Music. Moments. Memories.

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

April 26-29, 2018

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

Thank you to all who entered! 

The 2018 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Finalist are:


Frank D. Ray (Hillsboro, Mo.) – “False Hearted Love”

James Woolsey (Petersburg, Ind.) – “Lights of Home”

Vickie Austin (Fall Branch, Tenn.) – “Can’t Hold on to Much”


Andy Owens (Boone, N.C.) – “The Truth of Love”

Beth Lee (Black Mountain, N.C.) – “Sacred Song”

Bob Hight (Greensboro, N.C.) – “Heaven will be Mine”


Amanda Fields (Nashville, Tenn.), Tom Buller (Nashville, Tenn.) – “Whiskey Ain’t Got Nothing on You”

Cliff Westfall (Highland Park, N.J.) – “More and More”

Marie Bradshaw (Centerville, Utah.), Daniel Young (North Salt Lake, Utah.), Kiki Jane Sieger (North Salt Lake, Utah.) – “These Walls (May Never Come Down)”


Bryan Elijah Smith (Dayton, Va,)– “Nothing Left”

Zander Michigan (Clawson, Mich.) – “Born Again”

Cliff Ritchey (Markleville, Ind.) – “Honey Baby”

MerleFest offers songwriters the opportunity to have their original songs heard by a panel of professional songwriters and others from the Nashville music industry by participating in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest. Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest help support the WCC Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship. Since its inception, the Chris Austin Scholarship has helped 84 students and awarded over $34,600. This year’s onsite judges include Rodney Crowell, Andrew Marlin (of Mandolin Orange), and previous winner Johnny Williams (of Jeanette Williams Band). Jim Lauderdale will host the contest.