The Great American Song Contest

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Contest FAQs:

What makes the Great American Song Contest better than other contests?
The Great American Song Contest is designed to offer songwriters a positive alternative to the "big-cash-prize" corporate contests.

The Great American Song Contest emphasizes networking and educational benefits, multiple awards and practical prizes for songwriters.

The Great American Song Contest guarantees that EVERYONE who participates will receive a written evaluation of their work from an experienced music-industry professional.

Don't all song contests do this?
Frankly, no. Some of the large corporate contests process 20,000 to 30,000 entries each year, using low-level "screeners," often people with no established credentials. Instead of a respectful and attentive review, songs often receive nothing more than a quick listen, only to end up rejected before they are thoroughly reviewed.

Because these types of contests don't provide contestants with written evaluations, there's no verifiable accountability in their judging process. Songwriters receive little if any feedback — or even a clear indication that their songs were properly listened to.

Also, in some contests a "commercial" song may have an unfair advantage over a creative "artistic" song. Arbitrary limits are often imposed on song length. Some contests require songs to be less than 4 or 5 minutes.

How is the Great American Song Contest different?
The Great American Song Contest is based on entirely different values than those of the large corporate contests. High entry fees and ruthless competition, we believe, are NOT helpful to songwriters, or to the art of songwriting.

That's why the Great American Song Contest is designed to ensure that ALL PARTICIPANTS get a fair and thorough review from knowledgeable music-industry pros. That's why we offer multiple awards and practical prizes to help songwriters open doors in the music business.

In all phases of our song contest, we value quality over quantity. Unlike other song contests, the Great American Song Contest provides specific information on how your songs are evaluated, who the contest judges are and how the whole process works.

For example, EVERYONE who enters our contest can expect the following:

  • Multiple awards & prizes in all categories. (More winners, more awards, more prizes!)
  • ALL entries receive a complete review from music-industry pros;
  • ALL entries receive at least one written evaluation from contest judges;
  • ALL contest participants are notified upon receipt of their entries;
  • Affordable entry fees

Wow! So what do the winners get?
Lots of good stuff. (See Prizes & Benefits ) In addition to prizes and awards, winning a songwriting contest can have an important positive impact on a songwriter's self-confidence.

While most contests reward only a few winners, the Great American Song Contest rewards many winners. And let's face it, publishers, producers and the music media are impressed by awards. That's why award-winning songwriters usually have a better chance of being taken seriously when they shop their songs!

Aren't some song contests more about performance and production than songwriting?
Unfortunately, that's sometimes true. But it's not true with the Great American Song Contest. Judges are instructed to evaluate songs NOT on the quality of the recording, but on the universal hallmarks of creative songwriting excellence — effective lyrics, memorable melody & skillful use of songwriting techniques.

Lyric Writing entries are judged using the same lyrical criteria. Judges additionally consider how successfully the lyrics can be adapted to music. (more Lyrics Only info)

Are amateur songwriters expected to compete with established professionals in the Great American Song Contest?
No. Our event is open to amateur and semi-pro songwriters only — not professionals who make over 5,000 in publishing royalties (see Rules & Entry). Other competitions often pick winners who have successful careers and lucrative publishing contracts.

What if I have a song that doesn't seem to fit a specific category?
Just choose whatever category seems closest. An outstanding song will not be passed over simply because it doesn't seem to fit a particular category. And remember, the same song can be entered in more than one category.

What if a judge really likes my song and wants to contact me personally?
Judges who are publishers, producers or recording artists are always looking for great songs and lyrics. If they hear material they're interested in, they can request the songwriter's name. When the contest is over, we will contact the writer for permission to pass along his/her telephone number to the interested parties.

Can songwriters outside the U.S. participate?
Absolutely. Songwriters around the world are invited to participate in our annual songwriting competition. If you live outside the U.S. and Canada, please enter through the International Entries link.

Will my song be judged on the quality of my demo?
The Great American Song Contest is all about the songwriting. GASC Judges focus on the actual song — the lyrics and melody — NOT the production, performance or quality of the recording.

Last year one of my songs was a Finalist. Can I enter the same song again?
Yes. Songs that have not already won in a major category — Grand Prize or First Place Outstanding Achievement in Songwriting award — are welcome to enter again.

How about copyright protection on songs I enter?
All songs and lyrics are considered to be copyright-protected and ALL WRITERS RETAIN ALL RIGHTS TO THEIR WORK. (For more information on copyrights, click here: A Practical View of Copyrights.)

How long has the Great American Song Contest been around?
The first Great American Song Contest was held in 1999. Since then the annual songwriting event has established a reputation of integrity with songwriters, lyricists and composers worldwide.

Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. There are several easy three options to enter by mail or online. For details, please see Rules & Entry

Does it make any difference if I submit songs using regular mail or priority mail?
No, all that matters is that your entries are mailed on or before our annual postmark deadline. There's no need to pay extra for premium mail delivery.


For guidelines on how to submit your songs,
please see: RULES & ENTRY


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