Enter The Rocky Mountain Songwriting Contest 

    The 2024 Rocky Mountain Songwriting Contests is open for submissions.

    Why enter the  Rocky Mountain Songwriting Contest?

    • You’ll have opportunities to be recognized as a finalist and possibly the Grand Prize Winner of the Red Lodge Songwriting Contest Showcase, and invited back in 2025 as a paid Rising Star songwriter.
    • You’ll have the opportunity to get your songs heard and evaluated by Nashville music-industry professionals.
    • You’ll have the opportunity to advance your songwriting abilities.
    • You’ll have the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience at the Songwriting Contest Showcase.
    • Your song(s) will be posted on our Red Lodge Songwriter Festival website.
    • Two of last years showcase finalists were invited to play as Rising Stars at the 2024 festivals.

    1) PRIZES

    • The winner will receive an invitation to perform at the 9th Annual Red Lodge Songwriter Festival in 2025 as a paid Rising Star Songwriter.
    • The grand prize and 2nd place songwriter will have the opportunity open the show before the Nashville Hit Songwriters on Saturday, June 22, 2024.
    • 3rd, 4th and 5th place songwriters will play in the round with Daniel Neihoff, last years winner, on Saturday afternoon, June 22, 2024 before a live audience.


    • The contest is open to songwriters who are 18 years of age or older on the date of song submission.
    • For the purposes of the competition, a song must have both lyrics and music. All submitted songs must be original songs that have been written or co-written by the entrant(s).
    • For competition purposes, an unpublished song is defined as being recorded and self-released by the entrant(s) and/or not co-published by a commercially active music publisher.
    • Co-writers are subject to the same eligibility criteria.
    • Past grand prize winners of the Rocky Mountain Songwriting Contest are not eligible to enter the contest. All other previous entrants and finalists are eligible.
    • Artists from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter.


    The finalists will be selected from their mp3 audio submissions by a panel of judges. A total of twenty (20) finalists will be selected and invited to the Rocky Mountain Songwriter Festival Contest Showcase.  Each finalist will perform their chosen song to a panel of music industry judges.


    • The finals are held in Red Lodge Montana on Saturday, June 22, 2024 at the Historic Roman Theater in conjunction with the 8th Annual Red Lodge Songwriter Festival.
    • The top twenty (20) finalists songwriters will be notified by May 1, 2024
    • Twenty (20) finalists will be selected from advance online song entries, and invited to compete, network and perform at the showcase.
    •  From the showcase performance, judges will  select an overall winner and places two through five.
    • The grand prize and 2nd place songwriter will have the opportunity open the show before the Nashville Hit Songwriters on Saturday, June 22, 2024.
    • Places 3rd through 5th will play on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm before a live audience.

    5) JUDGING 

    Judges for our songwriting contest are music industry professionals. Our judges use a consistent set of standards which the judges use to make impartial decisions as to the merits of the song. We strive to make sure that the judging is fair and follows our mission of supporting and encouraging songwriters.


    • The song has a clear theme or cohesive idea
    • The song has clearly identifiable sections, verse, melody & chorus.
    • The song is between 2 to 5 minutes


    • The lyrics evoke an emotional response from the listener
    • The lyrics are singable and memorable
    • The lyrics have an identifiable rhyme scheme or pattern


    • The music and melody adds to the emotional impact of the song
    • The music keeps the listener interested and engaged
    • The music and lyrics fit together in a cohesive way


    • The song expresses the theme in a new or fresh way
    • The song is memorable
    • The song has commercial potential


    • Per Song:  $25
    • You can enter a maximum of two songs

    Contest Entries


    • Each entry must be an original, unpublished musical composition (“composition”) for which the contestant retains the copyright and authority to submit and perform the composition in the contest. Payment for each composition entered in the contest must be made at the time of submission. Rocky Mountain Songwriter Festivals Inc. is not responsible and disclaims any liability for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, postage due, stolen, or misappropriated entries or for any errors in online submissions, including, but not limited to unsuccessful file uploads. Materials submitted will not be returned and Red Lodge Songwriter Festival Inc. reserves the right to dispose of all submitted material in any manner.
    • All songs will be posted on our website
    • We will accept song submissions beginning October 1, 2023 and ending April 1st, 2024.


    • Songs must be submitted electronically in a mp3 file format with lyrics sheet in pdf format. Email songs and lyrics to [email protected]
    • Song must be paid for in advance sing our online payment portal.
    • Songs will be posted on our website once we’ve received payment. You can make your payment by clicking the button below.
    • Email any questions or requests for for information to: [email protected]


    • The top twenty (20) finalists songwriters will be notified by May 1, 2024
    • Selected finalists will be notified by email and each winner must provide the following items to be eligible to compete in the Rocky Mountain Songwriting Contest Showcase:

    Rocky Mountain Songwriter Festivals Inc. retains the exclusive right to use in perpetuity any media inclusive of ancillary rights created in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Songwriter Festival Inc. including but not limited to; live recordings, video, webisodes, and photographs. Participants grant Rocky Mountain Songwriter Festival Inc. the use of this archival material in perpetuity.


    • Entries must be original songs.
    • The song MUST be performed by the song contest entrant. Songs that have been recorded with more than one backing musician can be submitted — for example, sending in a cut from a CD with multiple players. But remember, should you advance and perform live, you will only be allowed one backing musician on stage. This accompanist may play an instrument(s) and/or sing backup.
    • Co-written songs may be submitted, but the person who enters the song must be the one who is the lead singer of the tune.
    • IMPORTANT POINT: Though co-writers will be acknowledged, only the performer of the song can qualify to win.
    • The writer(s) retains all rights to submitted songs.

    You may be asking why I should enter these types of contests. Simply, contests provide opportunities. For a small fee you gain access to thousands of potential fans, other music professionals and festival bookers. Their facebook pages, websites and live audiences provide you access to fans you may never reach otherwise. In the case of the Rocky Mountain Songwriter Festivals we invite the winner to come back and play as a paid songwriter at one of our festivals the following year, in addition, many of our paid Rising Star songwriters were first introduced to us through our songwriting contest.

    At any given festival 20-30 songwriters perform at paid shows and open mics. This is your opportunity to network and interact with other great songwriters. We hope you’ll experience our festival in the coming years.

    Songs must be submitted electronically in a mp3 file format with lyrics sheet in pdf format. Email songs and lyrics to [email protected]

    We can’t wait to hear your song(s)!!!

    Contest Entries

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