For Writers

At Johnson County Library, we love local writers. To support writers at every stage, we have developed a suite of programs, resources, and opportunities to develop their craft and grow their portfolio. If you are a writer (genre doesn’t matter!), we want to meet you, read your work, and celebrate you in the community. This page will help you learn how Johnson County Library can support you as you continue to hone your craft.

Next up on the JocoWrites Blog:

Happy New Year to you all and welcome to another fabulous year filled with writing. We are going to start this year off with a call for your fresh ideas!

Pitch us an idea for a story, it can be a synopsis or the opening narrative, or a sample of 2-3 poems for a collection. Keep it 500 words or less. Happy creating!

Submit here »
Read other responses here »

Writing Contests:
Every month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and an invitation to read at a Library event. Our contest theme for January - April is The Unknown. One winner will be selected from submissions of poetry, short fiction, and essays.
Dan Wikiera won the fall contest in the theme of The Fools Journey with I am the Fool.

It started as a whisper. A vague notion. A desire to open my own business, be my own boss. Create something from nothing. The American ideal, like white picket fences and apple pie. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know what. Or that I didn’t have any experience. I had the desire, the work ethic. I was naïve.

I decided on bread. A bakery. I learned the trade, scheduled meetings, applied for loans, scouted locations, quit my job. Goodbye corporate America. Hello freedom.

In the beginning, I loved it all. I was building something. The long hours, hard work didn’t bother me. I was young, indestructible. I didn’t know what I was doing, but I faked my way through it. Even the baking. Sometimes the bread didn’t come out right, and I didn’t know exactly why. Bread is tricky. It could have been any number of things: temperature, humidity, proofing, baking. I failed more times than I could count.

5,000 hours. 10,000 hours. Now I’m an expert. 15,000 hours. I can do it in my sleep. 20,000 hours. Mixing, kneading, rolling, shaping, rising, baking. Mixing, kneading, rolling, shaping, rising, baking. Like breathing. It’s not a hobby, not a job, it’s a bodily function. I live it. I am the bread.

I am not the business owner. I fell out of love, slowly, but surely. The emails, marketing, hiring, training, emails, repairs, accounting, emails, emails, emails. I thought I could do it all. But I’m not a business owner. I’m a baker. I’m a fool.

Meet the Author: Aimee Nezhukumkatathil
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is an accomplished poet, essayist and first-ever poetry editor for Sierra magazine. On Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 6:30 p.m., Nezhukumatathil will read from her work, share stories from her writing life and answer questions about where nature and writing intersect.
The following Saturday, Feb. 26 at 9 a.m., Nezhukumatathil will lead us through writing exercises that draw upon nature and our place in it. Register for either or both programs here.

2021 Writers Conference
We haven’t yet selected dates for the 2022 Conference. While you wait for our Save the Date announcement, you can watch recordings from 2021 at Library OnDemand. Presenters include Michelle Tea, Alyssa Cole, Joe Milan, and Charlesia McKinney, and others.