Grants & Programs

Literary Awards Program

Literary Awards Program

Literary Awards recognize Illinois writers and promote greater awareness of non-commercial publishing in the state. The award encourages Illinois not-for-profit literary magazines to publish and disseminate new work by living Illinois writers and poets. Awards are given to both the selected writers and to the magazines (print or web-based) that published their work.

Not-for-profit literary magazines are defined as those whose primary mission is to publish contemporary poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Creative non-fiction is distinguished from non-fiction by its strong narrative, literary quality as found in personal essays or memoirs. This does not include works that are predominately analytical, scholarly, or journalistic. 

Companion awards of $1,000 will be given to selected Illinois writers and to the publications that nominated their work.  

The applicant publication may nominate a maximum of ten works by living Illinois writers.   

  • Nominated pieces must have been published during the period of September 1, 2012 – March 30, 2014.
  • Nominations must be previously unpublished works of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.
  • Nominations must be made by the editorial staff of the applicant magazine.
  • Editorial staff may not nominate their own work.
  • Nominations can include a combination of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction pieces.
  • More than one piece by the same writer can be nominated, but each piece will count toward the maximum of ten.
  • Nominated works cannot:
    • Be collaborative pieces.
    • Consist of interviews, reviews, or literary translations.
    • Have been previously published.


The FY14 deadline for Literary Awards is May 15, 2014. Applications must be successfully submitted to the IACA Slideroom system by 11:59pm on the deadline date.

To access the Literary Awards program guidelines follow this link

For further information about the Literary Awards program, contact Susan Dickson, Director of Arts-in-Education, Ethnic and Folk Arts, and Literature Programs by email or by phone 312/814-6740.