Staff Review
Blond Woman in glasses and pendant necklace

The Fools Journey Writing Contest Winner

By Diana Richards
Rated by Helen H.
Nov 19, 2021

Johnson County Library is pleased to announce that Diana Richards has won our short story writing contest on the theme of The fools Journey with her piece "Cactus." 

I can't add to the millions of statements from would-be writers as to why I write, and my biography isn't all that unique either: retired, like to write, writing is hard, love the library.


Staff Review Nov 16, 2021

We have plenty of patrons here at the Johnson County Library who love a good thriller. Sure, domestic and psychological thrillers still dominate the bestseller lists, but patrons are not always looking for secrets and lies set amongst deteriorating marriages and otherwise-idyllic suburban settings. We're talking old-school thrillers, where one person - or several people - are on the run from bad people with even worse intentions.

Staff Review Nov 10, 2021

“Ava, wake up! It’s Halloween, remember?” Henry announced. Not announced, more like shrieked into her ear. Ava rubbed her eyes and sat up as her eight year old brother bounced on to her bed.

Halloween. Of course it was Halloween. How could she have forgotten? Henry didn’t understand how horrible Halloween was, how just the word made Ava’s insides squirm and shiver. Halloween.

Staff Review Nov 10, 2021

Around them the mist continued to drift, seeping into their veins, sapping their spirits. The younger of the two brothers poked his head from out of his sleeping bag which lay on the cold, merciless dirt in the clearing of the cold, merciless forest which was infused with the cold, merciless mist that had awoken his body with chills throughout.



Staff Review Nov 10, 2021

The Ghosts at Tanuki Mansion

(in Verse)



I’m not sure if I believe the rumor that Tanuki Mansion is haunted.

I’ve been there multiple times on school field trips, and only minor ‘scary’ things have happened.


My brother Tino believes it.

I think it’s because his best friend,

Mason, comes up with these crazy stories about ghosts haunting the upper floors.

Now, when the third graders go to Tanuki Mansion on a field trip, Tino stays home and pretends to be sick.


Staff Review Nov 10, 2021

One day, three girls, Beth, Sky, and Vanessa, were taking a walk. Then they saw the woods. Everybody that went in, never came out. Beth, Sky, and Vanessa were not scared. They wanted to explore every corner of the woods, so they went in. A few minutes later, it began to get dark, so they decided to go back, but they were lost! They didn’t have a map, so it seemed like they were stuck in the woods. Suddenly, they heard a rustling sound. They looked in a bush and saw a dark, shadowy figure with glowing, red eyes.

Staff Review Nov 10, 2021

I stared at the forest of dark pine trees looming over me, laughing at me, each becoming a vision of the one I used to welcome into my house, my arms, my heart, until he stood over my parents with a bloody knife in his hand and the look of a crazed, cornered, monstrous animal in his eye, his beautiful kaleidoscopic eye, the eye I could sink into and be lost inside. Those pools of colors and sadness and intelligence and sometimes tinges of humor, but now, only hate and pleading for help.

Staff Review Nov 10, 2021

“Mama, tell me a story.”


The girl loves stories, gobbles them down like sugar. The words fill her up, twisty and sharp and smooth, and come to life behind her eyes.


She requests a story most every night, as the waves rock her to sleep. Mama lights a candle and sits by her bed in the hard wooden chair and tells her a story, finishing right when the candle winks out with a wisp of smoke. By that time the girl will be nearly asleep, so Mama will kiss her brow and softly pad back to the crew’s quarters.


Staff Review Nov 10, 2021

Oliver’s antique shop was not exceptional in any way. It did not have much inventory, what it sold did not hold much significance, it was not even the most popular antique shop on the street. This meant nothing to Oliver. When he opened the front door to the shop in the morning, he was at the crossroads to a thousand worlds.