Annual Song Contest Terms and Conditions

Last Updated March, 2024

How To Enter

An entry fee of $25 payable digitally to American Songwriter is required with each song 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 songs as you’d like into any available category. Each entry requires a $25 fee. All songs entered must be original compositions with all song authors credited. Only valid streaming URL links will be accepted (e.g., YouTube, Soundcloud, Spotify). Please double-check URL links before entering. American Songwriter is not responsible for issuing refunds based on broken, private or otherwise invalid links. We are not accepting MP3 files. You may enter a variety of recording styles, including demos, worktapes and finished masters. We require the song to be clearly audible in the recording. This is a song contest, based on the musical elements present in the composition, not a singing contest. Songs will be evaluated based on lyrics, melody, likability, overall composition, and various other musical considerations. Songs WILL NOT be evaluated on recording quality, vocal prowess, or other similar values. We simply require that the recording clearly presents the song in its fullest light. You may enter online only via Refunds WILL NOT be issued under any circumstances. No feedback will be provided on the songs entered into the contest.


The Contest is open to any songwriter, artist, musician, and/or band from anywhere in the world. The following parties are not eligible: (i) Employees, independent contractors, and/or affiliates of American Songwriter, or any of their immediate family members, (ii) contributors to the Contest (including judges and other contributors as we may determine on a case-by-case basis) and (iii) employees of Sponsors. By submitting, you are representing that you (and all associated co-writers on your submission) are not employed by or affiliated with American Songwriter, or any of its affiliates, you are not a contributor in any way to the Contest, and you are not employed by or affiliated with any of the contest sponsors and you have not been at any time during the previous 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; and (c) 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. All contest winners are notified by email address or phone number. If the chosen winners do not respond to American Songwriter’s notifications within seven (7) days, American Songwriter reserves the right to contact runner-ups for the receipt of the prizes. International winners must pay any and all customs fees for delivery of prizes.

Judging Process & Winners Announcements

This Contest is a talent and skill-based business event. All entries are judged based on the merit of the overall songs (lyric & melody). All entries will be first screened by multiple professional songwriters contracted by American Songwriter, in conjunction with employees of American Songwriter. All contest entrants shall stay informed of the selection process via site updates and via the daily e-newsletter, The Daily Co-Write. Finalists will be selected from all songs entered and will be turned over to a group of top music industry professionals and accomplished songwriting peers who then narrow the finalists down to the Winners. The Winners will be notified via email and/or phone and all results will be posted on and announced via The Daily Co-Write. If the chosen winners do not respond to American Songwriter’s notifications within seven (7) days, American Songwriter reserves the right to contact runner-ups for the receipt of prizes. International winners must pay any and all customs fees for delivery of prizes. Entrants who are not official Winners will not receive individual notifications but will be notified via e-newsletter.


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, 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, contest judges and screeners, 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.

By making an entry into the Contest, the entrant acknowledges and agrees that American Songwriter may obtain many entries under this Contest and that such entries may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to others submitted under this Contest and/or created or developed by American Songwriter on its own or by those working on American Songwriter’s behalf, and/or other promotions staged and/or led by American Songwriter, and waive any and all claims entrant may have had, may have, and/or may have in the future, that any similar entry, and/or other works accepted, reviewed and/or used by American Songwriter (or its designees) may be similar to entrant’s entry. Entrant acknowledges and agrees that American Songwriter does not have now, nor shall it have in the future, any duty or liability, direct or indirect, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, with respect to the infringement or protection of any copyright in and to entrant’s entry.

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.

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. Void where prohibited.

Prize Deliveries

Prize delivery of all prizes will be coordinated via email. Video consultation calls with selected mentors will take place in 2024. If any prize is not fulfilled within 180 days of the official winner announcement, it is the responsibility of the winner to notify American Songwriter in writing. If the winner fails to notify American Songwriter of any outstanding prizes within 180 days, American Songwriter can no longer guarantee prize fulfillment.


The 2024 Song Contest deadline is December 9, 2024, at 11:59:59 (CST)

American Songwriter reserves the right to extend the deadline at any point in the contest. 

Category Descriptions

Each category you select counts as a separate entry.

