At Johnson County Library we love local authors. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.
  • Poetry limit: 40 lines
  • Fiction limit: 1000 words
  • Submission limit: one submission, per category per theme
  • One short story, one essay, one poem, and one entry from an open category will be selected for publication on our Read Local blog
  • Runners up may be posted on the Read Local blog
  • Authors of selected works must be available for a 15 minute reading at a 2nd Saturday event (June 10, 2017 for The Many in One)
  • Authors who read on a 2nd Saturday will receive a $200 honorarium, provided in part by The Johnson County Library Foundation and the Joan Berkley Writers Fund.
  • Contest co-sponsored by The Writers Place
  • We reserve the right not to present an award.

THE MANY IN ONE 

In an increasingly complex, globalized world, we find ourselves performing, equally if not more, complex, often contradictory, roles. Tax collector by day, philanthropist by night. Painting instructor in the morning, physics student in the afternoon. Politician Monday through Friday, activist on the weekend. Our identities do not fit neatly into the demographic questionnaires check boxes of male or female, Hispanic or American, black or white. Identities are often fluid, context-dependent and are constantly evolving in light of changing environments and circumstances. Walt Whitman once said “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” We invite you to navigate the many identities that make you “you” this spring at Johnson County Library. 

Ends on April 30, 2017

In an increasingly complex, globalized world, we find ourselves performing, equally if not more, complex, often contradictory, roles. Tax collector by day, philanthropist by night. Painting instructor in the morning, physics student in the afternoon. Politician Monday through Friday, activist on the weekend. Our identities do not fit neatly into the demographic questionnaires check boxes of male or female, Hispanic or American, black or white. Identities are often fluid, context-dependent and are constantly evolving in light of changing environments and circumstances. Walt Whitman once said “Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.” We invite you to navigate the many identities that make you “you” this spring at Johnson County Library. 

Questions to consider:

  • What is identity? Is it how others see you or how you see yourself? Is it a mixture of internal and external factors, your beliefs as well as your appearance, or your profession?
  • Is identity a sense of self, or a sense of community – the groups (race, religion, political party, nationality, etc.) to which a person belongs?
  • We’ve heard the term “identity theft.” What happens when someone steals your identity? Is it a violation of self or simply a hassle of stolen numbers and ruined credit? Is your identity a valuable asset?
  • How has technology and social media informed identities? How do people project their identity to their audiences?
  • How do we address contradiction, ambiguity, and truth in identity? How do we address contradiction, ambiguity, and truth?
  • Is it possible to live without being a contradiction? What is “truth”? Do we really have a linear, non-paradoxical self that makes total sense? 
Word limit: 1000