Galesburg Public Library

NEA Big Read

Please check back next month for updated information about the 2023 Galesburg NEA Big Read. In 2022, Galesburg Public Library was a recipient of a grant of $11,800 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.

This April, the NEA Big Read in Galesburg focused on An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo. Joy Harjo is the current United States Poet Laureate and the first Native American to hold that title. An American Sunrise is a book of poetry informed by the history of her tribe – the Muscogee (Creek) people – and her connection to the land. Galesburg Public Library and its partners brought fun and educational programming celebrating the book to Galesburg all month long. Click here to see a complete schedule of events. Free copies of the book were given away at the library. If your private book club is interested in receiving free copies of the book for next year, please contact the NEA Big Read Coordinator at 309-343-6118 or reference@galesburglibrary.org.

2022 An American Sunrise Events Brochure

“For 15 years the NEA Big Read has supported opportunities for communities to come together around a book, creating a shared experience that encourages openness and conversations around issues central to our lives,” said Ann Eilers, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We congratulate the Galesburg Public Library for receiving an NEA Big Read grant and look forward to a wide variety of meaningful community events.” 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 NEA Big Read selection. “We’re inspired by the creativity of this year’s NEA Big Read grantees, who are finding new ways to bring people together after a challenging year,” said Torrie Allen, President & CEO of Arts Midwest. “We are proud to support these organizations and communities as they explore the richness and diversity of American history and culture together through reading.”

The books available for the 2021-2022 NEA Big Read explore different aspects of American history and culture. Grantees are developing programming that helps communities to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are today, and where we’re going. Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,700 NEA Big Read programs, providing more than $23 million to organizations nationwide. In addition, Big Read activities have reached every Congressional district in the country. Over the past 15 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, over 90,000 volunteers have participated at the local level, and over 40,000 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 arts.gov/neabigread

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 arts.gov 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 artsmidwest.org.

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 An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

Congratulations to the 2022 winners!

3rd-5th Grade Poetry Winners

1st.    The Wintery Night by Anna Rozny

2nd.   Fall by Leah Schwarz

3rd.   I Was Walking Along a Road Somewhere by Elizabeth Martin

3rd-5th Grade Short Story Winners

1st.   Aquaflare: The Untold Story by Evangeline Johnson

2nd.  Just One Patriot by Elizabeth Martin

3rd.  The Night I Went to Bed in My Clothes by Abby Nelson

6th-12th Grade Poetry Winners

1st.    Spirits of the Seasons by Caroline Lutz

2nd.  Love, Diamante by Ella Carlson

3rd.  Tie:  Alone by Abby LeClere
  Forged in Fire by Cadence Salmi

Adult Poetry Winners

1st.     Shedding This Skin by Sarah E. Ross

2nd.   amore by Gary M. Armstrong

3rd.   Waiting in the Fields by Ron Hunt

Adult Short Story Winners

1st.   Ebonne: First Day of School in America by Dee A. Robb

2nd.  Echoes of War by Gayle Keiser

3rd.  Merlot by David Ericson

Adult Nonfiction Essay Winners

Winners. Tie:  Getting Stoned by Gary M. Armstrong

Nurse Angel Unaware by LeAnn L. Morgan

Watch this page for details on the next Big Write. 

(A paper copy of the Submission Guidelines can be picked up at the library’s Reference Desk and Children’s Desk from January to the deadline.)

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
  • 9th-12th Grade
  • 6th-8th Grade
  • 3rd-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, 9th-12th grade, 6th-8th grade, 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.

2022 deadline: to 11:59 pm on March 1.

Materials may be emailed to bigwrite@galesburglibrary.org, dropped off in person at the library, placed in the Book Return box in the parking lot, 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 April. A list of winners will be available at the library.

A reception for winners, entrants, friends, family, and the community will be held at the library on Saturday, April 30.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Galesburg Public Library, the 2022 Big Write is part of Galesburg Public Library’s NEA Big Read of An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo. 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 reference@galesburglibrary.org.


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 next year for more information about the 2022 tour — Ghosts of Galesburg: Greatest Hits!

 

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