Tennessee Songwriters Week supports music venues, supports songwriters with live performances in all genres of music, drives visitation and inspires travelers to experience the state’s music stories, history, attractions and venues.

Important Links

Important Dates:

  • Dec. 15, 2022 -Jan. 29, 2023 – Songwriters can start signing up for qualifying rounds across the state (songwriters cannot sign-up and perform at multiple qualifying rounds) For the latest list of qualifying round venues and how to sign up, check out https://www.tnvacation.com/songwriters-week. Songwriters will communicate with venues directly.
  • Jan. 29 – Feb. 11, 2023 – Songwriters perform at qualifying rounds across the state. Tennessee Tourism and the venues will reach out to collect information from songwriters, including contact information, bio, headshot, lyric sheet of song submission, equipment/tech/av needs and photo and video release form. Select songwriters who win at qualifying rounds will advance to showcase events.
  • Feb. 19-25, 2023 – Tennessee Songwriters Week Showcases in 7 cities across the state: Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis, Franklin Theatre in Franklin, The Palace Theatre in Gallatin, Songbirds Foundation in Chattanooga, The Bijou in Knoxville, Ole Red in Gatlinburg and The Down Home in Johnson City. (Tennessee Tourism and venue will contact songwriters regarding next steps re: which venue you will perform at, as well as timing of arrival, check-in info and sound check. Please note, if you win at the showcase event, you will need to fill out a W2 for prize info.
  • March 26, 2023 – Finale at The Bluebird Cafe

How Your Song Will be Judged:

  • Song Quality scored on a scale of 1-10:  Considering lyrical originality, lack of cliches and clarity of the narrative;
  • Performance score on a scale of 1-6: Considering instrumental sound (voice or musical instrument), ability of the audience to audibly understand the lyrics and the Entrants connection with the audience
  • Entrant must sing one (1) original song not to exceed five (5) minutes which Entrant owns/retains the rights to perform and either wrote or co-wrote. Entrant may sing acapella or have live accompaniment. Light percussion is allowed if there is no set-up time necessary. Entrant may bring up to two (2) performers to play an instrument. Back up tracks are not permitted.
  • The original song performed must not disparage any group of persons, religion, be considered inflammatory or inappropriate.

Prizing Info:

  • Each of the seven (7) prize winners will receive a two (2) night hotel stay located near The Bluebird Cafe for date(s) to be determined once Finale is confirmed. Winners will receive two (2) single show tickets to a Saturday, March ?, 2023 show at the Bluebird Cafe. Each of the seven (7) prize winners will also receive a membership to the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) which will include mentoring sessions, a workshop, and a $100.00 gift card.  Finally, each of the seven (7) prize winners will receive a branded commemorative guitar from Taylor Guitars.

Finale at Bluebird Cafe in March 2023

  • March 26, 2023
  • Finalists will be required to fill out W2 (following showcase from above)
  • Finalists may also be filmed or interviewed ahead of the finale that weekend for promotional material for Tennessee Songwriters Week
  • Finalists’ guest allotment will be determined by staff of The Bluebird Cafe

Next Steps after Tennessee Songwriters Week

  • Please take advantage of NSAI membership opportunities
  • Tennessee Tourism to reach out regarding networking opportunities with other songwriters
  • Tennessee Tourism to reach out regarding ambassador opportunities and potential opportunities to perform at other festivals and performances across the state
  • Tennessee Tourism to invite you to be special guests at Tennessee Songwriters Week 2024 showcase venues where each finalist won to perform one or two original songs