Winners of the 2018 Robinson-Lineberger Literary Competition stand with their certificates. 

1. The competition was founded in 1983

The Arts Council of Lincoln County is accepting entries for the 36th annual Robinson-Lineberger Literary Competition. The competition was established in 1984 by the trustees of Flo Robinson’s estate to commemorate her lifelong love of literature. Robinson left behind more than $45,000 that was donated to a number of Lincoln County charities and nonprofit organizations when she passed away. Robert Lineberger, a World War II U.S. Army Air Forces captain who passed away in 2012 at the age of 91, helped establish the competition. The Robert Lineberger estate has added its support to the event to help ensure a flourishing future for the annual tradition.

2. Entries must be poetry or prose

The Arts Council will accept works of poetry and prose from adults who are either current or past residents of Lincoln County. Participants are limited to one entry in each category on any subject of their choosing. Poems can be written in any style, but they must be limited to 32 lines or less, while prose entries must be limited to approximately 750 words. All entries must be titled, original and unpublished, and any piece that has won a cash award in the past will not be accepted. “A lot of the other art forms that we display in our galleries are visual, and whether it be pottery or woodworking, at the end of the day you’re still processing it visually,” Arts Council of Lincoln County Executive Director Deanna McGinnis said. “Literary art is processed audibly through the artist who’s often standing in front of you having to make their story come alive through their words. That really puts the artist on a stage, and they have to take what they’ve written on paper and make it come to life in the minds of the audience. We hear stories every year that may be very personal or entirely fictional, but all of the entries are able to touch the audience emotionally in some way.”

3. Cash prizes are awarded

A cash prize will be awarded to the top three finishers in both composition styles, with $60 going to the winner, $40 to the runner-up and $25 for the third-place finisher. “We have found over the years that there are people from all walks of life who enter this competition,” McGinnis said. “We feel as though this contest really allows people to express themselves through their writing, and it’s really neat because a lot of the entrants have their families with them in the audience during the awards ceremony. These literary works really are an art form, and a lot of people don’t realize that, so we enjoy this event every year.”

4. Entries are due by April 4

All participants must submit two typewritten, double-spaced copies of their entry. One copy must include the entrant’s full name, address, phone number and category (prose or poetry) in the upper right-hand corner, while the other copy should be without any identification.

All entries must be postmarked by April 4, and mailed to: The Arts Council of Lincoln County Literary Competition, PO Box 45, Lincolnton, NC 28092. Late entries will not be accepted.

5. The winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony

An awards ceremony and reading will be held in the Arts Council of Lincoln County galleries at the Lincoln Cultural Center at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 23. For more information, call 704-732-9044 to contact the Arts Council of Lincoln County.


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