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Friends of the Library seeks contest entries

By Samantha Langley
Asst. Around the Town Editor

February 9, 2012

Mary Livermore Library will be holding its 13th annual poetry and short prose contest.

Submissions to the contest are due by Feb. 29. All entries must be typed and less than 500 words. The author's name should not be printed anywhere on the poem or prose and should contain the entry form found on the library website.

The contest consists of three different age groups: students in Robeson County and surrounding county high schools, UNCP students, and members of the general public who are 18 and older. Three winners will be chosen from each category.

The contest is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Mary Livermore Library and the Kiwanis of Robeson-Lumberton. First place winners receive $250, second place $150 and third place $100.

Jean Sexton is in charge of the contest. She said that every year she receives hundreds of poems submitted by all three age categories. The majority are heart-felt and revolve around student life, she said.

Although any type of genre will be accepted, the majority of winners revolve around themes that are not "same old same old." Just describing emotions will not be enough. Instead concrete descriptive work in the past has been what has appealed to the judges the most, Sexton said.

Sexton also suggested that entries should not be sexually oriented. Judges do not seem to respond as well to them.

Last year Emily McLamb won the UNCP student category of the contest. Her poem was a descriptive narrative about the change in her life from her father teaching her to drive at an early age and then driving on her own.

Every year Sexton receives many submissions that are not right for the competition.

"Some students will send in five page works that were obviously meant for a class and not within a 500 word minimum. I throw them out. We really do count the number of words. Last year I even got a submission written in crayon. All submissions must be typed, and the author was clearly not 18. It broke my heart to throw it out, but I knew I had to," Sexton said.

The judges for this year's competition have not been chosen, yet, but normally include a professor, a teacher either from middle school or elementary school and a community member.

The poetry/prose winners from each category will most likely be published in "Library Lines" unless it is pressed for space.

"Library Lines" is a newsletter published by the library about the library three times a year. The newsletter includes information about upcoming events, new programs, information about library assistants, library scholarships, faculty spotlights and more.

Sexton feels that the newsletter is not well publicized and would like to see more people read it. "Library Lines" is available in hard copy from the library and online through a link on its UNCP page.

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