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

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  • Submissions must be in English and previously unpublished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 the Writing Lab at Brainfuse. It's free with your Johnson County Library card and PIN!

Our contest theme for May - August is Oceans of Possibility

Water is part of our everyday life. It sustains all forms of life. It inspires poems and stories, it causes divisions and political strife. We dream about it, fight about it, drink it, swim in it. And while those of us in landlocked states don’t see the earth’s largest bodies of water every day, we’re connected to the oceans through the earth’s water cycle.  

For our current writing contest, think about water. Maybe how you felt the first time you traveled to the shore and stepped into the ocean; maybe how your debate theme one year in high school was whether aquifers should be federally regulated to protect against pollution.

This is an opportunity to think big, no matter how many times you’ve been to the ocean. We want to read about how water inspires or limits you, how it shapes your work or family life. Don’t be afraid to include Johnson County’s own lakes, rivers and aquifers. While they are certainly not oceans, the water cycle connects it all.

Disclaimer

All submissions must be original work. By submitting, writers warrant and represent that the work is their own. Writers will retain copyright of their submissions. By providing original work, writers agree to allow and permit Johnson County Library the right to print, publish, showcase, reproduce and distribute the submissions. By submitting, writers agree to any and all editorial alterations and abridgments including, but not limited to, re-formatting, grammatical correction, and cropping. Johnson County Library reserves the right to incorporate and/or disseminate the submission in any form, including, but not limited to, in other publications, marketing, promotions, and other material both internal and external. (12/22/2020)

Water is part of our everyday life. It sustains all forms of life. It inspires poems and stories, it causes divisions and political strife. We dream about it, fight about it, drink it, swim in it. And while those of us in landlocked states don’t see the earth’s largest bodies of water every day, we’re connected to the oceans through the earth’s water cycle.  

For our current writing contest, we want you to think about water. Maybe how you felt the first time you traveled to the shore and stepped into the ocean; maybe how your debate theme one year in high school was whether aquifers should be federally regulated to protect against pollution.  

This is an opportunity to think big, no matter how many times you’ve been to the ocean. We want to read about how water inspires or limits you, how it shapes your work or family life. Don’t be afraid to include Johnson County’s own lakes, rivers and aquifers. While they are certainly not oceans, the water cycle connects it all.  


Please keep in mind: Essays are limited to 1000 words. Do not include identifying information in your submission. Including identifying information will disqualify your submission.

Water is part of our everyday life. It sustains all forms of life. It inspires poems and stories, it causes divisions and political strife. We dream about it, fight about it, drink it, swim in it. And while those of us in landlocked states don’t see the earth’s largest bodies of water every day, we’re connected to the oceans through the earth’s water cycle.  

For our current writing contest, think about water. Maybe how you felt the first time you traveled to the shore and stepped into the ocean; maybe how your debate theme one year in high school was whether aquifers should be federally regulated to protect against pollution.

This is an opportunity to think big, no matter how many times you’ve been to the ocean. We want to read about how water inspires or limits you, how it shapes your work or family life. Don’t be afraid to include Johnson County’s own lakes, rivers and aquifers. While they are certainly not oceans, the water cycle connects it all.

Johnson County Library - Read Local