This contest will showcase the writing skills and passions of area writers, ages 18 and up. Entries may be poems, essays, or short stories on any theme. Entries shouldn’t exceed 15 typed pages (double-spaced), or the handwritten equivalent. A writer may submit one entry in each of the three categories.

Entries must be previously unpublished, legible, and the original and total work of the writer. By entering, the writer agrees to the library printing his or her entry for contest purposes (see Awards below). Writers also agree to participate in photos and news releases regarding the contest.



Winners will be chosen by a panel of judges looking for how well the writer gets his or her point across, originality, and overall appeal. The judges will not know who wrote each entry, preventing any personal bias. Writers are encouraged to submit with the care and taste they would employ when submitting to a bona fide publisher.



Entries may be submitted by email, through the mail, or dropped off at the library. Each entry should carry the phone number and home address of the author on the title page only.

Please send email entries to Ryan Johnson, Assistant Director of the Library ([email protected])

Mailed entries can be sent to:

O’Fallon Public Library
Attn: Ryan Johnson
120 Civic Plaza
O’Fallon, IL 62269

Entries may also be turned in to any library staff person during regular business hours. Be sure your contact information is included and that your entry is in a sealed envelope.



Submissions begin June 1 and end August 1 at midnight. Winners will be announced August 21.



Open to anyone ages 18 and over. Library membership not required, but you need to reside within St. Clair county, or the surrounding counties (Washington, Madison, Monroe, Clinton and Randolph). If you have any questions, please contact Ryan Johnson at 618-632-3783, ext. 1 or [email protected]



Four cash prizes will be awarded:

  • Best Overall Entry - $100
  • Best Short Story - $50
  • Best Poem - $50
  • Best Essay - $50

Note: The winner of “Best overall Entry” is exempt from winning a best in category prize. In that case, the second place entry will win the category prize.

The four award-winning entries, along with other selected entries will be included in a “Best Of” book. Each writer whose work is included in the book will receive a free copy. Additional copies of the book may be sold with proceeds to benefit the library. Note: All works will be published under the author’s copyright.