Illinois Emerging Writers Competition-Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award

Named for the late Pulitzer Prize winner and Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition – Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, 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.


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:


There are three rounds of judging. Winners will be announced in the winter of 2022.

Entry Feedback

After the winners of the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition are announced, judges’ feedback will be shared with entrants. Judges’ comments are kept on file for one year and will be shared upon request.

Entry Form

Competition Entry Form and Guidelines 
Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2022.
For additional information about the competition, visit the website.

For further assistance please contact:
Bonnie Matheis|Coordinator, Illinois Center for the Book
Illinois State Library|Gwendolyn Brooks Building
300 South Second Street|Springfield, Illinois 62701
P 217.558.2065| F 217.782.1877