Entries now being accepted for 18th annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest
MerleFest 2010 will once more host the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, which is now in its 18th year.
The annual contest is an extraordinary opportunity for aspiring writers to have their original songs heard and judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of this year’s volunteer contest chairman, Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale.
Once submitted, songs are judged by a volunteer panel of Nashville songwriters, publishers and other music industry professionals. Judging will be based on a song’s originality, lyrics, melody and overall commercial potential.
Twelve finalists, three from each category, will be announced during the first week of April 2010. Each of the 12 finalists will compete on the Austin Stage at MerleFest 2010. In addition, for the first time in the history of the contest, each of the 12 finalists will have the invaluable experience of a mentor session with Lauderdale.
The contest recognizes winners in four categories—country, bluegrass, gospel and general. First-place winners in each category receive: a performance on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest 2010 (April 29-May 2), an acoustic guitar, a check for $300, two boxes of D’Addario strings and one-year subscriptions to both Acoustic Guitar and American Songwriter magazines.
Second- and third place winners in each category receive performance slots on the Friday night Songwriters Coffeehouse, as well as cash prizes, D’Addario strings and subscriptions to Acoustic Guitar and American Songwriter.
Previous winners of the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest include Gillian Welch, Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via and Johnny Williams.
To learn more about the contest rules and entry deadlines, as well as how and where to submit entries, please click here.