2018 Song Competition Rules & Regulations

  1. Each song submitted must have both instrumentation and lyrics. NO INSTRUMENTAL ONLY SONGS.
  2. The competition is open to all songwriters earning 50% or less of their annual income from songwriting. Professional songwriters who write everyday for a living earning 51%  or more of their annual income from songwriting are not eligible to enter.
  3. Income from performing gigs is not considered songwriting income. Songwriters may play their music on tour or sale their own CD/Albums. The primary source of income requirement is income a person has been paid for written lyrics.
  4. If entrant is under 18 years old, the signature of a parent or guardian is required.  Parent or guardian is to send a note to smswf@yahoo.com giving permission for your minor to enter the 2018 SMSWF Song Competition along with minor’s name, your name and contact info.
  5. Each song submitted must be entrant’s original work. Entry constitutes entered song is an original and releases the SMSWF Songwriters Competition, Sponsors, and The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Inc. and any of its representatives and sponsors from any and all liability regarding royalty obligations and distribution of prizes among the respective co-writers.
  6. All entries shall not infringe on any copyright or any other rights of any third party. Entrant may not enter any song that is owned, wholly or partly, by a publishing company.
  7. Songs may have multiple co-writers, but only the submitting writer should be designated on the application as the Entrant. It is the Entrant’s responsibility to split all winnings with Entrant’s co-writers. It is the Entrant’s responsibility to recognize any co-writers of the winning songs.
  8. Song is not to be longer than 4 minutes in length. If song exceeds the 4 minute limit, it will be disqualified. It is the Entrant’s responsibility to submit only songs less than 4 minutes. Remember entry fees are non-refundable.
  9. Entrant acknowledges and agrees to perform or have song performed in the SMSWF Song Competition Finale and Awards Event at the Gatlinburg, TN during The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival Aug. 13-22, 2018 should the entry win placement in its respective category. Entrant must be present even if he/she is not performing the song. If Entrant is not able to attend they forfeit there spot in the Finale and it moves to the next highest score.  (Only one instrument and one vocalist involved in the performance of the song.)
  10. There is no performance for Lyrics Only entries.  The winner in the Lyrics Only Category  will be announced and recognized at the 2018 SMSWF Song Competition Finale and Awards Show during the 2018 Smoky Mountain Songwriters Festival.  A song entered in Lyrics Only can also be entered in a genre category.  Lyric Only Entrants do not have to be present to win.
  11. Entrants may submit as many songs as he/she wishes. Each entry requires a MP3 file and lyric sheets without your name or contact information on it anywhere. Only the Title of the song is to be on the lyrics’ sheet .  If you submit lyrics with your contact information on them your song will be disqualified.  It is the Entrant’s responsibility to ensure that the submitted song(s) are complete and playable.  SMSWF is not responsible for faulty files on a MP3.  SMSWF is not responsible for late, lost, damaged, misdirected, postage due, stolen, incomplete, or misappropriated entries.
  12. Winners in the Category Divisions will be notified by e-mail and/or phone. Finale winners will be chosen by a judging committee comprised of music industry professionals, including but not limited to noted songwriters, producers, publishers, radio and label personnel. Preliminary Judges will also include educators in the music and songwriting field that know and teach songwriting.   Genre Category songs will be judged based on melody, structure, originality and lyrics. Lyrics Only Category will be judged on structure, originality and lyrics.  Division of prizes where co-writers are involved is the responsibility of Entrant submitting the song. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply.
  13. The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival will post all results on its website and will notify entrants by e-mail that results are posted. Entrant is responsible for providing up-to-date and correct email addresses and phone number to SMSWF.   SMSWF is not responsible for entrant’s non-receipt of any SMSWF emails for any reason, including but not limited to, server or email malfunctions. If you want the song competition results mailed to you, you need to send SMSWF a stamped self address envelope.  SMSWF, PO Box 753, Gatlinburg, TN 37738.
  14. SMSWF reserves the right to extend the deadline. Judges have the right to create another category and move songs to it. Said new category has to be agreed upon by the SMSWF.
  15.  All decisions of the judges and audience are final.
  16.  Entry constitutes permission to the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival to use winner’s names, likenesses, recordings and voices for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation. Entrant holds rights to the song.
  17. All recordings, photographs, and videos taken by festival staff or representatives of SMSWF are reserved and shall become the property of SMSWF which can and will be used to promote SMSWF.   SMSWF in no way holds ownership to your songs, but SMSWF can use such material to promote the SMSWF.
  18. If you make it to the 2018 SMSWF Song Competition Finale and Awards Show your song might be recorded on a CD for SMSWF to sell to raise monies to grow the SMSWF provided we can work out all the legalities and royalty payments with the songwriter(s).
  19. You can enter as many songs as you would like but you can not enter the same song in more than one genre category.   Any song can be entered into the Lyrics Only Category even if it is also entered into a genre category.


Click here to return to competition information page .

 For more information contact info@smswf.com or 865-604-9066