Meet the Author

Oct 27, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Marcia Hurlow has won our poetry writing contest on the theme of Reflections on Race with her piece "DECONSTRUCTION.”

Marcia L. Hurlow's first full-length collection of poetry, Anomie, won the Edges Prize. She also has five chapbooks. More than 300 of her individual poems have appeared in literary magazines, including Poetry, Chicago Review, River Styx, Nimrod, Poetry Northwest, Stand, Cold Mountain, Zone 3 and The Journal, among others. Last year she received the Al Smith Fellowship for Poetry for the second time, and this year she will

Sep 23, 2020

“When did you realize poetry could be your companion? Your release?” 

In this episode of the Johnson County Library podcast Did You Hear, Dr. Randall Horton and Anishinaabekwe poet Louise K. Waakaa’igan discuss poetry both as a lifeline and as a discipline.  It’s a discussion between two people who share a gift for and love of poetry; but it’s also a discussion between two people who share a common language that only those who have been “inside” can fully understand.  

An unrelenting advocate for personal voice and perfect line breaks, Dr. Horton is equally passionate about eradicating

Aug 6, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Nick Lopez has won our essay contest on the theme of Imagine Your Story with "I am a Coconut".

Nick Lopez is a Marine Corps veteran, who served from 2005-20013, and is currently a coordinator for veteran programs at the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Headquarters in Kansas City, MO. He volunteers on the board of the Kansas City Veterans Writing Team, who sponsor and hold biannual writing workshops for veterans and their family members of. Nick has been published in "Veteran's Voices" and "Haiku Journal", and most recently his painting

Jul 12, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that John Adams has won our short story contest on the theme of Imagine Your Story with "Something in His "i"s".

John Adams (he/him/his) writes about teenage detectives, pelican-people, robo-butlers, and cursed cowboys. His publication history includes Australian Writers’ Centre, Bowery Gothic, Briefly Write, Dream of Shadows, Fat Cat Magazine, SERIAL Magazine, Siren’s Call, Trembling With Fear, Triangle Writers, and Weird Christmas (forthcoming: Paper Butterfly, peculiar, The Weird and Whatnot). His plays have been produced by Alphabet Soup

Jun 4, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Virginia Brackett has won our poetry contest on the theme of Imagine Your Story with "Six".

Virginia Brackett’s 16 books have been cited by the New York Public Library; the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association; Tristate Books of Note; the American Library Association, Amelia Bloomer Project; and Booklist (Editor’s Choice, Reference Sources, 2008). She has published many articles, stories, and blog entries for readers of all ages and her short story “Mrs. Cross” won in the fall 2018 Johnson County Library creative writing

Connection Writing Contest Winner

By Joel Holland
5
Rated by Helen H.
May 11, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Joel Holland has won our writing contest in the open category on the theme of Connection with "Contemplating Connection as Zimmer’s “Chasing Cornfields” Plays in my Bedroom."

Award-winning poet Joel Holland graduated from Union University in the spring of 2019. The oldest of four siblings, Joel was born in Salisbury, Maryland, spent a portion of his youth living in Tianjin, China, lived out much of his teenage years in Springfield, Tennessee, and is currently serving a church in Kansas City. Joel has been writing since he can remember and

Connections Writing Contest Winner

By Martha Gershun
5
Rated by admin
Apr 13, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Martha Gershun has won our Essay writing contest on the theme of Connection with "Emma Goldman's Amber Necklace."

Martha Gershun is a writer living in Fairway, KS. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, the New Yorker, Kveller, SELF magazine, and The Kansas City Star. She is currently working on her second book, with co-author John Lantos, MD, based on her experience donating a kidney at the Mayo Clinic to a woman she read about in the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle. It will be published by Cornell University Press later this year

Connection Writing Contest Winner

By Annie Newcomer
5
Rated by Helen H.
Feb 25, 2020

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Annie Newcomer has won our Poetry writing contest on the theme of Connection with "Acushla."

