15th Annual Illinois Emerging Writer's Competition

April 06, 2019

Announcing the 15th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award. The competition is sponsored by the Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White; the Illinois State Library and the Illinois Center for the Book.


The purpose of the competition is to promote creative writing while providing a unique opportunity and outlet for recognizing new literary talent in the state.


Illinois residents age 18 and over who have not published a full-length poetry collection via a commercial or not-for-profit press in either a paper or digital format are welcome to enter. Entries will be accepted through June 30, 2019.


There are three rounds of judging. Winners will be announced in late November/early December.


The award for first place is $500, second place is $300 and third place is $100. Winning poems are submitted for possible publication in Ninth Letter, Quiddity and RHINO journals.


The competition also provides judges’ feedback. First and second round judges receive review sheets to make comments on individual entries. All judges’ comments received are kept on file for one year and will be shared with entrants upon request. 

Poster and submission guidelines and release below:

pdf EW 2019 (103 KB)

pdf EW 2019 Poster (43 KB)