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: Mon, 01/23/23 - 4:14 pm

Save the Date!

The 2023 Writers Conference will be Thursday, Nov. 2 – Saturday, Nov. 4.

Our 2022 conference was loads of fun and our conference planners are already busy identifying potential faculty and making big plans.

 

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

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?   

Write

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:

Cycles (Borrowed with admiration from elementia)

Contest

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.

See additional previous winners »

Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works »

Booklists for Writers