American Songwriter Presents its 2020 Lyric Contest

American Songwriter is hosting a lyric contest with the following deadlines:
September/October 2020 Contest – Deadline is July 15th at 11:59 P.M. (CST)
November/December 2020 Contest – Deadline is September 15th at 11:59 P.M. (CST)
January/February 2021 Contest – Deadline is November 15th at 11:59 P.M. (CST)

How to Enter

An entry fee of $15 payable to American Songwriter is required with each entry. By entering you agree that this entry fee is necessary to cover the processing and administration of the contest. You may enter as many entries as you like but each entry requires a $15 fee. Songs that have placed in the Top 4 Finalists positions in previous contests may not be entered again. Honorable Mention positions from previous contests can be entered again. You may enter online via americansongwriter.com. We no longer accept mail-in entries.


The Contest is open to any amateur songwriter or band. American Songwriter broadly defines an amateur songwriter or band as an individual or entity whose personal income is not primarily from music-related sources (i.e. songwriting royalties, artist royalties, merchandise sales, live performances, synchronization licenses, record label advances, etc.).  If you are under 18 years of age, however, you must have permission and clearance to enter the Contest from your parent or legal guardian.


This Contest is a talent and skilled-based business event. All entries are judged based on the quality of the lyrics and their suitability for musical composition. All entries will be first screened by one or more professional songwriters and/or employees of American Songwriter. The best lyrics among all entries will then be turned over to a group of industry professionals who will choose one first place winner and three other finalists. Winners will be notified via e-mail and results will be posted on the website. Entrants that did not place in the contest will not receive individual notification.


The winning lyric, along with three additional runners-up and ten honorable mentions from each contest, will be published in the issue of American Songwriter that follows the deadline of each contest. The winner of each contest will also receive a one-page Q&A feature in the print issue and online. This First Place winner receives an Ovation Exotic Wood Legend Guitar C2079AXP2-PB (List Price: $999.99) and a Sennheiser E935 microphone (List Price: 179.95). Each year, one of the bi-monthly First Place winners will be chosen as the Grand Prize winner. The Grand Prize winner will receive a round-trip domestic flight to Nashville from any city in the continental U.S. where they will take part in a “Dream Co-writing Session” with Dallas Davidson. The Grand Prize winner will also receive a full band demo recording session at Omni Sound Studios and a two-night stay at the historic Union Station Hotel on Broadway in downtown Nashville.

Other Rules & Regulations

By submitting any content through the Contest, whether public or private, you hereby grant to us a limited, non-exclusive license to use, stream, transmit, beam, store, publicly display, translate, reproduce, and distribute such Content, in any format, whether known or unknown, including the limited right to use your likeness, persona, logo, trademark, and right(s) of publicity ONLY for purposes of the Contest.

By entering the Contest, you represent and warrant that your entry is an original work and that the content does not violate the privacy rights, publicity rights, copyrights, trademarks, contract rights or any other rights of any person or business.

You also expressly agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy listed on the American Songwriter website.