Chicago Literary Hall of Fame accepting submissions for 2024 Young Writers Award

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame invites Chicago-area students currently enrolled in grades 9-12 to submit their work for consideration for the 2024 Randall Albers Young Writers Award.

Now in its second year, the award seeks to honor Randall Albers, one of the city’s most dedicated teachers of writing, and to celebrate the literary gifts of Chicago’s youth. This year’s contest welcomes entries in either prose or poetry and offers the following awards in each of those two categories: $250 to first place winners, $150 to second place, $100 to third place and $50 to fourth place. Each winner will also receive a writing consultation with one of the editors for DePaul’s Blue Book: Best American High School Writing 2024. The winner and finalists will be announced in late March and honored at an awards ceremony on Saturday, May 11, at the Harold Washington Library Center.

Submissions are open now through 5 p.m. Feb. 16. Young writers can visit to learn more about the contest and to submit their work. Entrants must reside in Chicago or Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry or Will county, but can attend any school, including online or homeschool, within or outside of these areas. Submission is free and a full list of the contest rules and guidelines is available on the CHLOF website.

The CLHOF chose to name this award after Randall Albers as a way of honoring his longstanding commitment to mentoring and encouraging young writers in the Chicago area. Randall is Professor and Chair Emeritus of Fiction at Columbia College Chicago and his writing, volunteerism, teaching and generous spirit have earned him a cherished place in the hearts and minds of the Chicago literary community.

The Chicago Literary Hall of Fame’s mission is to honor, preserve, and celebrate Chicago’s great literary heritage, past, present, and future.

Contact Associate Board President Carrie Muehle at or (773) 206-9473 for more information.

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