The Songwriter Showcase is our nationally-recognized singer-songwriter competition, open to anyone who writes and performs original music, and who is not currently signed to a major recording or publishing deal. Contestants are judged on the quality of the song’s composition, vocal delivery, and the overall performance.
Past showcase finalists include Erica Wheeler, Don Conoscenti, Karen Pernick, Deb Talan, Dan Sheridan, Dee Carstensen, Mitch Barrett, Sarah Sample, Chuck E. Costa, Liz Longley, Megan Burtt, Caleb Hawley, Robby Hecht, Caroline Spence, Connor Garvey, Ben Shannon, Korby Lenker, Heather Mae, Kira Small and 2019 winner Alexa Wildish.
2023 Festival Main Stage Set,
Taylor 7 Series Acoustic Guitar, and $400
- In addition, all ten of the Showcase Finalists will receive a 3-day pass with on-site camping for the Folks Festival, as well as a spot in one of the Songwriter in-the-round sets in the Wildflower Pavilion on Saturday and Sunday of the Festival.
We do not allow co-writes in the Songwriter Showcase. Songwriting entries must be entirely written by the entering songwriter.
We encourage songwriters to submit new/different songs for the Telluride Troubadour and Folks Showcase contests each year. New songs will be given preference over songs which you have previously submitted to one of the Planet Bluegrass songwriting contests.
Contestants cannot be signed to a third-party label or publishing deal. This competition is meant for emerging and independent performing songwriters.
Finalists will play 2 original songs on the Festival main stage.
Recommended time limit is 5 minutes per song. Points will be deducted for significantly exceeding this limit.
Acoustic instruments with pickups are permitted as well as EQ devices but no effects.
Instruments allowed are those that can be carried out to the mics with the performer. A keyboard will be provided if necessary.
No backup musicians allowed. This is a solo competition.
To select the winners amongst the ten finalists, a panel of judges drawn from different facets of the music industry – songwriters, performers, DJs, producers – independently evaluate the performers’ songs based on our scoring criteria:
- 50% Quality of Composition (depth, insight, cleverness)
- 25% Quality of Vocal Rendering (vocal quality, pitch, tone)
- 25% Quality of Delivery (instrumental technique, induction of charismatic mania)
The winners will be announced from the main stage following the contest finals.