At Johnson County Library we believe in uplifting young voices! Thank you for submitting your work to one of our projects. Please see each opportunity below for deadlines, age guidelines and themes. 

We are looking for teens to join our design committee for our 20th issue (2022-23 school year).  Applicants should be 14-19 and able to make meetings both virtually and in person at Johnson County Library locations. Committee members receive volunteer hours for all work.

Editorial Committee Expectations

Time Commitment: 50 hours of reading and 16 hours of meetings

Selecting what is published in elementia is an important task & truly a team effort. As a selector you have the rare opportunity to read the words of your peers and help the library compile & showcase the voice of your generation. As a selector your goal will be to read & rate all submissions assigned to you. You are expected to attend all editorial meetings and come prepared (having read all assignments and completed any additional tasks assigned by Library staff).

*All submissions are online and can be read at your convenience–anytime & anywhere with an internet connection.

Example Schedule (exact schedule set in August)

  • Sat Mid Jan 12-3pm: Orientation Meeting (lunch provided)
  • Feb 1: all submissions close to the public
  • Sat Mid Feb 1:30-3pm: Check-in meeting
  • Late Feb: Writing scores due
  • Sat Late Feb 12-3pm: Final Selection Meeting 1
  • Sat Late Feb 12-3pm: Final Selection Meeting 2
  • Late April: Issue launch party

Design Committee Expectations

 Time Commitment: 50 hours of selection and design work and and 8 hours of meetings 

Designing elementia is an exciting and important project and a team effort. As a designer, you shape the look, feel and design of the magazine, pairing words and images, and working with the Art Director to decide on the format and length of the magazine. 

*Designers are not required to have software of their own. The Library will provide access to Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InCopy and Adobe Illustrator to all designers. You will need to provide your own computer, with the ability to install these applications.

Example Schedule (exact schedule set in August)

  • Sat Mid Jan 12-3pm: Orientation Meeting (lunch provided)
  • Feb 1: all submissions close to the public
  • Late Feb: Art scores due
  • Sat Early March 12-3pm: Final Selection Meeting (lunch provided)
  • Spring Break Design Work Times
  • Sat Late March Copy edit session
  • Late April: Issue launch party

elementia is a teen literary zine published to represent and uplift young adults (up to age 19). Submissions must be original work. We welcome simultaneous submissions (things that you're sending elsewhere for consideration) and pieces that have been previously published (as long as you hold the publication rights). 

Issue XX Theme: Cycles

From the biological life cycle to seemingly unbreakable habits, we are surrounded by cycles.

We are told that everything has a beginning and an end, but what about everything in between? From growth cycles to menstrual cycles to thought cycles, our lives are impacted by endless hoops. Is it possible to escape a cycle? Describe the cycles that should have been broken by now. Search for loopholes and travel through them. Which cycles are you trying to break and why?

Cycles go beyond the individual and into greater society as cycles of oppression, and into the natural world as the migration cycles of animals and the phases of the moon. What cycles do we see perpetuate for generations? How do events cycle through history as it “repeats itself”? Where do we see cycles within cycles?

Everything starts somewhere. Cycles are found in the start button of washing machines and tales of origin. Speak on the origins of things that have not been questioned. Where have the beliefs that you hold as an individual originated? What about the beliefs held as a society? Explore the cycles your identity was born of.

Predict what the ending will be or choose your own finale. Does death mean the end of a cycle? What beginnings can the end provide for us? Discover what propels these cycles to continue. Explore unfathomable cycles and perpetual cycles, like the Ouroboros and its tail.

Admire the visual cycles and illusions we see in daily life. From the Fibonacci sequence to Penrose Stairs to a nautilus shell, there’s beauty in numerical cycles. With the Krebs cycle, acceleration of wheels, and the law of Conservation of Mass, explore the greater impact of an individual cycle. Understand what the cycles in your life mean to you.

Submit your art, writing and poetry to elementia through February 1, 2023 and start your own cycle. 

Poetry, Short Story and Essay Submission Guidelines

There aren't any word count limitations, but we encourage submitters to pick their best excerpts from pieces that are too long for publication in a magazine. Each piece of writing or art should be submitted as an individual entry, but there is no limit to the number of pieces you can submit. Please send us your most final draft, as our editing stage only allows for minimal adjustments.

