For over forty years the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) has sponsored statewide poetry and prose competitions for Illinois grade, middle, and high school students.
Beginning with the 2004/2005 school year, I have partnered with IATE to cosponsor this writing competition. Since then, our welcome affiliation has continued to support Illinois students' creative work.
Co-sponsored by the Illinois Center for the Book, the Illinois State Library, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, and the Illinois Poet Laureate, this competition identifies outstanding Illinois emerging poets. Its purpose is to reward emerging writers -- that is, those who've not yet published a book but who stand on the cusp of greater artistic accomplishment.