A! Magazine for the Arts

Gathering in the Gap Music Fesitval seeks entries for songwriting contest

February 26, 2024

The 2024 Gathering in the Gap Music Festival announces its Annual Songwriting Contest. As part of the annual event and always a crowd favorite, the songwriting contest showcases outstanding, but under-recognized, performing songwriters who represent the spirit and traditions of Appalachian culture.

Both traditional and newer styles of songs are encouraged, and song topics may fall into one or more of the following general areas: songs relative to Americana and related topics, topical songs about historic or current events. Songs should be in genres which have roots in Appalachian culture (old-time, bluegrass, folk, country, gospel, blues, Americana and rockabilly).

Entry is $10 for the first song and $5 for each subsequent song. Entry fees are non-refundable, and cash is not accepted. Check or money order must be made to the Friends of the Southwest Virginia Museum. Entry deadline is April 26, at 4 p.m. Submissions must be received by this date, not postmarked.

Submission Guidelines:

CD submissions can be mailed to the Friends of the Southwest Virginia Museum at 106 West 1st St North, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219 or dropped off at the park during regular business hours. The Gathering in the Gap Music Festival is not responsible for late, damaged, misdirected, or misappropriated entries, or insufficient postage.

Submissions can also be submitted via email to swvamuseum@dcr.virginia.gov. Electronic submissions must be submitted in MP3 format. No other formats will be accepted.

Each song submission must be accompanied by an entry form, which can be obtained by visiting gatheringinthegap.org or by emailing swvamuseum@dcr.virginia.gov.

Each song entry must contain the lyrics (typed and double-spaced).

A panel of professional songwriters, publishers and other music industry professionals will judge entries. Music production and performance quality of submittal are not considered. Panelists will choose 10 finalists who will compete on stage during the Gathering in the Gap Music Festival. Each finalist is given a ticket to the main stage event as well as a festival t-shirt. The top three winners will also receive cash prizes and plaques.

For a complete set of competition rules, a schedule of events, or a downloadable registration form, visit the festival website at www.gatheringinthegap.org or call the park at 276-523-1322.