Annie Newcomer lives in Prairie Village with David, her husband of forty years and their daughter's Aussiedoodle, Summit. Her first published piece, "My Red Shoes" was about how her sister Patty's death affected her, then a young child herself. Patty suffered in life with severe cerebral palsy. She was a blessing and an angel.

Acushla

Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes. Because for those who love with heart and soul there

Dec 19, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that LeAnne Hansen has won our Essay writing contest on the theme of Unlocking the Mind with "Thoughts of Grief and Healing."

LeAnne Hansen is a mother, community volunteer, speaker, and world traveler. Her time in India, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates, Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, and numerous other countries have taught her to look for and value those experiences that are common to the human condition, especially as we seek to heal the divisions in our own families, communities and country. A lifelong writer, reader, and lover of libraries

Nov 8, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Kent Moore has won our Short Story writing contest on the theme of Unlocking the Mind with "The Corbomite Maneuver".

Kent Moore is a Senior Strategist for Physician Payment at the American Academy of Family Physicians, where he also serves as a contributing editor to one of its journals, FPM. He's also written for Humanities, the magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities. An earlier short story, "Rooted and Grounded in Love," won the Open Category of the Johnson County Library's Many in One writing contest and is available on

Oct 22, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Mary Silwance has won our poetry writing contest on the theme of Unlocking the Mind with "Remembering." Read the poem below or see the original (PDF).

Originally from Egypt, Mary Silwance lives in Kansas City. An environmental activist and speaker, award winning poet, mother and farmhand, she is a member of the Kansas City Writers Group and serves on the editorial teams of Kansas City Voices and Konza Journal. Her work appears in numerous publications including Descansos, Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity, Sequestrum

Sep 29, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Andy Rowe has won our writing contest in the Open Category on the theme of A Universe of Stories with "Heinlein and Burroughs".

Andy Rowe has enjoyed a 25-year career as an instructional designer and business trainer. He is also an award-winning business trainer, who has delivered some 900 presentations and seminars to over 50,000 people.

“You see the work of the instructional designer whenever you attend a training session,” says Andy. “There are manuals, assessments, activities, facilitator notes, PowerPoint slides. It’s the job of

Sep 22, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Duane Johnson has won our writing contest in the Open Category on the theme of A Universe of Stories with "One Small Step".

The author is a retired journalist, who now primarily writes poetry. He has published one volume of poetry, “Evolution’s Promise: Meditations of a Magical Thinker,” and is working on two other volumes of poetry. He also has published a novel, “Herald of the Resurrection.” Both "Herald" and "Evolution's Promise" can be found on Amazon. He lives in Topeka, Kan., and is married to a social worker. They have two grown

Sep 15, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Brian Daldorph has won our writing contest in the Open category on the theme of A Universe of Stories with "Wasps".

Brian Daldorph teaches at the University of Kansas and Douglas County Jail. He edits Coal City Review.

Wasps

I’m sitting in a café with one of the great storytellers of the modern world, the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami.  In jeans and a red Southern Comfort sweatshirt, Murakami is short and trim, with the deep calm look of a man who could sit cross-legged on a mountaintop and write, in neat kanji, 5000 words a

Aug 28, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Martha Gershun has won our essay writing contest on the theme of A Universe of Stories with "The Hatch".

Martha Gershun is a retired non-profit executive. Her first book, Care & Custody: A Novel of Three Children at RIsk, tells the story of siblings caught up in the child welfare system. Her second book, The Radical Altruism of Organ Donation, co-written with Dr. John Lantos, will be published next year by Cornell University Press. Her published essays and academic articles can be found at www.marthagershun.com.

The Hatch

        

Aug 7, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Lori Stratton has won our essay writing contest on the theme of A Universe of Stories with "Johnny Cash".

Lori Stratton is an English teacher at Gardner Edgerton High School. Her husband is a middle school guidance counselor, and they have three young adult children and one grandchild. Lori also works for the National Education Association as a trustee for the Leaders for Just Schools initiative. Her writing can be found at Grown&Flown.com, at her personal blog, lorijstratton.com, and on her Medium account, @ljstratton50.

