personal essay

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Cycles Writing Contest Winner

By Claire McMurray
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Apr 12, 2023

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Claire McMurray has won our writing contest on the theme of Cycles with her piece "In And Out of Our Lives."

Claire is a former academic who now writes about special needs parenting. You can her find posts, articles, and winning non-fiction essays on her blog, I Don't Know How You Do It (

In and Out of Our Lives

My daughter, JJ, has a rare progressive genetic disorder. It has taken away her ability to speak, walk on her own, or use her hands in a purposeful way. She also struggles with epilepsy, eats through a feeding

Time Writing Contest Winner

By Sarah Donohoe
Star Rating

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.


Gone hiking. Back about 2:00.

She put the note on

Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

By Anne Lamott
Star Rating

Rated by Becky C.
Apr 28, 2014

I recently missed a carpool, and instead, drove alone. But I never felt alone. Plan B included listening to Anne Lamott's Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. And she is an excellent traveling companion. Lamott, full of faith and humor hooked me in with her crazy, grace-filled life and I couldn't stop listening. It's a bummer that I missed socializing with my group. But, driving with Anne Lamott narrating Plan B made the trip worthwhile.

Lamott is at her best when she weaves witty stories of her progressive Christian faith with her family dysfunction. Especially the stories focusing on the