Enter The November/December 2013 Lyric Contest


We are currently accepting entries for the November/December 2013 Lyric Contest.
Deadline is September 15 at Midnight.

Enter now for your chance to win a…

  • 2013 “Dream Co-Write” with hit songwriter and recording artist Lee Brice
  • Professional Demo Session (1 song) at Omni Sound Studios
  • Round-Trip Flight to Nashville (domestic only)
  • Gibson Hummingbird Guitar
  • Legendary Shure SM58 Microphone


Each of the four finalists have their lyrics printed in American Songwriter, and the bi-monthly winner will be profiled in a one-page Spotlight in the coinciding issue of American Songwriter. You can enter to win the November/December 2013 Lyric Contest (and become eligible for the Grand Prize) by clicking the button below:

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JUDGES: With industry veterans like Lee Dannay, VP of A&R at Warner-Chappell Music, the judging pool is stacked. Meet our panel of judges below.

Lee Dannay
VP A&R, Warner-Chappell Music
Lee Dannay has over 20 years experience in the music industry, including 15 years at Sony Music, as an A&R executive for both Epic and Columbia Records. At Sony, Lee signed, developed and worked with a variety of artists including John Mayer, Shawn Mullins, Five For Fighting, Anna Nalick, General Public and Train, and worked on numerous soundtracks, catalog compiliations and event records. Lee is currently VP of A&R for Warner/Chappell Music, working with both heritage and developing artists and writers. Her diverse and celebrated roster includes Gary
Louris of the Jayhawks, Brandi Carlile, Iron and Wine, Oscar winners Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova of The Swell Season and Claude Kelly.

Dave Barnes
Recording Artist, Grammy-nominated Hit Songwriter
Dave Barnes is a singer and hit songwriter who has toured the country extensively for more than ten years. Since graduating for Middle Tennessee State University in 2000, Barnes has released five LP’s, two EP’s and one Christmas album, amassing a sizable and loyal fanbase (not to mention Vince Gill, Amy Grant and John Mayer, who writes on his blog: “Go where this guy is taking you. My man’s aim is true!”). His career was elevated to a new level when county artist Blake Shelton took his song “God Gave Me You” to No. 1 in 2011 and garnered a Grammy nomination for Best Country Song. In addition to Shelton, Barnes’ songs have been recorded by Marc Broussard, Bebo Norman, Matt Wertz, Andrew Ripp, Billy Currington and others. Razor & Tie Entertainment released his latest album, Stories To Tell, in March 2012. In his downtime, Barnes enjoys listening to Steely Dan, Toto, The Clash and Phil Collins’ melodies via Invisible Touch-era Genesis.

Tom DeSavia
Head of Creative Services, Songs Music Publishing
Prior to joining Songs, DeSavia was a partner/VP of Creative for the Los Angeles-based independent publishing company Notable Music. He came to Notable from a long career at ASCAP, where he served as SVP of Membership, heading up the PRO’s pop/rock staff, managing offices in LA, NYC and Chicago. Earlier in his career, DeSavia spent six years in the A&R department at Elektra Entertainment where he both signed and developed talent and worked on projects with many iconic artists on the label’s historic roster. DeSavia began his career as a music journalist for the trade magazine Cash Box, where he served as West Coast Editor. He currently serves on the west coast board of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, previously he served on the board of directors for both the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame and The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).

Caine O’Rear
Editor-In-Chief, American Songwriter magazine
Caine O’Rear has written about music and the music business for nine years. He has served as editor-in-chief of American Songwriter since 2010. During his time at American Songwriter he has read tens of thousands of lyrics as a judge for the lyric contest. He believes the lyric contest encapsulates everything that is great about the American Dream.