Johnny Cash

May 11, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that David Lee Garrison has won the open category of our writing contest on the theme of BREAKING FREE with "Putting Killers Away".

Dr. David Lee Garrison (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University) taught Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Kansas in 1978-79, and then at Wright State University until his retirement in 2009. He and his wife, Suzanne Kelly-Garrison, have residences in Oakwood, Ohio, and in Prairie Village, dividing their time between the two cities. Almost all of Suzanne’s family lives in Kansas; David has a cousin in Grandview

Breaking Free Writing Contest Winner

By Karin L. Frank
5
Rated by Helen H.
Apr 29, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Karin L. Frank has won the essay category of our writing contest on the theme of BREAKING FREE with "Nearly Me".

Karin L. Frank (@klfrank1 and karinlfrank.com) is an award-winning author. Nurtured by the fantasies and sciences of both coasts, she eventually settled on a farm in the Kansas City area. Her poems and stories have been published in a wide variety of venues both in the U.S.A. and abroad. Her first book of poems, A Meeting of Minds, is a collection of her science-based and science fiction-based poems. It is available through

Feb 7, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Pat Daneman has won the poetry category of our writing contest on the theme of BREAKING FREE with "Congolese Refugee Family Watches Fireworks for the First Time".

Pat Daneman is from Long Island, New York and currently lives in Lenexa, Kansas. She has published fiction and poetry in many print and online magazines, including The American Journal of Poetry, Escape into Life and the Bellevue Poetry Review. Her poems have been anthologized in Best of the Net and New Poetry from the Midwest. She is the author of a chapbook, Where the World

Women's Voices Writing Contest Winner

By Virginia Brackett
5
Rated by Helen H.
Jan 11, 2019

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Virginia Brackett has won the open category of our writing contest on the theme of WOMEN'S VOICES with "Mrs. Cross".

Virginia Brackett, Professor Emeritus of English, retired in 2016 from Park University where she directed the Honors Academy and received varied teaching and service awards, including Faculty Member of the Year, 2013 for Exceptional Services to Student Veterans. She served as a discussion facilitator for the 2017 NEH-funded initiative for veterans and their families, Planting the Oar. Brackett serves on the Kansas City

Women's Voices Writing Contest Winner

By Peggy Epstein
5
Rated by Helen H.
Dec 15, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Peggy Epstein has won the essay category of our writing contest on the theme of WOMEN'S VOICES with "Wordless".

My writing career has been crazily eclectic: two parenting books published by McGraw-Hill and Capitol Books; four locally produced musicals (with my partner, composer Allen Epstein)--one for the Kansas City Fringe Festival; 30 or so fiction/essays for various magazines and journals; dozens of features for the Kansas City Star, hundreds of pieces for the on-line site, Demand Studios, and, most rewarding to

Women's Voices Writing Contest Winner

By Martha Gershun
5
Rated by Helen H.
Dec 7, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Martha Gershun has won the essay category of our writing contest on the theme of WOMEN'S VOICES with "Channeling Marjorie".

Martha Gershun recently retired as Executive Director from Jackson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Her first book, "Care & Custody: A Novel of 3 Children at Risk," was published in June. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, SELF Magazine, Kveller, and the Kansas City Star.

Channeling Marjorie

There is something deeply intimate about knitting with another

Women's Voices Writing Contest Winner

By Mary Silwance
5
Rated by Helen H.
Nov 29, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Mary Silwance has won the poetry category of our writing contest on the theme of WOMEN'S VOICES with "The Mystery".

Mary Silwance lives in Kansas City. A mother, environmental activist, educator, farmhand and poet, she has served as poetry co-editor for Kansas City Voices and is a member of the Kansas City Writers Group. Her work has appeared in Konza Journal, Descansos, Heartland: Poems of Love, Resistance, and Solidarity, Sequestrum, Well Versed, Rock Springs Review, and on her blog, http://tonicwild.blogspot.com

Music Writing Contest Winner

By Timothy Tankard
5
Rated by Helen H.
Oct 10, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Timothy Tankard has won the open category of our writing contest on the theme of MUSIC with "The Crawdad Song".

