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Enter the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest

Music. Moments. Memories.

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Applications for the 2020 CASC will open on October 1, 2019

2019 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition Winners:


1st Place- Anya Hinkle (Asheville, N.C.) – “Ballad of Zona Abston”

2nd Place- James E. Woolsey (Petersburg, Ind.), David Foster (Petersburg, Ind.) – “Sugar Ridge Road”

3rd Place- Wyatt Espalin (Hiawassee, Ga.) – “Light Coming Through”


1st Place- Russ Parrish (Burnsville, Minn.), Topher King (Savage, Minn.) – “Washed By The Water”

2nd Place- Ashleigh Caudill (Nashville, Tenn.), Jon Weisberger (Cottontown, Tenn.) – “Walkin’ Into Gloryland”

3rd Place- Kevin T. Hale- (Brentwood, Tenn.) – “We All Die to Live Again”



1st Place- Alexa Rose (Asheville, N.C.) – “Medicine for Living”

2nd Place- Bryan Elijah Smith (Dayton, Va.) – “In Through the Dark”

3rd Place- Wright Gatewood (Chicago, Ill.) – “First”



1st Place- Andrew Millsaps (Ararat, N.C.) – “Ain’t No Genie (In a Bottle of Jack)

2nd Place- Hannah Kaminer  (Asheville, N.C.) – “Don’t Open Your Heart”

3rd Place- Shannon Wurst (Fayetteville, Ark.) – “Better Than Bourbon”

1st Place Winners Will Receive

  • Winning song performance on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest on Friday night
  • Perform a 12-13 minute set on the Cabin Stage on Saturday
  • $600 cash

2nd Place Winners Will Receive

  • $300 cash

More prizes to come…

3rd Place Winners Will Receive

  • $100 cash

More prizes to come…