Music festival announces annual songwriting contest

Published 3:06 am Saturday, April 28, 2018

BIG STONE GAP, Va. — The 2018 “Gathering in the Gap” Music Festival, featuring Seldom Scene, offers area songwriters entry into its annual songwriting contest. A crowd favorite, the songwriting contest showcases outstanding, but under-recognized, performing songwriters who represent the spirit and traditions of Appalachian culture. Gathering in the Gap will be held at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap on May 26.

Song topics include songs relative to Americana and related topics and topical songs about historic or current events. Song genres should have roots in Appalachian culture, such as old-time, folk, bluegrass, country, gospel, blues, and rockabilly. A panel of professional songwriters, publishers and other music industry professionals will judge entries based on the following criteria: originality, lyrics, melody and relevance to criteria. Music production and performance quality of submittal are not considered.

From the original mailed cd entries, panelists will choose ten finalists. The ten finalists will compete on the main stage in the Gathering in the Gap’s songwriting contest. Each finalist will be given a free-access ticket to the festival, along with a festival t-shirt. The top three winners will receive cash prizes and plaques.

Email newsletter signup

The entry deadline is April 28 by 4 p.m. with an entry fee of $10 for the first song and $5 for a second song. Please send a cd copy of the submission with a check or money order payable to the Friends of the Southwest Virginia Museum, 106 West 1st Street North, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219 or drop off during business hours at the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap, VA. All entries must arrive by deadline, not by postmark.

For a complete set of competition rules, a schedule of events, or a downloadable registration form, please visit the festival website at and click on “Songwriting Contest.” For more information about the songwriting contest or festival events, please call the Museum at 276-523-1322 or visit the website mentioned above.