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 (special project excepted)
  • Prose limit: 1000 words (special projects excepted)
  • Submissions must be in English and previously unpublished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 What Remains Unspoken

Our spring writing contest prompt is borrowed lovingly from elementia and is all about what remains unspoken. 

We live in a world fueled by communication and collaboration, yet so many thoughts remain unshared.

What are the words you leave unspoken and why do you remain silent? What has historically rendered some people mute? 

Take a moment to reflect on the unspoken statements and ideas in your life and their effect on yourself and others. Explore the power of invisible constructs and the impact to us all. Bring the stories you’ve kept secret to life, unleash your creativity and speak what you’ve left unspoken.

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)

Our spring writing contest prompt is borrowed lovingly from elementia and is all about what remains Unspoken. 

We live in a world fueled by communication and collaboration, yet so many thoughts remain unshared.

What are the words you leave unspoken and why do you remain silent? What has historically rendered some people mute? 

Take a moment to reflect on the unspoken statements and ideas in your life and their effect on yourself and others. Explore the power of invisible constructs and the impact to us all. Bring the stories you’ve kept secret to life, unleash your creativity and speak what you’ve left unspoken.

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.

Our spring writing contest prompt is borrowed lovingly from elementia and is all about what remains Unspoken. 

We live in a world fueled by communication and collaboration, yet so many thoughts remain unshared.

What are the words you leave unspoken and why do you remain silent? What has historically rendered some people mute? 

Take a moment to reflect on the unspoken statements and ideas in your life and their effect on yourself and others. Explore the power of invisible constructs and the impact to us all. Bring the stories you’ve kept secret to life, unleash your creativity and speak what you’ve left unspoken.

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.

Our spring writing contest prompt is borrowed lovingly from elementia and is all about what remains Unspoken. 

We live in a world fueled by communication and collaboration, yet so many thoughts remain unshared.

What are the words you leave unspoken and why do you remain silent? What has historically rendered some people mute? 

Take a moment to reflect on the unspoken statements and ideas in your life and their effect on yourself and others. Explore the power of invisible constructs and the impact to us all. Bring the stories you’ve kept secret to life, unleash your creativity and speak what you’ve left unspoken.

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.

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