American Songwriter Judges Offer Insights Into Judging the 2022 November/December Lyric Contest Winners

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

In response to feedback from the American Songwriter Community, the esteemed contest judges were asked to share some insights into their winner selections. Read below for insights into how the panel of judges picked the winners for the September/October Lyric Contest.

1st Place: “Long Line of Cars By Mason Caviness

Read Lyrics HERE

Rhett Akins: “Emotional / Feel the pain”  

Judy Stakee: “I really appreciate a new perspective and to point out that , “It’s the long line of cars bringing you home” to measure your life with,  is very unique and clever. Very good storytelling.”

2nd Place: “Cut from the Same Cloth” By Greg Tardie

Read Lyrics HERE

Rhett Akins: “very descriptive & visual” 

Bonnie Baker: “​I really struggled putting this one in the top five. There are some really good lines: “tattered gloves hide weathered hands”. That helped me move it up. I do like how the title feels with the alliteration of the “Cut from the same Cloth.” Developing a more interesting story would help this lyric. Has some positive moments and then a lot of lines that could be better.”

3rd Place:  “The Painter” By Brandon Walker

Read Lyrics HERE

Rhett Akins: “Interesting way to tell the story”

Bonnie Baker: “Really like the concept that all of us are blank canvases and that we paint the story of our lives. The language is a bit “written” and needs to be more conversational (in my opinion). I like the future story of the child who will one day hold the paint brush to create their story with their family. Again, the concept is cool, just needs to be developed and relax the language.” 

4th Place: “Made to be Played” By Emily Carter and John Carter

Read Lyrics HERE

Bonnie Baker: “Really like the concept of personification of an inanimate object. This would have scored higher but the concept isn’t really developed. The journey of a songwriter is to learn when you have a good concept and make sure you have looked at it from all sides. The beginning concept is really cool.”


Since 1984, American Songwriter’s Lyric Contest has helped aspiring songwriters get noticed and have fun. Enter the 2023 Lyric Contest today before the deadline:

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