Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project!

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2022 Contests Open for Submissions

We are excited to announce the start of our 2022 contests for Self- and Indie-Published Illinois authors. The Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest is now open and accepting entries. Also, the De la Página a la Fama contest is open for submissions.

Both contests have an entry deadline of June 30, 2022.

Click here to get started.

2022 Manuscript Finalists Announced

We're excited to announce the finalists for the 2022 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript Project contest. Congratulations to these three Illinois authors. Our judges next evaluate their submissions to determine this year's contest winner. 

Here are our finalists (in alphabetical order by author last name).

  • How to Spot A Fake by Rachelle Dio (Cook Memorial Public Library District)
  • House Call by Sarah Roots (Chicago Public Library)
  • A Girl with a Knife by Alina Rubin (Niles-Maine District Library)

Details about our Manuscript Project can be found here.

2022 Manuscript Semifinalists

Our judges have finished their initial review of the 2022 Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript Project contest submissions. Congratulations to those semifinalists listed below moving on to our second round (in alphabetical order by author last name).

  • The Ex-Trail by Karyn Bowman (Manteno Public Library District)
  • Chrysalis of Fire by Pete Cholewinski (Naperville Public Library)
  • How to Spot A Fake by Rachelle Dio (Cook Memorial Public Library District)
  • Noah’s Ark by Matthew Holmes (La Grange Park Public Library District)
  • Beyond Maxwell Street by Della Leavitt (Chicago Public Library)
  • Hold Hands in Darkness by Carl Nusbaum (Northbrook Public Library)
  • Silent Hearts by Anita Renaghan (Gail Borden Public Library District)
  • House Call by Sarah Roots (Chicago Public Library)
  • A Girl with a Knife by Alina Rubin (Niles-Maine District Library)
  • It’s Raining Men by Hollie Smurthwaite (Chicago Public Library)
  • Get a Life by Dan Woessner (Sterling Public Library)

Details about our Manuscript Project are found here.

Spanish Self-Publishing Webinar Recording Available

Aspiring and experienced writers looking for alternatives to traditional publishing take note!

Missed the live webinar? Watch the recording on YouTube.

De la Página a la Fama 2021 winning author Pascuala Herrera will be sharing information and tips for self-publishing on March 10, 2022 at 6:30pm via Facebook and Zoom. Participants will be able to learn about the alternatives and process through the author’s own experiences self-publishing her winning memoir, “It’s Not Always a Valley of Tears.”

The free webinar, hosted by Addison Public Library, Aurora Public Library, Gail Borden Public Library and Schaumburg Public Library, will be in Spanish. Participants can view it on the Addison, Aurora and Gail Borden libraries Facebook pages, or join through Zoom.


Presentación en español sobre autopublicación el 10 de marzo  

Los escritores que buscan alternativas a la publicación tradicional, ¡tomen nota! La autora ganadora del concurso De la Página a la Fama 2021, Pascuala Herrera, compartirá información y consejos para la autopublicación el 10 de marzo de 2022 a las 6:30 p. m. a través de Facebook y Zoom. Los participantes podrán aprender sobre las alternativas y el proceso a través de las propias experiencias de la autora al publicar su autobiografía ganadora, "No siempre es un valle de lágrimas".

La presentación, organizada por la Biblioteca Pública de Addison, la Biblioteca Pública de Aurora, la Biblioteca Pública Gail Borden y la Biblioteca Pública de Schaumburg, será en español. Los participantes podrán verla en las páginas de Facebook de las bibliotecas de Addison, Aurora y Gail Borden, o unirse a través de Zoom.

Grabación en YouTube

Our Authors at LitFest

As part of their month-long LitFest, Galena Public Library is hosting online programs this January with several Soon to Be Famous winners. For more information, visit their event Facebook page and register here.

Missed the live program? You can watch it again right here:

Our 2021 Winners

We are thrilled to announce this year’s winners for both the 2021 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project and 2021 De la Página a la Fama contests. Our librarian judges from across Illinois scored the finalists to select these winning authors. Congratulations!

Adult Fiction Winner

Demon's Bane, India Powers (Gail Borden Public Library)

Young Adult Fiction Winner

All Last Summer, Stephanie J. Scott (Aurora Public Library)

De la Página a la Fama Winner

No siempre es un valle de lágrimas, Pascuala Herrera (Franklin Park Library)

2022 Manuscript Contest Open for Submissions

Announcing our fourth annual Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Manuscript Project contest.

Now open for submissions!

Starting November 15, 2021 and continuing through January 15, 2022, we are accepting complete manuscripts of adult fiction in book length (50,000 to 100,000 words) from Illinois authors only.

Visit the Manuscript Project page for details about this year's contest. And to start the submission process, visit the For Authors section of our website.


Meet our 2021 winner here.

2021 Finalists Announced

Our judges have carefully reviewed our semi-finalists, and we are excited to announce both the 2021 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project and 2021 De la Página a la Fama Finalists. Congratulations to the nine Illinois authors listed below.

Adult Fiction Finalists

(Alphabetical order by author last name)
  • A Child Lost, Michelle Cox (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • Demon's Bane, India Powers (Gail Borden Public Library)
  • Loose Ends, Terri Reid (Lena Community District Library)

Young Adult Fiction Finalists

(In alphabetical order by author last name)
  • Reverie, Zee Lacson (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • The Keepers of the Light, Otto Schafer (Mackinaw District Public Library)
  • All Last Summer, Stephanie J. Scott (Aurora Public Library)

De la Página a la Fama Finalists

(Alphabetical order by author last name)
  • El quetzal azul, Dennis Avelar (Addison Public Library)
  • No siempre es un valle de lágrimas, Pascuala Herrera (Franklin Park Library)
  • Proudly Bilingual/Orgullosamente BilingüeAraseli Rodriguez (Crystal Lake Public Library)

A Writer’s Journey from Reporter to Fiction Virtual Event

A Writer’s Journey from Reporter to Fiction: A Conversation with writer Annemarie Mannion, winner: Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author Project 2021 Manuscript Contest.

Monday, November 15, 7:00 p.m.

Hosted by the Indian Prairie Public Library. Watch the final program on Facebook via RAILS.

Join us for a virtual conversation with former Chicago Tribune reporter, free-lance writer and now award-winning fiction writer, Annemarie Mannion. How did she move from newspaper and trade journal by-lines to creating a post-Civil War story of a young woman’s perseverance and resilience as she tries to make a new life for herself. We’ll discuss that, more about Annemarie’s award-winning story, Veritas, and finally, talk about the state of journalism in today’s world from an insider’s point of view. 

Also, we'll feature our announcement of the 2021 Soon to be Famous/De la Página a la Fama Contest Winners! Don't miss this informative event. Register here.

2021 Semi-finalists Announced

This year our Illinois authors submitted their works of Adult or Young Adult fiction to be considered for the 2021 Soon To Be Famous Illinois Author Project contest. After carefully reviewing these submissions, we are excited to announce our Semi-Finalists for the 2021 contest. 

Also, we're happy to announce the Semi-Finalists for the 2021 De la Página a la FamaCongratulations!

Adult Fiction Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • Long Live Rock, Leslie Baldacci (Chicago Public Library)
  • Flash Drive, Donald J. Bingle (St. Charles Public Library)
  • Northern Lights, Michael Chatlien (Zion-Benton Public Library)
  • Baby Moses, John Cowlin (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • A Child Lost,  Michelle Cox (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • Lies in High Places, Dana Killion (Chicago Public Library)
  • Glory Bishop, Deborah L. King (Fountaindale Public Library)
  • A Discerning Eye, Carol Orange (Chicago Public Library)
  • Demon's Bane, India Powers (Gail Borden Public Library)
  • BlowOut, Terri Reid (Lena Community District Library)
  • Loose Ends, Terri Reid (Lena Community District Library)
  • Songbird Baby, Kate Robards (Indian Prairie Public Library) Kate was our 2020 Manuscript Winner and earned semi-finalist status for her book as part of her prize award. She has since secured an agent and therefore asked that her entry be withdrawn from further judging. We wish Kate success with her novel.

Young Adult Fiction Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • Throw Away Sisters, Debbie Deutsch (Freeport Public Library)
  • Reverie, Zee Lacson (Grayslake Area Public Library)
  • The Keepers of the Light, Otto Schafer (Mackinaw District Public Library)
  • All Last Summer, Stephanie J. Scott (Aurora Public Library)
  • Crossing Lines, Melanie Weiss (Oak Park Public Library)

De la Página a la Fama Semi-finalists

In alphabetical order by author last name.
  • El Quetzal Azul - El Mundo Desde El Cielo, Dennis Avelar (Addison Public Library)
  • De Zorros y Erizos, Raul Dorantes, (Lincolnwood Public Library)
  • No Siempre Es Un Valle De LagrimasPacuala Herrera (Franklin Park Library)
  • Grandes Aventuras de un pequeño viajero, R. C. Ontiveros (Gail Borden Public Library)
  • Por Que Lo Hiciste Cain? Hijos Fuera de Control, Ferney Ramirez (Fountaindale Public Library)
  • No Quiero Ser Adolescente. Reflexiones de una adolescente desesperada, Ferney Ramirez (Fountaindale Public Library)
  • Proudly Bilingual/Orgullosamente Bilingüe, Araseli Rodriguez (Crystal Lake Public Library)

Congratulations to the authors listed above. We thank everyone who took the time to submit their work. And if you didn’t make it to this round this year, we encourage you to keep writing and editing. And perhaps, try again next year. 

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