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SPRINGFIELD -- Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White has announced that entry forms are available for the 15th annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.

“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 competition.”

The competition 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.

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The competition is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over. Entries must be postmarked by June 30. 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. Winners will read their poems at a ceremony 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 bmatheis@ilsos.gov.

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