Galesburg Public Library

NEA Big Read

Galesburg Public Library is a recipient of a grant of $10,000 to host the NEA Big Read in Galesburg. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Galesburg Public Library is one of 84 nonprofit organizations to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community reading program in 2021. Check back here soon for a complete schedule of events!

NEA Big ReadThe NEA Big Read in Galesburg will focus on In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez during the month of April in 2021. Galesburg Public Library and its partners will bring fun and educational programming celebrating the book to Galesburg during this time. There will be free speakers, including a Skype discussion with Julia Alvarez, the author of In the Time of the Butterflies, craft programs, book discussions, and other fun activities for all ages. Free copies of the book will be given away at the library. If your private book club is interested in receiving free copies of the book, please contact the NEA Big Read Coordinator at 309-343-6118 or

“We have become even more aware this year of the important ways the arts help us connect with others, and how they bring meaning, joy, and comfort to our lives,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “By bringing the NEA Big Read to Galesburg, the Galesburg Public Library will provide opportunities for deep discussion and ways to help us better understand one another.” The NEA Big Read offers a range of titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, aiming to inspire conversation and discovery. The main feature of the initiative is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports dynamic community reading programs, each designed around a single National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection. Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,600 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $22 million to organizations nationwide. Over the past thirteen years, grantees have leveraged more than $50 million in local funding to support their NEA Big Read programs. More than 5.7 million Americans have attended an NEA Big Read event, approximately 91,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and 39,000 community organizations have partnered to make NEA Big Read activities possible. For more information about the NEA Big Read, including book and author information, podcasts, and videos, visit Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit to learn more. Arts Midwest promotes creativity, nurtures cultural leadership, and engages people in meaningful arts experiences, bringing vitality to Midwest communities and enriching people’s lives. Based in Minneapolis, Arts Midwest connects the arts to audiences throughout the nine-state region of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. One of six non-profit regional arts organizations in the United States, Arts Midwest’s history spans more than 35 years. For more information, please visit

National Endowment for the Arts

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.
Attendance at library programs and events and participating in library-related activities
constitutes consent to be photographed for Galesburg Public Library publicity purposes.

The Big Write

The Galesburg Public Library’s Annual Creative Writing Contest

Sponsored by the Friends of the Library

Part of Galesburg Public Library’s NEA Big Read of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Congratulations to the 2020 winners! Click here to see the list. Thank you to everyone who entered, to our judges, and to the Friends of the Library for sponsoring the prizes.

(A paper copy of the Submission Guidelines can be picked up at the library’s Reference Desk.)

Three categories of submissions are being accepted:

  • Short Stories
  • Nonfiction essays (for adults only)
  • Poetry and song lyrics

Submissions will be grouped into four levels:

  • Adult
  • High School
  • Middle School
  • 3rd through 5th Grade

Up to three winners in each age group and category will be awarded prizes of $10 to $25.

  • All submissions must be the original and creative work of the person submitting them and should have been written within the last year.
  • Each contestant may submit up to two short stories and two poems. Adults may also submit up to two nonfiction essays.
  • The submissions do not have to be written exclusively for the Big Write; they may be submitted to other contests.
  • No information identifying the entrant may be included on any pages except the cover page. The cover page should include the contestant’s name, street address, email address if available, and phone number if available. The cover page should also specify the contestant’s level (adult, high school, middle school, or 3rd-5th grade).
  • Short stories (and nonfiction essays for adults only) must be typed in 12 point type and can be no longer than 8 pages double-spaced.
  • Poems and stories submitted electronically may be published in a local newspaper or online. Submission indicates your permission for the entry to be published. No short stories or poems will be returned.
  • Writers can reside outside the Galesburg/Knox County area.

The submission deadline is 11:59 pm on Monday, March 29, 2021.

Materials may be emailed to, dropped off in person at the library (in the bookdrop if we are not open), or emailed to Writing Contest, Galesburg Public Library, 40 E. Simmons St., Galesburg, Il 61401. Electronic submissions are preferred. Contest winners only will be notified in the middle of May. A list of winners will be available at the library.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Galesburg Public Library, the 2020 Big Write is part of Galesburg Public Library’s NEA Big Read of In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. For more information about The Big Write or The Big Read, call (309) 343-6118 or email

Ghosts of Galesburg

Ghosts of Galesburg is an annual walking tour presented by the Galesburg Public Library and the Galesburg Historical Society. Every year, around Halloween, certain “ghosts” from Galesburg’s past return to their old stomping grounds to speak about their lives. Check back for information about 2021’s event.

Galesburg Public Library
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap