Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner

The Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner raises funds for the Chicago Public Library Foundation and funds innovative programs at Chicago Public Library. The awards recognize literary and artistic achievements of established and emerging writers and artists.

The Carl Sandburg Literary Award is presented annually to an acclaimed author in recognition of outstanding contributions to the literary world and honors a significant work or body of work that has enhanced the public’s awareness of the written word.

Past winners of the Carl Sandburg Literary Award are Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, Erik Larson, Scott Turow, Alice Walker, Stephen Sondheim, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Mavis Staples, Larry McMurtry, Michael Lewis, Isabel Allende, Don DeLillo, Walter Isaacson, Roger Ebert, Toni Morrison, David McCullough, Robert Caro, Joyce Carol Oates, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, David Mamet, Nikki Giovanni, Tom Wolfe and Salman Rushdie.

The 21st Century Award honors significant recent achievement in writing by a Chicago-based author. In presenting this award, the Foundation’s Directors hope to encourage the creation of new works and increase public awareness of the writer’s talents.

2017 Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner Photos

Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner 2017


million was raised in 2017


people attended the event in 2017


guest authors with ties to Chicago


honorees since 2000