Lyric Contest Terms and Conditions

Upcoming Lyric Contest Deadlines: 

March/April 2021 Contest – Deadline is January 15th at 11:59 P.M. (CST) – 1st place to be announced via livestream at American Songwriter’s Behind the Mic Live at the Gibson Garage (February 15) + all winners announced via e-mail and e-news (February 16)

May/June 2022 ContestDeadline is March 15th at 11:59 P.M. (CST) – 1st place to be announced via livestream at American Songwriter’s Behind the Mic Live at the Gibson Garage (May 15) + all winners announced via e-mail and e-news (May 16)

Official Rules:

1. 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 We no longer accept mail-in entries. Refunds WILL NOT be issued under any circumstances. 

2. Eligibility.  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.). Employees and independent contractors of American Songwriter and their immediate families, as well as the judges panel, employees of sponsors and their immediate families, are not eligible to enter.  In addition, immediate families of employees, contractors, sponsors, judges and the “Dream Co-Writer” cannot be a co-writer on a song submitted, or a producer on a recorded version of the song. If a song is found to be in violation, American Songwriter will refund the submission fee to the original entrant. By submitting, you are agreeing that you are an amateur as described above and that you are not employed by or affiliated with any of the contest sponsors and that you have not received a W-2 or 1099 from ForASong Media, LLC or Savage Media Holdings, LLC in the past two years. You represent and warrant that (a) all registration information you submit is truthful and accurate; (b) you will maintain the accuracy of such information; (c) you are 13 years of age or older; and (d) your entry to the Contest does not violate any applicable law or regulation. 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. Entry of the Contest is void where prohibited.  Contest winners are notified by email address or phone number.  If the chosen First Place winner does not respond to American Songwriter’s notifications within seven (7) days, American Songwriter reserves the right to contact the runner-up for the receipt of First Place. International winners must pay any and all customs fees for delivery of prizes.

3. Judging.  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.

4. Prizes. The winning lyric, along with three (3) additional runners-up and ten (10) 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 a TBD high-end guitar. 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 a to-be-determined hit songwriter.* 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. 

*If the songwriter chosen for the co-writing session has to cancel for reasons outside our control, American Songwriter will provide an equal caliber replacement.

5.  Content.  We do NOT claim ownership in the materials you submit in conjunction with the Contest. Such materials include written text, files, images, photos, video, songs, lyrics, poetry, sounds, musical works, works of authorship, remarks, suggestions, ideas, graphics, tags, hashtags, genres, splits, ownership splits, identifiable numbers, identifiable codes, songwriter name, personal identifiable information, copyright registration information, affiliated companies or individuals, rights holder, administrator, publisher, or any other materials (collectively, “Content”) that you display, upload, transfer, publish, or post to American Songwriter or Songspace, whether public or private.

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 further agree to indemnify and hold American Songwriter and all contest sponsors, their subsidiaries, and affiliates, and their respective officers, agents, partners and employees, harmless from any loss, liability, claim, or demand, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of any breach of your representations and warranties set forth above and/or if any part of the entry causes American Songwriter to be liable to another.

6.  Other Rules & Regulations.  By entering the contest through, you expressly agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy listed on the American Songwriter website, the contractual terms of which are incorporated herein by reference. To the extent that the terms of this Contest conflict with any other agreement, the terms of this Contest shall take priority. American Songwriter reserves the right to disqualify any entry that does not meet the rules herein outlined with no obligation to return any entry fee. We expressly disclaim any warranty and we cannot guarantee and do not promise any specific results. In no event shall we be liable to you or any third party for any indirect, consequential, exemplary, incidental, statutory, special or punitive damages, including lost profit damages arising from your entry into the Contest. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, our liability to you for any cause whatsoever and regardless of the form of the action, will at all times be limited to the amount paid, if any, by you.  By entering you also understand that your email address will be shared with contest sponsors.

7. Conflict Resolution: The parties shall attempt in good faith to resolve any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement promptly by negotiation between persons who have authority to settle the controversy. Any party may give the other party written notice of any dispute not resolved in the normal course of business. If not resolved, any dispute, claim or controversy (i.e., contractual, tort, and/or statutory) arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or validity thereof, including the determination of the scope or applicability of this agreement to arbitrate, shall be determined EXCLUSIVELY by arbitration in Nashville, Tennessee before one arbitrator. The arbitration shall be administered by either AAA or JAMS. This Agreement and the rights of the parties hereunder shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Tennessee, exclusive of conflict or choice of law rules.

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