- The Chris Austin Songwriting Contest is open to those whose primary source of income (50% or more) is not derived from songwriting or publishing. Income from performing gigs is not songwriting income. Be aware that some songwriters may play their music on tour or have their own album. All finalists will be asked to sign an official Acknowledgment of Eligibility. This also applies to co-writers.
- All entries must be the original work of contestant and shall not infringe on any copyright or any other rights of any third party. Contestant may enter as many songs as desired, but this does not necessarily increase the chances of winning.
- First place winners during the past year may not re-enter in the specific category in which they won or re-enter the winning song. Second and third place winners during the past year may not re-enter the same song. Co-writers are subject to the same eligibility requirements as the entrant.
- Each song submitted must have both instrumentation and lyrics. NO INSTRUMENTAL SONGS. Lyrics should also be written and recorded in English. Entries should be audio only with no video. There are four categories in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest: Bluegrass, Country, General, and Gospel/Inspirational. Judges will determine the musical parameters of each category and reserve the right to reassign a song to a more appropriate category if necessary.
- Artists scheduled to perform at MerleFest are not eligible to enter the CASC in the year they are performing.
Release and Permission
- The submission of an entry form constitutes each song submitted is an original work and releases the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest, sponsors, Wilkes Community College, and MerleFest from all liability. Entry also constitutes permission to use winner’s name and likeness for future advertising and publicity without compensation.
- Only entries submitted according to the rules will be considered. No deadline extensions. No exceptions. Media submitted with mail-in entries will not be returned.
Entry Fees - All entry fees are non-refundable
The 12 finalists will be determined and posted on the website during the first week of August. Only finalists will be personally notified. Net proceeds from the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest help support the WCC Chris Austin Memorial Scholarship.
BY SUBMITTING THIS ENTRY, I AGREE NOT TO HOLD WILKES COMMUNITY COLLEGE, WILKES COMMUNITY COLLEGE FOUNDATION, THEIR BOARDS AND/OR STAFF RESPONSIBLE FOR ACCIDENTS, LOSS, THEFT, OR CLAIMS RESULTING FROM MY PARTICIPATION. BY SUBMISSION OF THIS ENTRY, I ALSO GRANT PERMISSION FOR PUBLICATION OF ANY PHOTO OR VIDEO IN WHICH I MAY APPEAR.