Charlottesville Area Transit (CAT) and Bus Lines are encouraging area writers to use their imagination with the latest Bus Lines poetry contest. Authors can submit up to three literary works for consideration, and there is no cost to participate.

This year’s contest theme is Peace and Justice. The theme can be used in a symbolic or literal sense.

Entries are due Friday, December 15, 2017. Complete contest rules and entry  forms are available at

Winners will have their poems installed inside CAT buses, as well as have the opportunity to share their work at the 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book.

In total, 40 authors will be selected as winners.

Originally founded as a project under the City of Charlottesville’s Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI), the contest continues today under the supervision of Susan Berres (original NLI team member) and CAT.

Fourteen contests have been held since the summer of 2009. In 2016, the contest received over 400 submissions.  To date, nearly 500 unique poems have been displayed on CAT buses.

Through a special partnership with Special Collections at the University of Virginia Library, all winning Bus Lines poems are deposited into UVA’s permanent collections.