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8th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards competition!

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Date(s) - 02/08/2024 - 05/01/2024
12:00 am


Illinois Humanities is excited to announce that we are now accepting submissions for the 8th Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards competition!

This competition honors the legacy of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Illinoisian Gwendolyn Brooks as well as the tremendous creativity of young writers throughout our state. Brooks summed up the competition best in a note in 1977: “All the children who entered the contest are winners… They worked hard. They created. And that is what is important.”


We are offering a toolkit for parents and educators containing prompts, advice, the competition rubric, and more. Download the toolkit here:

The Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards competition is part of Illinois Humanities’ Teaching and Learning Initiative. To learn more about other projects in this initiative, please complete this form:

We ask that you help us spread the word about this year’s competition. You will find promotional materials to assist in this effort here:

Illinois Humanities’ Gwendolyn Brooks Youth Poetry Awards program services K-12 students and educators in Illinois.

This program is presented in partnership with Brooks Permissions and supported in part by the Library of America, the Poetry Foundation, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Event, the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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