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Prizes, Judging and Performance

Prizes, Judging and Performance

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. Prizes are awarded jointly to all authors. Division of prizes among co-authors is the responsibility of winners. The winner of all prizes worth $600 or more will receive a 1099-MISC. Taxes are the responsibility of winners. Void where prohibited. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Non US citizens are subject to US taxes when prize is received.

1st Place Winners Receive

  • A performance on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest  
  • $500 cash 
  • Two boxes of D'Addario strings
  • A gift certificate from Jackson's Music ($100)

2nd Place Winners Receive

  • A slot on the Friday night Songwriters Coffeehouse
  • $250 cash 
  • One box of D'Addario strings
  • A gift certificate from Jackson's Music ($50)

3rd Place Winners Receive

  • A slot on the Friday night Songwriters Coffeehouse
  • $50 cash 
  • One box of D'Addario strings
  • A gift certificate from Jackson's Music  ($50)

All finalists will receive a one-year subscription to Acoustic Guitar Magazine and strings from Kyser Musical Products.

 

Performance 

The on-site live competition takes place at the Chris Austin Stage in Alumni Hall on the campus of Wilkes Community College on festival Friday. Each song in the finals must be performed live by the composer, with no more than one accompanist other than a co-writer and no performances to pre-recorded tracks. When there are two or more songwriters the limit on stage is three individuals.  

The first tie-breaker in the finals will be the highest score given to a song by an individual judge.

 

Judging

Entries will be judged by a panel of professional songwriters, publishers, or other music industry professionals from the Nashville music community who volunteer their time. Please know that all submissions are listened to and treated fairly by a team of volunteer judges. The preliminary judging is in Nashville and will continue to be due to the volume of industry professionals that can be drawn upon for their expertise. All entries will be judged on originality, lyrics, melody and the song's overall commercial potential. Music production and performance quality are not considered.

All decisions by judges will be final.  Round 1 takes place in Nashville, Tenn. and final round at MerleFest. Finalists will be determined and posted on the website before April 1. Only finalists will be personally notified. No personal emails will be sent to entrants who did not make the final 12.

No entrants will be provided with scores or evaluations of their entries; it is not feasible at this time due to the number of entries.

2014 Judges for the on-site competition: Darrell Scott, Charles Humphrey III, & Niall Toner.