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For Writers

The Summer Fun Adult Writing Contest is going on now! Learn more and submit your work.

Whether you’re a novelist, poet, author-illustrator, or anywhere in between, the New Orleans Public Library has resources to help you take your story from the first spark of creativity into readers’ hands.

Books on How to Write

Interested in self-publishing your work? Hop down to our self-publishing resources.

Writing & Publishing Workshops At The Library

Just Write: Virtual Creative Writing Workshop

Discuss your works-in-progress with local writers in a friendly and supportive environment. Novice to experienced writers in all genres are welcome to participate. Meetings are held over Zoom.

Submit one piece of writing per workshop meeting of up to five pages in length. At each meeting, we'll  workshop 5 - 6 pieces of writing. Works will be discussed in the order they're submitted. Submitting work is not required to attend and participate in the discussion.

Workshop norms and etiquette are as follows:  

  • Treat all participants with civility and respect.  
  • Please mute your mic and refrain from commenting in the chatbox when your work is being discussed.  
  • Comments on others’ work should always be constructive. 
  • Be aware of how much you’re talking and allow space for others to contribute.
  • Creative expressions are welcome; hate speech is not. 

Learn More & Sign Up

Self-Publishing Workshop: Layout and Design

Saturday, July 15, 2pm - 4pm at Nora Navra Library

Want to publish your own book? Learn the how-to’s of book design. This workshop will cover:

  • The history of book design, starting from the first published books in 1450
  • Page design, including margin size, paragraph shape, typography, and fonts 
  • Text and image sequencing and preparation for book layout
  • Free, online programs that can be used to make a book layout
  • Cover design

Attendees will have a chance to win a copy of Creative Self-Publishing: ALLi’s Guide to Independent Publishing for Authors and Poets

Sponsored by Friends of the New Orleans Public Library.

Learn More

Self-Publishing Resources

Are you interested in self-publishing your book? Want to read self-published and indie works from other local authors? Pressbooks, Indie Author Project, and BiblioBoard work together to make the self-publishing process easier and more accessible to Library cardholders.

Create and format a publication-ready manuscript with Pressbooks Public. Write chapter by chapter, or import a manuscript previously written in Word or other formats. Create a professional-quality ePUB (compatible with most e-book readers), MOBI (compatible with Kindles) or PDF (print friendly) file that’s ready to submit to your self-publisher of choice, such as the Indie Author Project. When you’re ready for cover design, check out the Library’s list of websites where you can download copyright-free images. 

After formatting your manuscript in Pressbooks Public or with a different tool, submit your work to Indie Author Project for the chance to be featured on BiblioBoard. Submissions are open year round. During April and May, Indie Author Project runs the Louisiana Author Project Contest, with the chance to win prize money and a full-page spread in Library Journal.  

Read indie fiction by Louisiana authors, with no checkout periods, waits, or holds. Download the BiblioBoard Library app to read on your mobile device, or access on any web browser.  

Writing Contest

The New Orleans Public Library wants your short story or poem for our 2023 Summer Fun Adult Writing Contest!

This year’s theme is “renewal.” You can interpret the theme any way you like, from rekindling a friendship, to rebuilding after a storm, to renewing books on your library card.

How to Enter: For electronic entries, submit online via Biblioboard. Paper entries must be accompanied by an entry form and can be submitted at any New Orleans Public Library location. Entries must be submitted between June 1st and July 31st.


  • One entry per person of one piece of fiction or up to 3 poems. Entries must be no more than 2,000 words total.
  • Entrants must be 18 years of age or older, have an active New Orleans Public Library card, and be a resident of Orleans Parish.
  • All writings must be the original work of the participant and not previously published. Writing should be suitable for a general audience.

Winners will receive Amazon gift cards courtesy of the Friends of the New Orleans Public Library.