Music. Moments. Memories.

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

April 26-29, 2018

Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest runs from October 1, 2017 – February 1, 2018. All entries are $30 per song. 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. 

2017 MerleFest’s Chris Austin Songwriting Contest 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners:

Bluegrass

1st: Linda Jean Stokley (Versailles, Ky.) – “Cigarette Trees”

2nd: Mike Bentley (Virgie, Ky.) – “Waiting at the Harbor”

3rd: Matthew Hurd (Rogersville, Tenn.) – “Life Underground”

Gospel/Inspirational

1st: Paul Kelly (Santa Fe, N.M.), Buddy Guido (Mohawk, N.Y.), and Willie Schoellkopf (Buffalo, N.Y.) “Trap Door (In the Ceiling)”

2nd: Ian Meadows (Chester, Ct.) – “Faithless Preacher”

3rd: Kevin Hale (Brentwood, Tenn.) – “I’m Finally Going Home”

Country

1st: Mary Bragg (Nashville, Tenn.), Liz Poston (Nashville, Tenn.) – “Lucky Strike”

2nd: Carly Burruss (Cumming, Ga.) – “Communion Wine”

3rd: Erin James (Nashville, Tenn.) – “Wilted Flower”

General

1st: Catherine Backus (Bedford, Va.) – “Tomatoes”

2nd: Alexa Rose (Boone, N.C.)– “Borrow your Heart”

3rd: Shay Martin Lovette (Boone, N.C.), Locke Griffith (Carrboro, N.C.) – “Bermuda Run”

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Enter Now!

All entries are $30 per song.
Contest closes on Thursday, February 1, 2018 at midnight. Winners will be announced in early Spring 2018.

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