An entry fee of $25 puts writers in the running for a $200 first prize, $100 second place award, or $50 for third. All winners also receive an award certificate, a festival T-shirt, a special songwriter’s ball cap, and free tickets to the 2024 festival.
Eligible are any songwriters who earn less than 50% of their total income from songwriting or publishing. Any winning songwriter who takes first place in two consecutive years is restricted from entering for the next three years, and then re-welcomed to take part.
Podunk’s contest is for bluegrass songs, though they admit that they take a loose interpretation of the term, saying that folk and Americana songs are also eligible.
Writers can enter by mail or online, and there is no limit on the number of songs one can submit. All entries must, however, be received by April 30 to be considered. Complete details, including rules and entry form, can be found online.
Myrna Riquier with Podunk shared a few details about how things run.
“Last season’s winners came from Idaho, Maine, New Mexico, and Connecticut. Guidelines and application forms are available at Podunk’s website where you’ll also find audio tracks of winners from the past ten years. The contest accepts entries in all acoustic genres.
The top three winners are announced in early June, and the recipients are invited to the festival in Goshen, CT the second weekend in August as a guest of Podunk. Monetary awards and some perks are also provided.
One special perk requires the participants of the Band Competition to learn and perform their own versions of the top song from the previous year. The writer is invited back by Podunk to hear those unique renditions. If the writer cannot attend the festival, sounds tracks can be provided.”
The Band Competition that Myrna mentioned is also accepting entries. It runs a bit differently, with only four groups chosen to compete during the festival each year. Previous winners have included currently touring and recording artists Mile Twelve and Colebrook Road.
You can learn more about that contest online as well.