The Illinois Center for the Book is a programming arm of the Illinois State Library that promotes reading, writing and author programs with the following mission: Nurturing and connecting readers and writers, and honoring our rich literary heritage.
The Illinois Center for the Book was incorporated in 1985, making it the third affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Today, there is a State Center for the Book in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These Center for the Book affiliates carry out the national Center's mission in their local areas, sponsor programs that highlight their area's literary heritage and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries.
June 7, 2017, marks the centenary of the birth of poet, novelist and educator Gwendolyn Brooks.
This competition provides a unique opportunity and outlet for recognizing new literary talent.