Songwriting competition

Applications open July 1

In 2024 ABOTMA is introducing a songwriting competition. The objective of the competition is to encourage artists to develop their own sound and story. 

A prize of $500 will be presented to the winner and $100 to the runner-up at the Mountaingrass Festival 2024 where they (or nominee) will have the opportunity to perform the song. The winner and runner-up will also receiving a season pass to Mountaingrass 2024. 

The prize is offered through the generous sponsorship of Performance Advantage, a company providing HR services to small business. It's Director Suzanne Diprose will be presenting the prize at Mountaingrass 2024. 


  1. Songs entered must be written (or co-written) by the entrant and must not be published prior to Mountaingrass 2024 (Spotify; Apple Music etc); 
  2. A recording (MP3) and lyrics (PDF) are required for each entry. 
  3. Entries must be performed on acoustic stringed instruments (bass excepted – no amp) in a solo or duo format, with backing tracks unacceptable for performance of the winning entry. 
  4. Entries are not required to be genre specific however priority in judging will be given to those suitable for performance as Bluegrass, Old-Time and associated styles. 
  5. The judges will consider song structure and form (verse; chorus; instrumental section etc); melody (don’t forget the hook lines); lyrics (metre -flow with music; rhyme; alliteration etc); and originality. 
  6. Submissions that are instrumental only, or lyrics only, with not be accepted.
  7. Original lyrics to an existing tune or song are unacceptable. 
  8. The judges decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  9. Entrants are required to be members of ABOTMA (from July 1 for 2024). Become a member here

The competition opens on July 1 and closes on 31st August 2024. 

To enter, the application form will be available on this page on July 1 when the competitions opens. To enter, fill out the form and attach your song(s) (MP3 only, and max. 10.6MB), and lyrics (pdf).  

If you would like more information email:

Entries will cost $20 each.   

Coming soon: 2024 Songwriting competition

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Mountaingrass is brought to you by the Australasian Bluegrass and Old Time Music Association (ABOTMA)