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  • Submissions must be in English and previously unpublished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!

Check For Writers | Johnson County Library (jocolibrary.org) for more information

Our contest theme for January - April is Cycles (Borrowed with admiration from elementia)

From the biological life cycle to seemingly unbreakable habits, we are surrounded by cycles.

Everything has a beginning and an end, but what about the in between? Is it possible to escape a cycle? What cycles do we see perpetuate for generations? How do events cycle through history as it “repeats itself”? Where do we see cycles within cycles?

What about the beliefs held as a society? Explore the cycles your identity was born of. Describe the cycles that should have been broken by now. Search for loopholes and travel through them. Which cycles are you trying to break and why?

Share with us what the cycles in your life mean to you.

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)

From the biological life cycle to seemingly unbreakable habits, we are surrounded by cycles.

Everything has a beginning and an end, but what about the in between? Is it possible to escape a cycle? What cycles do we see perpetuate for generations? How do events cycle through history as it “repeats itself”? Where do we see cycles within cycles?

What about the beliefs held as a society? Explore the cycles your identity was born of. Describe the cycles that should have been broken by now. Search for loopholes and travel through them. Which cycles are you trying to break and why?

Share with us what the cycles in your life mean to you.

Please keep in mind: Your short story must be 1000 words or fewer. Do not include identifying information in your submission. Including identifying information will disqualify your submission.

Ends on

From the biological life cycle to seemingly unbreakable habits, we are surrounded by cycles.

Everything has a beginning and an end, but what about the in between? Is it possible to escape a cycle? What cycles do we see perpetuate for generations? How do events cycle through history as it “repeats itself”? Where do we see cycles within cycles?

What about the beliefs held as a society? Explore the cycles your identity was born of. Describe the cycles that should have been broken by now. Search for loopholes and travel through them. Which cycles are you trying to break and why?

Share with us what the cycles in your life mean to you.

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.

Ends on

From the biological life cycle to seemingly unbreakable habits, we are surrounded by cycles.

Everything has a beginning and an end, but what about the in between? Is it possible to escape a cycle? What cycles do we see perpetuate for generations? How do events cycle through history as it “repeats itself”? Where do we see cycles within cycles?

What about the beliefs held as a society? Explore the cycles your identity was born of. Describe the cycles that should have been broken by now. Search for loopholes and travel through them. Which cycles are you trying to break and why?

Share with us what the cycles in your life mean to you.


Please keep in mind: Poetry is limited to 60 lines, and prose must be 1000 words or fewer. Do not include identifying information in your submission. Including identifying information will disqualify your submission.

Enter your work to be included in our Volume 6 Notebook, which will be distributed at our 8th annual Writers Conference. 


Many of Johnson County Library’s writing programs have been supported by the Joan Berkely Writers Fund, which is administered by the Johnson County Library Foundation. The Berkley family started the fund to honor Joan Berkeley, who was an avid reader and lover of literature. Bert Berkley has supported the fund since its inception in 19?? And we thought it would be fun to honor Bert along with Joan with a prompt all about his favorite thing: fishing.

Whether it be fishing for compliments, fishers of men, or actual fishing for fish, tell us about the ways you cast your net, what you’re hoping to catch, and the surprises along the way. Need inspiration? Read about Bert’s passion for fly-fishing in Anglers Journal: https://www.anglersjournal.com/people/bert-berkley

Submission deadline is July 15, 2023.

Enter your work to be included in our Volume 6 Notebook, which will be distributed at our 8th annual Writers Conference.

Many of Johnson County Library’s writing programs have been supported by the Joan Berkely Writers Fund, which is administered by the Johnson County Library Foundation. The Berkley family started the fund to honor Joan Berkeley, who was an avid reader and lover of literature. Bert Berkley has supported the fund since its inception in 19?? And we thought it would be fun to honor Bert along with Joan with a prompt all about his favorite thing: fishing.


Whether it be fishing for compliments, fishers of men, or actual fishing for fish, tell us about the ways you cast your net, what you’re hoping to catch, and the surprises along the way. Need inspiration? Read about Bert’s passion for fly-fishing in Anglers Journal: https://www.anglersjournal.com/people/bert-berkley


Submission deadline is July 15, 2023.

Johnson County Library (KS) provides both monthly writing programming and a yearly writers conference that aim to uplift and celebrate writers in our community. Are you interested in teaching with us? If so, tell us who you are, what you're excited about, and how you might share with library patrons. There are no deal-breakers; we simply want to get to know you!

Johnson County Library - Read Local