Songwriters Competition

Presented by the Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival

The finalists for the 2017 Podunk Songwriters Competition have been announced.

This year’s finalists are Kevin T. Hale from Brentwood, TN with two songs, “Angels from Apple’achia” and “Are there hillbilly bands in heaven” and Mike Swartzentruber from Centerburg, OH with “My child welcome home.” Podunk received entries from 8 different states this year ranging from locally in Connecticut and the Northeast to Kentucky. These two finalists will be performing at Podunk on Saturday, August 12th, on the main stage at 5:45 pm.

Podunk’s competition goes through a two stage judging, first with a panel of professionals to determine the top five songs. They are then sent to three different judges for a blind listening and judging based on seven categories to determine the top three who will receive a chance to perform and receive cash prizes.

The festival has tied the Songwriters Competition in with its annual Band Competition sponsored by Telefunken Elektroakustik by requiring the bands competing to perform the previous year’s winning song as part of their judged set. Last year’s songwriter winning song by David McKeon will be presented on Thursday, August 10th which is always fun to hear how bands interpret the song to their style.

2018 Entries must be postmarked by May 1, 2018

To enter, submit the forms linked below along with $20.00 entry fee per song. If you are sending more than one entry, you may mail the materials together in a single package. You may also write just one check to cover multiple entry fees.

Podunk Bluegrass Songwriting Contest Rules, Entry Form and Release Form (PDF) HERE

Contest Deadline: Contestants must enter by May 1, 2017


  • First Prize $200, a Premium Ticket for 2 to the 2017 Podunk Bluegrass Festival, and a festival T-shirt. (Total value $300)
  • Second Prize $100 and a pair of Three Day General Admission tickets to the 2017 Podunk Bluegrass Festival (Total value$180)
  • Third Prize $50 and a pair of General Admission Tickets good for any day of the festival to the 2017 Podunk Bluegrass Festival (Total value $130)

2016 Winners – Click HERE