Podunk Songwriters – Official Rules & Guidelines


The Podunk Bluegrass Songwriting Contest (PBSC) 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. Writers who have won First place for three consecutive years in this contest are restricted from entering again for the next five years following their most recent win. Co-writers are subject to the same eligibility requirements as the named entrant.


Bluegrass is a style of acoustic music that originated in the 1940s when Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, and Earl Scruggs combined elements of country/western, gospel, and blues music with the British, Irish, and Scottish music of their Appalachian mountain heritage. It is played most commonly on the mandolin, fiddle, five-string banjo, six-string guitar, and upright bass, but the resonator guitar (“Dobro”), harmonica, and electric bass are also found in bluegrass. Percussion is not generally used, with the insistent rhythm being a result of the interplay of the stringed instruments. Bluegrass music is often called “that high lonesome sound” but it includes a wide range of lively instrumentals, sweet ballads in three-part harmony, soulful A Capella gospel quartets, and up-tempo love songs.


Send the following with each entry:
a) One completed entry form per song (photocopy acceptable).
b) Entries may be submitted on CD labeled with the song title and entrant’s name or electronically as an mp3 file. Note: M4A format is not acceptable. Multiple entries on a single CD are acceptable.
c) Release form signed by the submitter.
d) Typed or printed lyric sheet. Place the writer’s name(s) at the bottom of the lyric sheet to facilitate easy concealment from the judging panel.
e) Check or money order for $25.00 (U.S. currency) for each entry, payable to Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival. Do not send cash!  Payment may also be made online
Pay Entry Fee Online


The Podunk Bluegrass Songwriting Contest
C/O Myrna Riquier
123 Bedlam Road
Chaplin, CT 06235
or submit the song in MP3 format and the lyric sheet in .doc format by email to
bluegrassshowcase@gmail.com.  Entries must be received by April 30. Email entries will be confirmed to the sender. Entries received after the deadline will not be considered.

Electronic Submissions
Items to be attached to the email sent to bluegrassshowcase@gmail.com
a) Signed copies of the Contestant Entry form and the Release
b) Typed or printed lyric sheet.
c) Audio recording of the song in mp3 format only. M4A format is not acceptable.

Payment instructions
Send check or money order (see above) or
Pay Entry Fee Online


All entries must be the original work of the contestant. A contestant may enter as many songs as desired. Each song, however, constitutes a separate entry and must have its own entry form, lyric sheet, release, and recorded MP3 (not M4A) or CD submission. Check, money order, or online payment must reflect the total number of songs submitted All applicable U.S. copyright laws apply, and all rights to submitted material remain entirely with the copyright holder. PBSC acquires no rights to any works submitted. Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival is not responsible for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, insufficient postage, stolen, or misappropriated entries. Entry fees are non-refundable.


Entries will be judged by music industry professionals from the Podunk Bluegrass Festival music community. All entries will be judged on originality of lyrics, melody, and the song’s overall craft. Of major significance will be how closely the song meets the guidelines for bluegrass music. (See “Bluegrass Guidelines” above) Recording and performance quality do not affect judging. All decisions by judges are final and not subject to inquiry or appeal. Finalists will be determined and notified around the first week of July. Only finalists will be personally notified. The contest will not release judges’ scores nor provide personal evaluations.


Writers of the top three songs will be invited to perform on the Main Stage at the next Podunk festival in Goshen, CT. Transportation to and from the festival and any other expenses are the responsibility of the finalist. Co-writers will be treated as one writer for credentials and prizes.


The signature on the entry form constitutes that the song submitted is an original work and releases The Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival Songwriting Contest, its judges, sponsors, and The Podunk Bluegrass Music Festival from all liability. Entry also constitutes permission to use the winner’s name and likeness for future advertising and publicity without compensation. By entering, entrants agree that they have no right to bring, and covenant not to bring any claim, action, or proceeding of any kind or nature whatsoever against PBMF, or any other sponsoring organization or judge in connection with this competition.