Carter Little
Music Supervisor, 35Sound / Songwriter, Composer
Carter Little is a music supervisor and producer for 35Sound based in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. His recent screen credits include PBS’s documentary series Circus (2010) and Half the Sky (2012), Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary Celebration (2011), General Motors’ Chevy100 (2011) and HBO’s Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present (2012 winner of the Berlin Film Festival). Together with his partner, G. Marq Roswell, Little most recently served as music supervisor on the forthcoming Universal Pictures & Quentin Tarantino Presents Man With the Iron Fists (2012), and is a producer on the soundtrack album which features the music of Kanye West, The Black Keys, Wiz Khalifa, Wu-Tang Clan and Mable John. He is a co-author of the encyclopedic My Country Roots (2007), a comprehensive compendium of 100 years of country music songwriting, which he wrote with Alice Randall and Courtney Little. Little chased the songwriting muse from New York City to Music City in 1999 and lived his first musical life as a writer and performer, both as a solo artist and as a member of critically-acclaimed alt-country faves, Saddlesong. In the rare down times from life now as a music supervisor and father, Little looks for any opportunity to do what he loves most: weaving inspiration, lyric and melody into a song.

Tim Hunze
Owner/Partner, Parallel Music
Upon graduation from Middle Tennessee State University and armed with a degree in Recording Industry Management, Tim started his own record label, Rhythm and Grooves Records. The label had strong initial success with a hit video on BET and a charted single on Billboard. Ultimately, Hunze sold his interest in the company. In 1993 he took at job as archive manger at Great Cumberland Music Group (later renamed to Hamstein Music). After a year as archive manager, Tim garnered his first cut with Giant Records artist, Clay Walker. This cut turned into his first single, which peaked at No. 14 on Billboard. Hunze was promoted to creative director in 1995 and procured cuts with artist such as Tim McGraw, George Strait, Diamond Rio, John Michael Montgomery, Rascal Flatts and Kenny Chesney. In 2000, Hamstein sold to Mosaic Music Group and then to Stage Three Music Group in 2005. Tim was appointed to General Manger, and under his tenure, Stage Three had more than 15 No. 1’s. In July 2010 Stage Three Music was sold to BMG Rights Management and in July 2011, Hunze started Parallel Music Publishing, a partnership with JP Williams and CT Wyatt of Parallel Entertainment. He currently has Thom McHugh, Brian Maher, Blake Bollinger and Blake Chaffin on his writing staff.

Sue Drew
VP Membership, Pop/Rock, ASCAP
Sue Drew is the Vice President, Membership, Pop/Rock for ASCAP. Prior to joining ASCAP, she was an A&R person for nearly 20 years, having signed such artists as Phish, They Might Be Giants and Michelle Shocked. She has A&R’d records for Barenaked Ladies, Bette Midler, Shelby Lynne, Dave Koz, Peter Wolf and Taylor Dayne among others. She has been VP of A&R for Elektra, Chrysalis/EMI and Reprise. She also worked as an independent A&R consultant for various labels and artists.

Jocelyn Harms
Manager Special Projects, SESAC
With the company since 2006, Jocelyn Harms is responsible for facilitating all aspects of SESAC’s special events including awards events, music conferences and songwriter festivals. Harms is also involved in the planning and implementation of all of SESAC’s social media efforts as well as assisting in the website content management for the SESAC website. Harms is based in Nashville and is a member of the CMA, Americana Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. Prior to joining SESAC, Harms held positions at Lotos Nile Media and Dualtone Records and has worked with such artists as Charlie Robison, Cowboy Jack Clement, Hayes Carll and Walt Wilkins.

Bradley Collins
Senior Director Writer/Publisher Relations, BMI
Bradley Collins was promoted in 2012 to BMI’s Senior Director Writer/Publisher Relations. His first music job was in the creative department of legendary Acuff-Rose, which later sold to Sony/ATV in 2003. Collins has been with BMI for a little over a decade working with writers and publishers. He’s always attending showcases, on the lookout for new songwriters and new ways to help them with their careers. Some of his favorite songwriters include Jamey Johnson, Scotty Emerick, Brandon Flowers (of The Killers) and Casey Beathard. He’s a newlywed who enjoys making iTunes playlists, after many glorious years of making Maxcell mixtapes.


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