If you made it to MerleFest last week you may have had a chance to see Shay Martin Lovette perform. Lovette, of Boone, was this year’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest winner in the 2021 General Category for the song “For Rose Marie.”

The Ashe Post and Times reports the long running contest, that's been a staple of MerleFest for nearly 30 years, named its last winners last Friday, including winners from 2020's contest, which was still held virtually last year due to the pandemic.

Long-time contest coordinator and host, Jim Lauderdale, was honored last Saturday for his more than 20 years of shared expertise, enthusiasm, and engagement with the contest.

MerleFest will return to its usual spring weekend, April 28 to May 1, 2022. For more information, visit MerleFest.org.