MerleFest 2010 - Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

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Summary

Don't miss your LAST CHANCE to submit for the chance to perform at MerleFest. MerleFest now involves more than 80,000 participants including some 100 artists and bands performing on thirteen stages.

Finalists will receive lodging for 4 nights at MerleFest, with first place winners receiving a performance slot at the Cabin Stage at MerleFest. All finalists will receive cash and other prizes. Jim Lauderdale, volunteer Chair of the Chris Austin Songwriting, and others will be offering a mentoring session to the finalists./n/nHave your songs heard by a panel of professional songwriters and other music industry professionals from the Nashville Music Community as well as earn the chance to perform at MerleFest by entering the 18th annual Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. MerleFest now involves more than 80,000 participants including some 100 artists and bands that perform on one or more of the festival's thirteen stages. All 2009 songwriting competition finalists will receive lodging for 4 nights at MerleFest, with first place winners receiving a performance slot at the Cabin Stage at MerleFest. All finalists will receive cash and other prizes for their winning entries (see prizes below). New to the contest this year, Jim Lauderdale, volunteer Chair of the Chris Austin Songwriting, and guests will be offering a mentoring session to the finalists.



Entrants must submit songs in one of four categories – country, bluegrass, gospel, and general. We received nearly 850 entries for 2009. The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest invites three finalists in each category – based on judging by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, to come to MerleFest for the finals on April 30, 2010.



The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is open to those whose primary source of income is not derived from songwriting or publishing. Finalist will be asked to sign an Acknowledgment of Eligibility Form. First place winners during the past five years may not re-enter in the specific category in which they won. Co-writers are subject to the same eligibility requirements as the entrant.



All finalists will receive lodging for four nights at MerleFest and all access MerleFest credentials for up to three individuals.



Prizes:


1st PLACE WINNERS WILL RECEIVE:

A performance on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest

A check for $300

A guitar

Mentoring Session with Jim Lauderdale and guests

Two boxes of D’Addario strings

One-year subscription to Acoustic Guitar Magazine

One-year subscription to American Songwriter Magazine




2nd PLACE WINNERS WILL RECEIVE:

A check for $250

A slot in the Songwriter's Coffeehouse at MerleFest

Mentoring Session with Jim Lauderdale and guests

One-year subscription to Acoustic Guitar Magazine

One-year subscription to American Songwriter




3rd PLACE WINNERS WILL RECEIVE:

A check for $50

A slot in the Songwriter's Coffeehouse at MerleFest

Mentoring Session with Jim Lauderdale and guests

One box of D’Addario strings

One-year subscription to Acoustic Guitar Magazine

One-year subscription to American Songwriting

Past Winners:

Gillian Welch was one of the winners of the initial Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 1993. Recent winners have included Tift Merritt, Michael Reno Harrell, Adrienne Young, Martha Scanlan, David Via, Sam Quinn and Johnny Williams.

The 1st place winners of the 2009 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest were:

General Category: “Unmarked Pavement” by Letha and David Costin

Bluegrass Category: “Love Gone By” by Carol Hausner and Colin McCaffrey

Country Category: “Man of Few Words” by Dennis Duff

Gospel Category: “Beyond the Rain” by Brink Brinkman

Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest go to support the Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship.

Terms And Conditions

1. ELIGIBILITY - Contest is open to those whose primary source (50% or more) of income is not derived from songwriting or publishing. Finalists will be asked to sign an Acknowledgement of Eligibility Form. First place winners during the past five years may not re-enter in the specific category in which they won. Co-writers are subject to the same eligibility requirements as the entrant.

2. CATEGORIES - Country, Bluegrass, Gospel, and General: Judges will determine the musical parameters of each category and reserve the right to reassign a song to a more appropriate category if necessary.

3. TWO WAYS TO ENTER-

A. SUBMISSIONS ON-LINE
1. Sonicbids-To enter the 2010 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest on-line via Sonicbids visit www.sonicbids.com/chrisaustinsongwritingcontest. Contest fee is $30 per entry.

2. American Songspace-To enter the 2010 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest on-line via American Songspace visit www.americansongspace.com/chrisaustinsongwritingcontest. Contest fee is $30 per entry.

B. SUBMISSIONS BY MAIL- Send the following with each entry:
1. One completed entry form per song (photocopy acceptable). Signature must be original.
2. One song per cassette or compact disc.
3. Typed or legibly printed lyrics.
4. Check or money order for $30.00 (U.S currency) for each entry, payable to The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Do not send cash. CASSETTE/CD AND LYRIC SHEET MUST BE LABELED WITH Entrants name, address, Email, Telephone Numbers, Category, Song Title & Co-Authors Name(s), if Applicable.
5. CDs or Tapes and Lyrics will not be returned. A postcard will be sent to the address listed on application form verifying receipt of entry.
6. MAILING- Entries sent by U.S. mail should be addressed accordingly: The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest P.O. Box 121855, Nashville, TN 37212.

Entries must be received, not postmarked, by February 18, 2010. Overnight entries must be sent by and only the U.S. Postal Services Express Mail. The contest cannot provide confirmation of receipt of individual entries by mail. Entries received too late to be judged will be returned unopened. Please do not send entries by certified mail or delivery confirmation .

7. All entries must be the original work of contestant and may enter as many songs as desired. Each song, however, constitutes a separate entry and must have its own entry form, lyric sheet, and recorded cassette or CD or Sonicbids or American Songspace submission. All entries must include lyrics and a selection of category. Check or money order must reflect the total number of songs submitted. Multiple songs by the same writer or co-writers may not be selected as finalists in a single category, except for songs co-written with different writers or a solo composition and a co-written song. All applicable U.S. copyright laws apply. The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is not responsible for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, insufficient postage, stolen, or misappropriated entries.
Entry fees are non-refundable.

4. JUDGING - Entries will be judged by a panel of professional songwriters, publishers, or other music industry professionals from the Nashville music community. All entries will be judged on originality, lyrics, melody and the songs overall commercial potential. Music production and performance quality are not considered. All decisions by judges will be final. Finalists will be determined and notified no later than April 2, 2010. Only finalists will be personally notified. No entrants will be provided with scores or evaluations of their entries.

5. PERFORMING-Three finalists from each category will compete on the Austin Stage at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC. Transportation to and from the festival and any other expenses are the responsibility of the finalist. Four nights of lodging (room and taxes only) will be provided for each finalist. Each finalist will receive up to three all access passes to the festival. Co-writers will be treated as one writer for lodging, credentials, and prizes. First place winners of each category will perform their song on the Cabin Stage. Each song in the finals must be performed live by the composer, with no more than one accompanist other than a co-writer; no performances to pre-recorded tracks. The first tie-breaker in the finals will be the highest score given to a song by an individual judge.

6. PRIZES - Prizes will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category. All prizes will be awarded to name on entry form. Division of prizes among co-authors is the responsibility of winners. Winners of all prizes worth $600 or more will receive a 1099-MISC. Taxes are the responsibility of winners. Void where prohibited. Non- US. citizens are subject to US taxes when prize is received. For more information about prizes visit: www.merlefest.org/chrisaustinsongwritingcontest.

7. INDEMNITY AND RELEASE On-line entry and mail-in signature on entry form constitutes each song submitted is an original work and releases The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, sponsors, Wilkes Community College, and MerleFest from all liability. Entry also constitutes permission to use winners name and likeness for future advertising and publicity without compensation.

8. WINNERS - For a list of winners, after May 5, 2010 email: laurie.hayes@wilkescc.edu send self-addressed, stamped envelope to: The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest; P.O. BOX 121855; NASHVILLE, TN 37212.