MerleFest is accepting entries for the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest now through Feb. 1.

The contest is split into four categories: bluegrass, general, gospel and country. First through third place winners will be chosen in each category at MerleFest 2020, set for April 23-26.

The contest will be judged by a panel of Nashville music industry professionals, under the direction of volunteer contest chairperson, Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale.

Aspiring songwriters may submit at or by mailing entries to MerleFest/CASC, P.O. Box 120, Wilkesboro, NC, 28697. Entries received in October and November will receive an early entry discount price of $25 per entry; later submissions will require a $30 fee per entry. All lyrics must be written in English, and no instrumental entries will be accepted.

Finalists will be invited to the final round of the competition, on April 24, during MerleFest. First-place winners will receive $600 cash from MerleFest, a performance slot on MerleFest’s Cabin Stage on Friday night, and a 12-13 minute set on April 25.


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Lynn Felder

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