100), and winning poems are submitted for possible publication in Illinois literary magazines, including:
2018 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition – Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award
Entries are currently being accepted. A link to the entry form and competition guidelines is provided below. All entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2018, and include the following items: (1) two copies of the poem; (2) completed entry form; and (3) $20 entry fee.
2017 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition – Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award Winners
The winners of the 13th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition were announced by Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White on November 29, 2017. Read the complete press release.
1st – Anita Olivia Koester of Chicago for her poem Avowal
2nd – Faisal Moyhuddin of Chicago for his poem Ella Fitzgerald, Entering Chicago by Train, Remembers Her Mother’s Voice
3rd – Bryce Berkowitz of Carbondale for his poem Explain Yourself
- Kat Corrigan
- Patty Harkin
- Gwen Harrison
- Theodore Harrison
- Robin Helenthal
- Dave Joens
- Allan Johnston
- Vicki Kirksey
- Gloria Kroc
- Jan Look
- Elsie Martinez
- Pat Morin
- Rashidah Jaami' Muhammad
- Julia Nephew
- Tiffany Verzani
- Dasheka Whitaker
Final Judge: Illinois Poet Laureate, Kevin Stein
Past Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Winners
The State Library gratefully acknowledges Illinois Poet Laureate Kevin Stein for his continued support in making this competition possible.