SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Michelle Mussman, D-Schaumburg, is encouraging her constituents to demonstrate their creative writing skills in an upcoming statewide competition to find Illinois’ best unknown writer. Cash prizes will be awarded to Illinoisans 18 years of age and older who exhibit a special ability to write original pieces of art that are unique and thoughtful.
“Residents of the 56th District have recently finished in the Top 3 of this annual competition, and it would be a privilege to have the Schaumburg area represented, yet again, in such a creative way,” said Mussman. “Our community is home to many insightful and creative individuals who have a lot to offer. Their works of art can enrich and inspire others in ways that are unimaginable to the author. From college students to retired grandparents, I know my neighbors can offer a one-of-a-kind perspective that I hope we can show off together.”
Secretary of State Jesse White recently announced that entry forms are available for the 14th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition. Winners will receive the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award which is named in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks, and is co-sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book. All entries must be original, unpublished and not currently scheduled or under contract for publication in a paper or digital format literary journal or magazine. All works that have appeared in print or on the web, including self-published works and works that have been broadcast, are considered previously published and are, therefore, NOT eligible for the competition.
“We created the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition to promote creative writing and provide an outlet for talented writers,” White said. “Great poems have the ability to enrich and enhance our lives, and I am looking forward to celebrating talented poets with this year’s 14th annual competition. I applaud and commend state Rep. Mussman for her support of this wonderful writing competition, and her efforts to encourage residents living in her district to participate.”
Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2018. Cash prizes will be awarded for first ($500), second ($300) and third place ($100). Winning poems will be submitted for possible publication in the “Ninth Letter,” “RHINO” and “Quiddity” journals and “Poetic License Press” publications. Winners will read their poems at a ceremony later this year at the Illinois State Library in Springfield. Entry forms can be found at http://cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/center_for_the_book. For more information, contact Illinois Center for the Book Coordinator Bonnie Matheis at 217-558- 2065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.