Music. Moments. Memories.

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

April 25-28, 2019

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

Enter today! Early bird discount ($25 per entry) applies to all entries from now until November 30. Contest runs until February 1, 2019. 

The 2018 Chris Austin Songwriting Contest Winners are:


  1. Vickie Austin (Fall Branch, Tenn.) – “Can’t Hold on to Much”
  2. James Woolsey (Petersburg, Ind.) – “Lights of Home”
  3. Frank D. Ray (Hillsboro, Mo.) – “False Hearted Love”


  1. Beth Lee (Black Mountain, N.C.) – “Sacred Song”
  2. Bob Hight (Greensboro, N.C.) – “Heaven will be Mine”
  3. Andy Owens (Boone, N.C.) – “The Truth of Love”


  1. Amanda Fields (Nashville, Tenn.), Tom Buller (Nashville, Tenn.) – “Whiskey Ain’t Got Nothing on You”
  2. Marie Bradshaw (Centerville, Utah.), Daniel Young (North Salt Lake, Utah.), Kiki Jane Sieger (North Salt Lake, Utah.) – “These Walls (May Never Come Down)”
  3. Cliff Westfall (Highland Park, N.J.) – “More and More”


  1. Cliff Ritchey (Markleville, Ind.) – “Honey Baby”
  2. Bryan Elijah Smith (Dayton, Va,)– “Nothing Left”
  3. Zander Michigan (Clawson, Mich.) – “Born Again”

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. Jim Lauderdale will host the contest.