Tankard grew up in Kansas City and lives here now. His jobs over the years have included teaching high school and junior college English, newspaper reporting and editing, and computer programming. (That's what has paid the bills!) He's had a few stories published in literary journals, including Kansas City's New Letters magazine. He likes to play music with his wife Valerie. They have two grown kids, Frank

Music Writing Contest Winner

By Kayla Wiltfong
5
Rated by Helen H.
Sep 6, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Kayla Wiltfong has won the open category of our writing contest on the theme of MUSIC with "From the Joint".

Kayla Wiltfong is a student in the undergraduate English program at the University of Missouri - Kansas City, with an emphasis in creative writing. She had two poems published in the 2016 edition of Elementia and three in Shawnee Mission East's 2016 Free Lancer literary magazine. In 2017, she won a contest held by the Johnson County Library for her poem "Politics," as well as having an essay published in the

Music Writing Contest Winner

By Rebecca Schier-Akamelu
5
Rated by Helen H.
Jul 7, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Rebecca Schier-Akamelu has won the short story category of our writing contest on the theme of MUSIC with "From One to the Next".

Rebecca writes from Overland Park and has previously been published in A Long Story Short and The Kansas City Star. She is also a voiceover artist and a proud wife and mom.

 

From One to the Next

Steph took a deep breath and plunged her foot into the muddy stream. It was icy cold; she curled her toes into the mud. She took a moment to let the cold rush through her, chilled to

Jun 22, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Michael Harty has won the poetry category of our writing contest on the theme of MUSIC with "Ralna's Song".

Harty has been practicing psychology and psychoanalysis in the Kansas City area for a long time, and publishing poetry for a fairly small percentage of that time. So far he's had poems in Kansas City Voices, I-70 Review, New Letters, Coal City Review, and other magazines, and he's published a chapbook, The Statue Game.

Ralna’s Song

Nobody on the Lawrence Welk show knew her the way I knew her, all

Time Writing Contest Winner

By Kaleah Petersen
5
Rated by Helen H.
May 24, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Kaleah Petersen has won the open category of our writing contest on the theme of TIME with "A Matter of Time".

Kaleah Petersen is in eighth grade at Indian Woods Middle School and is taking a Creative Writing class. She enjoys writing poetry and fiction in her free time.

 

A Matter of Time
Time is precious
You always think
That you have more
Until
The only ticking you hear
Is your dying heart
Counting down
The final seconds of life
And every minute
Every second
Of your entire life
Flashes before

Time Writing Contest Winner

By Sarah Donohoe
5
Rated by Helen H.
May 23, 2018

Johnson County Library and The Writers Place are pleased to announce that Sarah Donohue has won the open category of our writing contest on the theme of TIME with "Grounded".

Donohue has been writing a weekly column in the Estes Park News in Estes Park, CO for 12 years. In 2017, she published "Slices of Life, Estes Park; Best of The Thunker Columns," a collection of favorite columns from the first 10 years. She currently lives in Lenexa and does seasonal work in Estes Park, supervising the hiking program for YMCA of the Rockies.

Grounded

Gone hiking. Back about 2:00.

She put

Meet the Author: Hannah Jane Weber

By Hannah Jane Weber
5
Rated by Helen H.
Mar 7, 2018

At Johnson County Library, we love local authors. And when that local author is one of our own, we can't help but celebrate! Before transferring to our Leawood Library to work in the Youth Services Department, Hannah Jane Weber was active in our writing programs. We are proud to share that Hannah Jane had been awarded the 2017 Dylan Thomas American Award for the poem "Scenic Rail Tour" which is published in issue 63 of Rosebud. Of Hannah Jane's work, Grand Prize Winner, Judge Molly Peacock says "it is a twenty-first century nature poem" and she chose it "because of the double helix of its form