The Ultimate Guide to Songwriting Contests, Conferences, and Festivals for the Rest of 2016

By | August 20, 2016

The first few months of 2016 were filled with some fantastic opportunities for songwriters, but there’s plenty more happening between now and the end of the year that you still have time to be a part of. Check out these great upcoming festivals, conferences, contests, and more to take your songwriting career to the next level. And please leave a comment below with any opportunities for songwriters that we might have missed!

1. Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival

This songwriting festival is full of events tailored to the craft of songwriting, including performances, songwriting workshops, co-writing with hit writers, and much more. It’s a great opportunity for songwriters to get promotion and make connections.

When: August 24-28, 2016 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

2. International Songwriting Competition

With cash prizes and exposure on the line, this annual contest allows both aspiring and established songwriters to submit their songs to be judged by industry professionals.

Deadline: September 9, 2016 extended to December 8, 2016

3. Martha’s Vineyard Songwriting Festival

The 6th annual Martha’s Vineyard Songwriting Festival will provide songwriters with the opportunity to attend workshops, Q&A sessions with hit songwriters, performances, and much more. You can view the schedule here.

When: September 14-18, 2016 in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

4. Mid-Atlantic Song Contest

Now in its 33rd year and one of the longest-running songwriting contests in the US, the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest is an opportunity for talented songwriters to receive the recognition they deserve.

Deadline: September 15, 2016

5. Durango Songwriters Expo

The Durango Songwriters Expo is packed with showcases, open mics, workshops, concerts, and more. It’s been described as a very intimate event, so it’s a great opportunity for songwriters to network with industry professionals.

When: September 29-October 1, 2016 just outside of Boulder, Colorado

6. Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival

Like other events, the Pensacola Beach Songwriters Festival a wonderful way to make lasting music industry connections, but the white sands and beautiful location make this fest especially rewarding and fun.

When: September 29-October 2, 2016 in Pensacola Beach, Florida

7. Wild West Songwriters Festival

Held in historic Deadwood, the Wild West Songwriters Festival is a three-day gathering consisting of performances, panels, and parties.

When: October 13-15, 2016 in Deadwood, South Dakota

8. Dripping Springs Songwriters Festival

Taking place about a half-hour drive west of Austin, this intimate event is all about the songs. The festival features more than 20 Nashville-style, in-the-round shows per day.

When: October 14-16, 2016 in Dripping Springs, Texas

9. SongDoor International Songwriting Competition

SongDoor is a worldwide songwriting competition for songwriters ages 16 and up. Prizes include music publishing deals, songwriting education resources, song demos, and much more.

Deadline: November 15, 2016

10. Taxi Road Rally

This annual conference is free for Taxi members and attracts professionals from all facets of the music industry. It’s a must if you’re looking to get your songs critiqued, attend insightful workshops and panels, and make serious industry connections.

When: November 3-6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California

11. Great American Song Contest

The 18th annual Great American Song Contest has a mission to benefit every songwriter who participates. $10,000 in prizes are on the line, and all submissions receive a written evaluation from contest judges.

Deadline: November 17, 2016

12. John Lennon Songwriting Contest

This year, JLSC is offering its biggest prize package yet, worth over $300,000. Judges include George Clinton, the Black Eyed Peas, Prince Royce, and many more. All entry fees from the contest help support the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

Deadline: December 15, 2016


Ready to take your songwriting to the next level? Join SongwriterLink for free today to find your perfect co-writers.


Joe Capalbo is an intern for SongwriterLink.

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