Americana music is a genre that encompasses various styles of American roots music. It draws influence from folk, country, blues, rock, and other traditional American genres. Americana music often features acoustic instruments, heartfelt lyrics, and a focus on storytelling. Brandi Carlile, The Avett Brothers, Margo Price, Ruston Kelly, Brett Dennen, Griffin William Sherry

Blues music typically features a 12-bar or 8-bar musical structure and expresses deep emotions through its soulful vocals, expressive instrumentation (such as guitar and harmonica), and lyrical themes of hardship, sorrow, and resilience. It’s known for its distinct chord progressions, call-and-response patterns, and its influence on various genres including rock, jazz, R&B, and soul. B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram

Children’s Music
Children’s music is specifically tailored to entertain and educate young audiences, often featuring catchy melodies, simple lyrics, and playful themes designed to engage and stimulate young minds. The Wiggles, Imagination Movers

Christian music refers to music that is created and performed with a focus on Christian faith and themes. It encompasses a wide range of musical styles and genres and often incorporates lyrics that reflect praise, worship, devotion, and messages of faith, drawing inspiration from biblical teachings and Christian beliefs. Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Chris Tomlin, CeCe Winans, Natalie Grant

Country Music is characterized by its storytelling lyrics, often centered around themes of love, heartbreak, rural life, and working-class struggles. It typically features acoustic and electric guitars, fiddles, steel guitars, and banjos as prominent instruments. Dolly Parton, George Strait, Luke Combs, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Jelly Roll

EDM (Electronic Dance Music)
EDM is a genre of music characterized by its use of electronic technology to create rhythmic and danceable soundscapes. It incorporates a wide range of styles, from house and techno to dubstep and trance, and is known for its pulsating beats, synthesized melodies, and energetic atmosphere that captivates audiences in clubs and festivals worldwide.
Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, Zedd, Diplo, ODESZA

Folk/Singer-Songwriter music is typically characterized by the use of acoustic guitars, simple melodies, and heartfelt vocals. The focus is on the songwriting itself, with an emphasis on poetic and thoughtful lyrics. Artists in this genre often accompany themselves on guitar or piano, creating an intimate and stripped-down sound. Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, The Lumineers, Mumford & Sons, Madison Cunningham, Tiny Habits

Hip-hop/rap music is characterized by rhythmic beats, spoken rhymes, and expressive lyrical flow. The beats are created using drum machines, samples, and electronic instruments. Rapping involves delivering rhythmic and rhyming verses, often with intricate wordplay and storytelling. Kendrick Lamar, Future, 50 Cent, Eminem, LL Cool J, Missy Elliott, J. Cole, Landon Cube

Indie music is characterized by its emphasis on artistic freedom, experimentation, and a DIY (do-it-yourself) approach. Indie music often encompasses a wide range of styles and genres, including indie rock, indie pop, folk, alternative, and more. Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, Foster The People, Florence + the Machine, Phoebe Bridgers, The Band CAMINO, Samia

Instrumental music is a genre characterized by the absence of vocal elements, relying solely on musical instruments to convey artistic expression and emotion. Whether it’s classical compositions, jazz improvisations, or contemporary electronic instrumentals, this genre showcases the power of melody, harmony, and rhythm without the need for verbal communication.

Jazz music is characterized by its spontaneous and improvisational nature, often featuring intricate melodies, complex harmonies, and rhythmic syncopation. It encompasses a wide spectrum of sounds, from the soulful and smooth tones of a saxophone in a ballad to the lively and unpredictable rhythms of a swinging big band.
Ezra Collective, Nubya Garcia, Alfa Mist, Samara Joy

Latin Music
Latin music is a diverse and vibrant genre that encompasses a wide range of styles originating from Latin American countries and the Iberian Peninsula. It features rhythmic richness, lively instrumentation, and a fusion of influences, including but not limited to salsa, bachata, reggaeton, merengue, and traditional forms like flamenco.
Shakira, Bad Bunny, Gloria Estefan, Juanes

Pop music is a genre that is characterized by its mass appeal, catchy melodies, and accessibility. It typically emphasizes memorable hooks, polished production, and relatable lyrics. Pop music often incorporates elements from various genres, including dance, electronic, R&B, rock, and hip-hop, to create a commercially appealing sound. Dua Lipa, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Bruno Mars, Selena Gomez, Julia Michaels

R&B/Soul music is characterized by its smooth, emotive vocals, often showcasing impressive vocal ranges and nuanced expressions. The genre typically incorporates lush arrangements, prominent use of rhythm and blues progressions, and a strong connection to gospel and blues roots.
Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Daniel Caesar, Ella Mai

Rock music is a genre characterized by its energetic, amplified sound driven by electric guitars, bass, and drums. It draws inspiration from various musical styles, incorporating powerful guitar riffs, dynamic rhythms, and emotive vocals. Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, U2, Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Machine Gun Kelly, Mötley Crüe

Accepting all genres and styles of music by artists who are 18 years or younger as of December 31, 2024.

World Music
World music is a genre that encompasses a vast array of traditional and contemporary musical styles from cultures around the globe. It often integrates indigenous instruments, cultural influences, and diverse rhythms, creating a rich tapestry that reflects the musical expressions of various communities worldwide.