Writing Contests

At Johnson County Library we love celebrating local authors!  Every month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and an invitation to read at a Library event. One winner will be selected from submissions of poetry, short fiction, and essays. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here » Check out past contest winners on our Staff Picks Blog.

The Summer theme for the Writing Contest is “Tails and Tales.” Submitters to the May poetry contest, June short story contest, July essay contest, and August essay contest will be responding to the following prompt:

“Our fascination with the animal world has persisted for millennia, borne of everything from love to fear. Animals have inspired some of humanity's earliest stories: The trickster Anansi, Aesop's Fables, the Turtle Island creation stories, Gilgamesh and the Bull of Heaven. This contest is your opportunity to show us what you find compelling about creatures of all kinds. Whether you're interested in jaguars or jellyfish, we want to hear the tales you have in store."

Fantasy Sticker Contest

We want your most fantastical sticker designs, so imagine your favorite unicorns, dragons and porgs for this contest! This contest is for kids and teens up to age 19. Starting June 5, submit your designs for a 3x3 inch round or square sticker June 5 - July 5, 2021. Winners in the kids and teens age groups will be announced at the end of summer and you can get copies of the winning designs at your closest Johnson County Library location in August!

Fantasy Short Story Contest

We want your most creative short stories about fantastical worlds and beasts, so start your imaginations! Children and teens (up to age 19), submit your writing online starting June 5. One entry per person, please. 

Tails and More Tails: Animal Photography Contest

Whether you’re capturing the charisma and antics of your family pets or the wild creatures that live alongside us, this is your chance to show off your photography skills. Submit your photos online June 5 - July 5, 2021. One entry per person, please. The Tails and More Tails Photo Contest is open to all Johnson County residents ages 12 and up.