9th Annual NSAI Song Contest Presented by CMT

Posted by:  Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI)


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In its ninth year, the NSAI Song Contest Presented by CMT boasts new, exciting prizes designed to help amateur songwriters on their road to becoming a professional songwriter.

Just a few of the prizes up for grabs this year include:

  • A single-song contract from a major Music Row publisher
  • One hour (each) mentoring session with Kenny Alphin (Big Kenny) and Regie Hamm
  • A three-day trip to Nashville (includes airfare and hotel accommodations)
  • A demo of your song by professional producers and musicians at Parlor Studio on Music Row
  • A private tour of the CMT studios
  • Prizes from Gibson, SHURE, MasterWriter, Elixir Strings, CMT and more

These prizes are specifically designed to help six amateur songwriters' enhance their careers.

In fact the Top 6 winning songwriters will each win a single-song publishing contract from a major Music Row publisher. Cal IV Entertainment, Curb Music, Hearts Bluff Music, Melrose Entertainment, Montage Music Group and Skyline Music Publishing will each offer single-song contracts to the winners of the NSAI Song Contest Presented by CMT.

Prizes are awarded to one (1) Grand Prize Winner, one (1) CMT Listeners' Choice Winner, four (4) Finalists, ten (10) runners-up and forty (40) honorable mentions. The contest is open to all genres of music. All songs entered receive a judging report. Music industry executives, professional songwriters and NSAI board members judge songs based on lyrics, melody and composition. Performance and production will not be evaluated.

The popular CMT Listeners' Choice Award is also back for a third year. Beginning Jan. 20, 2009, the Top 15 finalists in the 9th Annual NSAI Song Contest Presented by CMT will be posted at nsai.cmt.com. Music fans can go to the site through Feb. 28, 2009, listen to the finalists' demos and vote for their favorite song. The song with the most audience votes will be the CMT Listeners' Choice Award winner. In its first year, the contest received over 106,000 votes.

The 9th Annual NSAI Song Contest is presented by CMT and sponsored by the following organizations: Cal IV Entertainment, Curb Music, Hearts Bluff Music, Melrose Entertainment, Montage Music Group and Skyline Music Publishing. Also the Americana Music Association, American Songwriter, ASCAP, the Bluebird Café, Broadjam, BMI, Digidesign, DiscMakers, Elixir Strings, G7th Ltd., Gibson Guitar, Guitar Center, JACK-fm, WRLT Lightning 100, Masterwriter, Music City Unsigned, Music Connection magazine, Nashville Scene, Parlor Productions, PikCARD, SESAC, SHURE Microphones and 95.5 The Wolf.

All proceeds from the 9th Annual NSAI Song Contest Presented by CMT will benefit NSAI's legislative efforts to protect the rights of songwriters. NSAI is the world's largest not-for-profit songwriters' trade organization.

Terms And Conditions


Entries must be received by December 10, 2008 (CST)

1) Each song submitted must be contestants original work. Songs may not exceed five (5) minutes in length. Contestant may submit as many songs as he/she wishes. Each song requires a separate CD or regular sized cassette and lyric sheet. (Entry fee is non-refundable. The Nashville Songwriters Association International- NSAI - is not responsible for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, misappropriated, postage due, or stolen entries.)

2) Division of prizes among co-writers is the responsibility of winners; prizes will be awarded to name on entry form. Void where prohibited. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.

3) Contest is open to amateur songwriters who are at least 18 years of age or older by August 1, 2008 only. Any entrant who is a minor in his/her jurisdiction of legal residence will be required to obtain the permission of his/her parent or legal guardian to participate in this Contest. Writers who derive the majority of their income from songwriting or have ever had a staff writing deal with a publishing company may not enter. No songs under a professional contract may be entered. Employees of NSAI, their families, subsidiaries, and affiliates are not eligible.

4) A Judging Committee comprised of music industry professionals, award-winning songwriters, NSAI Pro Songwriters, and NSAI Board Members will select winners. Songs will be judged based on melody, composition and lyrics. The quality of performance and production will not be considered.

5) Winners will be notified by mail and must sign and return an affidavit of eligibility/recording rights/publicity release within 14 days of notification date. The affidavit will state that winners song is original work and he/she holds all rights to the song. Failure to sign and return such affidavit within 14 days or provision of false/inaccurate information therein will result in immediate disqualification and an alternate winner will be selected. Affidavits of winners under 18 years of age at time of award must be countersigned by parent or legal guardian. Affidavits subject to verification by NSAI and its agents. Entry constitutes permission to use winners names, likenesses, and voices for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation.

6) Winners will be announced by April 1, 2009, (or before) after which a complete list of winners will be posted online at www.nashvillesongwriters.com and NSAI.CMT.com. If you wish to receive a list of winners by mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your entry. CDs, cassettes and lyric sheets will not be returned. Please do not call NSAI to check on the status of your song.

7) Contestants submission of an entry into the contest constitutes his/her agreement to release, indemnify and hold harmless NSAI and its agents and MTV Networks from and against any claim, including, without limitation, of copyright infringement or other misappropriation, arising from any acts or omissions in connection with the contest or its operation. All Contestants must sign (i) an affidavit of eligibility and release of MTV Networks, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), Viacom International Inc., CMT, CMT.com and any other sponsors from any and all liability, claims, demands, and causes of action for personal injury and/or damage, theft, or loss suffered in connection with this promotion or the use or acceptance of the prize or any portion thereof to be eligible for the prizes; and (ii) except where prohibited, a promotional release granting the right to use his or her name and likeness for advertising and publicity purposes by CMT, and on CMT.com without additional compensation. Entry into this Contest constitutes contestants agreement to sign such releases.

8) Grand Prize Winner and CMT Listeners Choice Award Winner Notification: In regards to CMTs prizes awarded to the Grand Prize Winner and to the CMT Listeners Choice Award Winner, CMT will make reasonable attempts to make contact. Winners must respond to CMT within 30 days.

9) CMT will post, and stream live, contest winning songs on cmt.com. The aforementioned affidavit stating that the winners song is original work and he/she holds all rights to the song will include language to allow this streaming.

10) Winners are responsible for any and all taxes derived from and/or through the competition, and their winnings, if applicable.