Ghost Writers In The Sky™

Posted by:  HankFest


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Like us, you're probably a songwriter and a Hank Williams fan. And we also think a lot of modern songwriters could learn a thing or two about writing a great, simple song from ol' Hank. But being the types who operate a little differently, we had an idea: Why not combine these two things into a contest that gave the world some great new songs AND give any songwriter from anywhere in the world a chance to be heard? And that's how our "Ghost Writers In The Sky" (GWITS) Contest began.

The contest guidelines are simple: 1. Write an original song that sounds like one Hank would have written; 2. The song entry may use one guitar and one vocal ONLY; 3. The song is no longer than three minutes; 4. No instrumental solos are allowed (the focus is on the music & lyrics only).

The judge’s top three songs (plus 10 honorable mentions) will be posted on no later than September 9. Online voting from the general public will then determine the Grand Prize Winner (online voting deadline: Wed., Sept 14, 11:59PM EST). The winner will be notified privately by September 15 and publicly announced at the HankFest event in Chicago.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a Washburn Custom Inlay F-52 Dreadnought Guitar with a hardshell case with their name engraved along the fingerboard and "Ghost Writers In The Sky - Grand Prize Winner 2005” written around the soundhole.

Terms And Conditions


1. Songs entries shall be written, to the best of the writer's ability, in the style of Hank Williams, Sr. Best composition, combined with most similar musical style, will afford best odds for winning song.

2. Enter as many songs as you wish.

3. ONE SINGER, ONE GUITAR That's how Hank did his studio demos and that's what we want from you. Any other instrumentation on song entry will disqualify song entry; entry fees are non-refundable.

4. THREE MINUTE TIME LIMIT: Songs should be no longer than 3 minutes (i.e., no solos please). Songs exceeding this length will be disqualified.

5. COPYRIGHTS & LIABILITIES: GWITS Contest is offered as novel entertainment. Neither HankFest, RRC Productions, its partners, affiliates or sponsors assume any liability or responsibility for entrants' copyrights or ownership, or any related legal disputes which may arise. By entering the GWITS Contest, you hereby give your full consent and permission to allow HankFest, GWITS, its partners and sponsors to promote your entry in audio, printed and online formats. HankFest reserves the right to publish the titles, lyrics and audio of any and all winning and non-winning entries on and any/all GWITS and HankFest related promotional materials; entrant agrees to waive any/all licensing and royalty fees specifically related to these promotional items. may also include hyperlinks and/or email addresses of those songwriters who submit entries. Neither HankFest nor its affiliates assume any copyright ownership of any submissions. GWITS strongly encourages all contestants to copyright their entries BEFORE submission for contest. Get details/forms at:

6. LYRICS. Judges consider lyric content in their voting - make sure yours are included!



1. Preliminary Voting. A panel of judges will nominate their choices, resulting in 3 finalists, plus 10 honorable mention (to be made available online at Entries will be judged on quality of music and lyrics, and how much the entry sounds like a Hank Williams recording. NEW! Judges will be allowed to recommend/list a special "Honorable Mention" song which may have not fit contest guidelines (a great song is still a great song).

2. Finals Voting. Full version and condensed audio clip version (verse & chorus) of top three (3) finalists will be made available online (exact URL TBA). Online voting from the general public will decide the winner, to be announced during HankFest.

3. Winner is invited to perform their song at HankFest. If winner is unable/unwilling to appear, their winning song may be performed by a guest artist (TBA).

4. Travel & Lodging. Until further notice, HankFest cannot provide travel to or lodging in Chicago for Grand Prize Winner; Winner is responsible for all travel & lodging to/from HankFest.


1. Custom Washburn dreadnought acoustic guitar with hardshell case.

2. A hyperlink/graphic to your website or email address at (minimum 1 year). We also ask winner to submit any photos, promotional materials, etc. for possible inclusion.

3. Follow-up press release sent, announcing the winner.

4. Winning song is performed at HankFest. If winner cannot appear, song may be performed by selected guest artist (TBA).

5. Winning song will be made available via indefinitely.

6. Winner MUST provide quality photograph of themselves with Grand Prize guitar to HankFest within one week of delivery.


Prize will be shipped to, or may be picked up by, winner within 60 days of winner's announcement. GWITS requires adequate lead time to customize Grand Prize guitar.