Illinois Center for the Book

Illinois 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:


2022 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition – Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award

The entry deadline is June 30.

2021 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition – Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award Winners



2021 Judges

Final Judge: Angela R. Jackson, Illinois Poet Laureate


2020 Illinois Emerging Writers Competition – Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award Winners



Past Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Winners