white woman with long grey hair in a blue plaid sleeveless shirt

All Together Now Contest Winner

By Ann Pai
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Sep 19, 2023

Joy at the Green Guitar

Two hundred or so folks, we
don't much know each other.
We're here for Joy,

for her live singing and guitar.
The first notes drip from her fingers
and we sigh like a water dipper's
lifted to our lips. We're one room now:

Joy's voice rises like
biscuits in the oven as day
sings to darkness. Her light
goes everywhere.

Her hands on the guitar
untie the knots in us. Her song
sorts the loose strands of us,
begins to knit us back together,

a blanket made of each other.
We’re enfolded snug,
in last rippling notes, applause,
gifts of gratitude, a next tune,
friends, neighbors, community

smiling woman with long red curly hair and a bluish green sweater

All Together Now Contest Winner

By Lindsey Weishar
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Sep 7, 2023

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Lindsey Weishar has won our writing contest on the theme All Together Now with her piece "To Get Her."

Lindsey Weishar holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is a contributor to a variety of outlets including Verily magazine, The Pitch, and the Ploughshares blog. Her chapbook, Matchbook Night, was published by Leaf Press (Canada) in 2018.

To get her

My sister’s nerves were disturbed by COVID
so I drove from Illinois to Kansas to get her.
The trick, said the red-headed girl
in my second-grade class, is to

Breaking Free Writing Contest Winner

By David Lee Garrison
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
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, MO

Time Writing Contest Winner

By Kaleah Petersen
Star Rating

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
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 you
In a single

Ain't It the Truth Writing Contest Winner

By Lisa Allen
Star Rating

Rated by Helen H.
Jan 11, 2018

The Readers Advisory committee is pleased to announce that Lisa Allen has won our Ain't It the Truth writing contest in the open category for her poem "Adoration."  With precise yet smoldering language, Allen's narrator carefully unravels the "secret histories" of the women who raised her--what remains hidden beneath the facades they were forced to adopt to survive.

Allen's choice of perspective allows readers to put themselves in the narrator's shoes and imagine the inner-workings of the matriarchs in their own lives.  "Adoration"'s truth doesn't come from absolute fact as much as lived