For Writers

Johnson County Library loves local writers! We are committed to supporting writers at each stage of their career, and as such offer a variety of programs, resources, and opportunities to help each writer develop their craft and grow their portfolio.

If you are a writer in the Johnson County, Kansas area, we want to meet you! What you write doesn’t matter (we love every genre!), but reading your work, providing resources to help you write, and helping to create a rich community of writers does.

This section of the Johnson County Library website contains information about upcoming programs, links to opportunities to share your writing (like our very own contests and blog) and celebrates local writers whose work we love.

We hope to see you at an upcoming event, and we welcome your feedback so we can continue to offer programs and resources that make a difference to you.

What's New

Scheduled: Wed, 12/7/22 - 1:48 pm

A Big Writers Conference Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who attended the 2022 Writers Conference. It was a blast! If you missed it, you can still watch some of the session recordings at Library OnDemand.  

We value your feedback and hearing from you helps ensure we offer programming you value.

If you want to share your conference experience with us, please fill out and submit our Attendee Survey.  

We would love for you to share your opinion about our Local Writers Programming as well.  


Upcoming Events

We know the conference is a community favorite, but don’t forget we have programs year-round. Next up: Matt Stewart.  

Matt Stewart is an Emmy-award winning reporter and anchor at Fox 4. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, Stewart has spent the past 25 years working at various television stations in Omaha, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Kearney, Nebraska; Dayton, Ohio; and Kansas City. After spending his first eight years in Kansas City at KCTV5, Matt went across town and has reported for Fox 4 for the last decade.  

Matt is the author of four books. His first book, "The Walk-On,” details his experiences as a walk-on football player at Northwestern and the part he played in helping the team rise from the worst in the Big Ten to winning two Big Ten championships. His next two books were completely different: a humorous murder mystery involving the country's smallest television station and a time-travelling science fiction adventure. His latest book, "Unique Eats and Eateries of Kansas City,” details the history and people behind some of the most iconic restaurants in Kansas City. Stewart lives in Lenexa with his wife, Chrissy, their three children, and two dogs. 

Mark your calendar

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6:30-7:30 p.m. 
In Conversation with Andrea Broomfield, moderated by Jasper Mirabile  

Join award-winning chef Jasper Mirable Jr. as he leads a conversation between Fox 4 Morning Show reporter and "Unique Eats and Eateries of Kansas City" author Matt Stewart and "Iconic Restaurants of Kansas City" author Andrea Broomfield. These three will discuss the culinary history of Kansas City and how some restaurants have thrived for years while others have failed. They will also share the stories behind the people who built these restaurants and the recipes they've created that get people to come back to eat again and again.  

Wednesday, Jan. 25, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.   
How I Write  

Fox 4 reporter and author Matt Stewart will share tips on how he went from an aspiring writer who could never finish a manuscript to finally sitting down and writing four books. He learned the value of perseverance as a college football player, crafted his writing skills in the newsroom, and gained inspiration from his wife as she battles a rare and aggressive cancer. Stewart will discuss how you, too, can take your writing from a fun hobby to a possible career.    

Wednesday, Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m.   
Writing Dialogue  

Struggling to write meaningful dialogue that flows throughout your story? Join Emmy-award winning news reporter Matt Stewart as he discusses the best ways to get your characters to talk. Stewart graduated from the top-ranked journalism school in the country and has spent 25 years interviewing people from all walks of life. He will share what he's learned in the classroom and in the field to help your dialogue snap so you can take your book to the next level.  

Saturday, Feb. 4, 9 – 11 a.m.   
Writing Dialogue Workshop  

Spend a morning elevating the dialogue in your manuscript as Fox 4 News reporter Matt Stewart helps you clean it up to make it even better. If your characters don't speak with purpose, you risk your readers losing interest. Stewart will take his knowledge as both an author and television broadcaster and offer tips and advice to give your characters character and help make your book even better.  

JoCoWrites Blog

Next up on the JocoWrites Blog

The United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets in the hope of raising awareness about the health benefits of the grain. Is it possible to change the fortunes of poor Indian farmers, while also combating climate change, food scarcity, and increasing our foods nutritional value?   


Tell us about your ideas for changing the world. From world-wide synchronized chanting to composting toilets, we want to help put your ambitions into the universe and see if they take hold.  

Submit your piece » 
Read other responses » 


Writing Contests

Our writing contests award each winner with a $200 honorarium and the chance to read their work at an upcoming event. Our current contest prompt is: 

ek.phra.sis (noun) - the use of detailed description of a work of art as a literary device 


They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Every person will look at the same picture and see something different, will describe it differently, will find their thoughts inspired in unique directions.   

This fall, we turn our gaze to the portraits created by Patricia Streeper, on display at the Central Resource Library. This prompt is ekphrastic in nature, meaning we want you to write in response to her work. You can simply view the images or immerse yourself by reading and listening to interviews by Streeper, researching the subject of one of her paintings, or you can offer up your first impressions. 

Never written Ekphrastic? Check out Anne-Marie Oomen’s craft talk called Writing the Arts.

See additional previous winners »

Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works »

Booklists for Writers