Looking for feedback on your writing?  Use your Johnson County Library card to access the Writing Lab from Brainfuse HelpNow!

 elementia is a teen literary zine published to represent and uplift young adults (up to age 19). Submissions must be original work. We welcome simultaneous submissions (things that you're sending elsewhere for consideration) and pieces that have been previously published (as long as you hold the publication rights). 

Issue XX Theme: Cycles

From the biological life cycle to seemingly unbreakable habits, we are surrounded by cycles.

We are told that everything has a beginning and an end, but what about everything in between? From growth cycles to menstrual cycles to thought cycles, our lives are impacted by endless hoops. Is it possible to escape a cycle? Describe the cycles that should have been broken by now. Search for loopholes and travel through them. Which cycles are you trying to break and why?

Cycles go beyond the individual and into greater society as cycles of oppression, and into the natural world as the migration cycles of animals and the phases of the moon. What cycles do we see perpetuate for generations? How do events cycle through history as it “repeats itself”? Where do we see cycles within cycles?

Everything starts somewhere. Cycles are found in the start button of washing machines and tales of origin. Speak on the origins of things that have not been questioned. Where have the beliefs that you hold as an individual originated? What about the beliefs held as a society? Explore the cycles your identity was born of.

Predict what the ending will be or choose your own finale. Does death mean the end of a cycle? What beginnings can the end provide for us? Discover what propels these cycles to continue. Explore unfathomable cycles and perpetual cycles, like the Ouroboros and its tail.

Admire the visual cycles and illusions we see in daily life. From the Fibonacci sequence to Penrose Stairs to a nautilus shell, there’s beauty in numerical cycles. With the Krebs cycle, acceleration of wheels, and the law of Conservation of Mass, explore the greater impact of an individual cycle. Understand what the cycles in your life mean to you.

Submit your art, writing and poetry to elementia through February 1, 2023 and start your own cycle.

Poetry, Short Story and Essay Submission Guidelines

There aren't any word count limitations, but we encourage submitters to pick their best excerpts from pieces that are too long for publication in a magazine. Each piece of writing or art should be submitted as an individual entry, but there is no limit to the number of pieces you can submit. Please send us your most final draft, as our editing stage only allows for minimal adjustments.

Looking for feedback on your writing?  Use your Johnson County Library card to access the Writing Lab from Brainfuse HelpNow!

elementia is a teen literary zine published to represent and uplift young adults (up to age 19). Submissions must be original work. We welcome simultaneous submissions (things that you're sending elsewhere for consideration) and pieces that have been previously published (as long as you hold the publication rights). 

Issue XX Theme: Cycles

From the biological life cycle to seemingly unbreakable habits, we are surrounded by cycles.

We are told that everything has a beginning and an end, but what about everything in between? From growth cycles to menstrual cycles to thought cycles, our lives are impacted by endless hoops. Is it possible to escape a cycle? Describe the cycles that should have been broken by now. Search for loopholes and travel through them. Which cycles are you trying to break and why?

Cycles go beyond the individual and into greater society as cycles of oppression, and into the natural world as the migration cycles of animals and the phases of the moon. What cycles do we see perpetuate for generations? How do events cycle through history as it “repeats itself”? Where do we see cycles within cycles?

Everything starts somewhere. Cycles are found in the start button of washing machines and tales of origin. Speak on the origins of things that have not been questioned. Where have the beliefs that you hold as an individual originated? What about the beliefs held as a society? Explore the cycles your identity was born of.

Predict what the ending will be or choose your own finale. Does death mean the end of a cycle? What beginnings can the end provide for us? Discover what propels these cycles to continue. Explore unfathomable cycles and perpetual cycles, like the Ouroboros and its tail.

Admire the visual cycles and illusions we see in daily life. From the Fibonacci sequence to Penrose Stairs to a nautilus shell, there’s beauty in numerical cycles. With the Krebs cycle, acceleration of wheels, and the law of Conservation of Mass, explore the greater impact of an individual cycle. Understand what the cycles in your life mean to you.

Submit your art, writing and poetry to elementia through February 1, 2023 and start your own cycle.

Art Guidelines

Please submit the highest resolution image you can, if we accept your piece for publication we will need a 300dpi image for printing purposes. If you don't have the ability to submit a high resolution image, submit what you have and if accepted for publication, we may reach out to you and help scan a higher resolution version. Visual art submissions will be treated as graphics may be subject to alteration (including, but not limited to: cropping, flipping, and other changes).