Most people don't realize that Jesse White, Illinois' Secretary of State, is also the Illinois State Librarian. As State Librarian, White has announced that entry forms are now available for the 10th Annual Illinois Emerging Writers Competition Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award.

According to White, the award was created to promote creative writing and provide a new outlet for talented writers. The award is named in honor of the late Pulitzer Prize winning Illinois Poet Laureate Gwendolyn Brooks. The competition is open to Illinois residents age 18 and over. Entries must be postmarked by June 30, 2014.

There will be cash prizes of $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $100 for third place. The awards ceremony will take place at the Illinois State Library in Springfield at a later date. Information can be found at or by calling 217-558-2065.