At Johnson County Library we love local authors. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Our theme for January -  April, 2019 is Breaking Free.

This spring, Johnson County Library charts a new path, exploring issues facing our community and honoring the bravery it takes to venture forward with no road map. Our theme comes from the editors of our teen literary magazine, elementia. One of them chose “breaking free” as an homage to the difficulties of breaking out of your shell and standing up for what you believe in. Our teens are asking their peers, “How do you break free?”

Making these kinds of changes doesn’t stop at the end of one’s teenage years. We are each on a lifelong journey to look critically at self and community and ask what it is that holds us back – what it is we want and need. Figuring out how to empower others and make necessary changes in the world around us is a task that never ends. Inspired by the growing urgency those in our community feel to speak out, be heard and take action the Library invites you to join us in finding your own way this spring.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

  • Writers must be residents of the Kansas City Metro Area
  • Poetry limit: 60 lines or fewer
  • Prose limit: 1000 words
  • Submissions must be in English and previously unpublished
  • Submission limit: one submission per category (one poem, one short story, one essay, one open)
  • Please do not include identifying information on your submission. We're serious about this! No name in the document or even the file name. NO IDENTIFYING INFORMATION!
  • One short story, one essay, one poem, and one entry from an open category will be selected for publication on our Staff Picks blog
  • Runners up may be posted on the Staff Picks blog
  • Authors of selected works must be available for a reading in the Kansas City Metro Area
  • Authors who read will receive a $200 honorarium, provided in part by The Johnson County Library Foundation and the Joan Berkley Writers Fund
  • Johnson County Library staff are ineligible
  • The committee selecting works is comprised of  Johnson County Library Staff and community volunteers
  • We reserve the right not to present an award
  • Looking for feedback before you submit? Try Tutor.com. It's free with your Johnson County Library card and PIN!




NASA turns 60 this year. The Apollo Moon Landing was 50 years ago. This summer Johnson County Library highlights this history and inspires kids of all ages to dream big, believe in themselves and create their own stories. Help us celebrate A Universe of Stories by submitting one of your own.

Poetry limit: 60 lines

NASA turns 60 this year. The Apollo Moon Landing was 50 years ago. This summer Johnson County Library highlights this history and inspires kids of all ages to dream big, believe in themselves and create their own stories. Help us celebrate A Universe of Stories by submitting one of your own.

Word limit: 1000

NASA turns 60 this year. The Apollo Moon Landing was 50 years ago. This summer Johnson County Library highlights this history and inspires kids of all ages to dream big, believe in themselves and create their own stories. Help us celebrate A Universe of Stories by submitting one of your own.

Word limit: 1000

NASA turns 60 this year. The Apollo Moon Landing was 50 years ago. This summer Johnson County Library highlights this history and inspires kids of all ages to dream big, believe in themselves and create their own stories. Help us celebrate A Universe of Stories by submitting one of your own.

Prose limit: 1000 words
Poetry limit: 60 lines

Have you ever dreamed of dining with a successful, published author? Now might be your chance! Enter our essay contest explaining why you and your closest friend should have dinner with Ron Currie

Currie is a novelist and screenwriter. His books have been translated into fifteen languages and won awards from the New York Public Library, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the American Library Association. His short fiction, essays, and criticism have appeared in the New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Salon, The Believer, and elsewhere. He's a native of Maine, where he still lives. 

He'll choose the most compelling essay and, if chosen, you and your closest friend will spend an evening chatting with him over dinner. Date to be determined between Monday, November 18 and Wednesday, November 20 from 6:00 - 8:00.


Dinner is on us *alcohol excluded.
Word limit: 1000

Thank you for your interest in presenting your talent at Johnson County Library. While we love author events, we can not accommodate every request. We do, however, host events throughout the year that may suit your needs, including our monthly, mixed genre literary series, Now Presenting, our annual Writers Conference, and occasional special events.

Our programs are often co-sponsored by The Writers Place, The Raven Book Store, and The Johnson County Library Foundation.

Help us find the event best suited to your work by answering a few questions.

Johnson County Library - Read Local