Read Local by Category: Read Local Winners

Aug 4, 2016

The Read Local committee is very pleased to announce Victoria Fries has won our Bear Witness contest in the open category for her piece "Racism in America." The piece garnered passionate discussion; the universal message, which can be applied to any dehumanized and disenfranchised group, lends power to the topic and we appreciate the call for unity. Structurally, we like the repeated thread of standing tall.

May 12, 2016

The Read Local committee is very pleased to announce Jemshed Khan has won our Bear Witness poetry contest for his poem "#48689." Entries included an impressive variety of poetic forms, including haiku and sonnet, making the selection very difficult. In the end, we selected "#48689" as, like the numbers in the title, it tattooed itself on our minds. The haunting imagery and vivid description lends the poem personal immediacy and requires remembrance.

Apr 26, 2016

The Read Local Committee is pleased to announce Debra Callaway has won our Faster, Higher, Stronger Essay Contest with her essay For the Love of Game. We love the way Deb addresses the different responses to competition within her own family.

Jan 8, 2016

The Read Local Committee is pleased to announce Anna Francesca has won our Faster, Higher, Stronger Poetry Contest with her poem Citius, Altius Fortius. We love the poem, especially so close to this time of new year's resolutions, for Francesca's focus on herself and her own strength.

Dec 9, 2015

The Local Writers committee is pleased to announce Karin L. Frank has won our #IHeartU poetry contest with her entry Solace. We love the poem's progression from start to last lines, and the contrast between young and old. We enjoyed the sophisticated vocabulary punctuating strong imagery, and the poem is especially pleasing when read aloud. Try it! We're excited to hear Frank's reading of her own work at our April 9th 2nd Saturday event.

An author photo of Heather McKenzie
Nov 6, 2015

We're so excited to share the Open Category winner of our #IHeartU contest: Heather McKenziefor her work When Pluto was a Planet. We fell in love with its inventive and adept use of language as well as its creative imagery. Tell us what you love about When Pluto was a Planet in the comments!

Elizabeth Uppman
Oct 7, 2015

The Read Local committee is pleased to announce Elizabeth Uppman has won Johnson County Library’s #IHeartU Essay contest with her entry Lucia's War. Uppman's essay was chosen for its response to the theme of love, and the juxtaposition of "war" in the title with Lucia's ultimate triumph. We also love the evolution of Lucia's attack, how her "storming the beaches of Normandy" approach slowly transitions to a blunt and irrefutable request. 

Celeste Seay
Sep 18, 2015

The Local Writers committee is pleased to announce Celeste Seay has won Johnson County Library’s #IHeartU short story contest with her entry A Good Fit. Seay’s story was chosen for its response to the theme of love and the quality of description. Of her writing she says:

Nov 13, 2014

This fall, Johnson County Library has been looking at race: stereotypes, self-awareness, and what it means to look beyond the surface. We’ve invited you to tell us how you have been affected by race. Justin Carter, in the following essay, shares his experience. As a suburban white woman, it’s easy to subconsciously, or otherwise, believe that issues of race don’t happen in my community, my city, or even my state. My country, sure, but that’s Missouri. That’s the other United States.