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 May - August is Build a Better World.

We encourage you to look at your home, community and planet. What does it take to "Build a Better World"? It depends on where we live and how we look at the world. Maybe it's as simple as learning how to fix a leaky faucet, organizing a food drive for the local food bank, discovering the founders of your community, knitting caps for chemotherapy patients, or being an armchair traveler and discovering the wonders of the world. Is Building a Better World personal or global? How do you Build a Better World?

  • 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 Staff Picks blog
  • Runners up may be posted on the Staff Picks blog
  • Authors of selected works must be available for a 15 minute reading at Johnson County Library
  • Authors who read will receive a $200 honorarium, provided in part by The Johnson County Library Foundation and the Joan Berkley Writers Fund.
  • We reserve the right not to present an award.


Ends on June 1, 2017
We encourage you to look at your home, community and planet. What does it take to "Build a Better World"? It depends on where we live and how we look at the world. Maybe it's as simple as learning how to fix a leaky faucet, organizing a food drive for the local food bank, discovering the founders of your community, knitting caps for chemotherapy patients, or being an armchair traveler and discovering the wonders of the world.

How would you Build a Better World?

Poetry: 40 lines

Ends on July 1, 2017
We encourage you to look at your home, community and planet. What does it take to "Build a Better World"? It depends on where we live and how we look at the world. Maybe it's as simple as learning how to fix a leaky faucet, organizing a food drive for the local food bank, discovering the founders of your community, knitting caps for chemotherapy patients, or being an armchair traveler and discovering the wonders of the world.

How would you Build a Better World?

Prose: 1000 words

Ends on August 1, 2017

We encourage you to look at your home, community and planet. What does it take to "Build a Better World"? It depends on where we live and how we look at the world. Maybe it's as simple as learning how to fix a leaky faucet, organizing a food drive for the local food bank, discovering the founders of your community, knitting caps for chemotherapy patients, or being an armchair traveler and discovering the wonders of the world.

How would you Build a Better World?

Prose: 1000 words

Ends on September 1, 2017
We encourage you to look at your home, community and planet. What does it take to "Build a Better World"? It depends on where we live and how we look at the world. Maybe it's as simple as learning how to fix a leaky faucet, organizing a food drive for the local food bank, discovering the founders of your community, knitting caps for chemotherapy patients, or being an armchair traveler and discovering the wonders of the world.

How would you Build a Better World?

Poetry: 40 lines
Prose: 1000 words