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The Autoharp Quarterly 25th Anniversary Songwriting Contest

Please read the rules very carefully and follow the instructions for mail in or digital entry below.

See link at bottom of page for help in recording your song

Prizes to be awarded:
1st Place winner will receive a d'Aigle Cascade Autoharp
Plus one year membership to the Autoharp Quarterly
2nd Place winner will receive an Oscar Schmidt OS21C Autoharp
Plus one year membership to the Autoharp Quarterly
3rd Place winner will receive a $100.00 certificate to the Autoharp Quarterly Market Place
Plus one year membership to the Autoharp Quarterly

What to include in your entry
Every entry will include the entry form, a CD or mp3, a sheet with lyrics and chords, a translation of the lyrics if needed.
Each entry will be for one song, though you may enter as often as you like.
You can enter online or send your entry to the address below.
You may fill out the digital form, print the entry form from this page, or request that we send you a form, along with contest rules, by calling us at the number below.

Autoharp Quarterly
19106 Des Moines memorial Dr
SeaTac WA, 98148
1-800-630-HARP (4277)


Judging And Recording Criteria

Quality of the recording and specific arrangement, instrumentation, etc. will not be considered as part of  the judging criteria. You may have other instruments involved, or just an autoharp and voice. It will help if the recording is as clear as possible, but professional recordings are unnecessary. 
Songs in any genre are acceptable, and the judging will not be based on genre.
Judges will be looking for the quality of the song itself, lyrics and melody. Important items will be a clear and viable theme, flow, chord structure, parts structure, etc.
Does your song have a "hook", something to make it memorable? A hook can be an element of lyric, melody or both.
Is your theme one of general interest? Will it appeal to more than a limited audience? Is your theme strong enough to cause a thought process or emotion in the listener?
Does your song paint a picture in the minds of the listener, or tell a story which draws one's attention? Images created by music can be very powerful.
Within the parts of your song, is there some contrasting lyric and/or melody?
Will your song spur some action, or lull one to sleep? Either can be good, if the effect is felt in a genuine way.
Most of all, don't get bogged down with the process, just write a good song, record it and send it in!

Evo Bluestein
Bryan Bowers
Cathy Britell
Mike Fenton
Karen Mueller
Robert Grappel and Lynda Cohen of the Grappel/Cohen Recording Endowment

The Autoharp Quarterly
d'Aigle Autoharps And Folk Instruments
Oscar Schmidt/US Music

Official Rules

Who Can Enter
You do not need to be a current member of the Autoharp Quarterly to enter. Anyone can enter, whether amateur or professional, except for employees and families of employees of d'Aigle Autoharps, regular volunteer staff for the Autoharp Quarterly and their families, employees of Oscar Schmidt and US Music and their families, and the judges of this contest and their families. Occasional and past contributors to the Autoharp Quarterly may enter. Entrants under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the entry form, giving permission for the entry. You do not need to be a current member of the Autoharp Quarterly to enter. The contest is open to all nationalities and languages. An English translation of lyrics must be provided with songs written in other languages.
When you enter, you give permission to publish your song, your name and your likeness in the Autoharp Quarterly if you are a 1st, 2nd or 3rd place winner. You retain all rights and ownership to your song, however the Autoharp Quarterly retains permission to use it without obligations or contractual agreements regarding royalties or payments, as well as the right to make copies for purpose of distribution to contest judges.
Collaborations are permissible,  and collaborators names may also be published with a winning contribution, however, only one name will be accepted on the application, and division of prizes will be solely  the responsibility of the collaborators.

Rules For Songs
            All songs must be with music and lyric. All music and lyric must be the original work of the entrant. Parodies, lyrics to the tune of other public domain songs etc. are not permitted. Songs may not exceed five minutes in length. Any genre of music is accepted. Please do not submit "Mature Audience Only" lyrics, but consider the general audience. All songs must be unpublished, including social media or YouTube type performances. Showing your song to a few friends is acceptable.
All songs must be written with an autoharp and performed using an autoharp. This does not mean that the autoharp must play a melody line, but must be used in recording the song. Other instrumentation is optional and accepted.
You may enter as many songs as you like, but each individual entry must contain just one song. Each entry must include a filled out entry form, a CD or mp3 of your song,  a sheet with lyrics and chords, an English translation if needed. CDs and mp3s will not be returned, and multiple copies may be made for judging purposes. Finalists will be asked to submit a picture of themselves in jpeg or pdf file format when possible. Entry materials may be hand delivered, or submitted by mail or by email. You may call or email us for entry forms, or download the file at www.autoharpquarterly.com.

Entries will be accepted
            Entries  will be accepted beginning August 1st 2013 through August 1st 2014. Winners will be announced in the November 2014 issue of the Autoharp Quarterly, and songs of the winners will be published in the following issue. Prizes will be awarded when the winners are announced.




please print the entry form page and send to d'aigle Autoharps with a copy of your song on CD




Send an email to autoharpquarterly@gmail.com with the subject "song contest".

Please include your first name, last name, telephone number, address, song title, song lyrics, song chords, and conformation you have read the rules by stating " I certify that I have read, understood, and accept the official rules of the Autoharp Quarterly song writing contest." At the end of the email please type your name and date to serve as an electronic signature. Entrants under 18 must have a parent or guardian complete this part of the entry. Finally attach an MP3 copy of your song to the email and send.

If you require any assistance or have any questions please feel free to contact us and ask any questions you have.

Click Here for the article "How to easily record your own song and send it to someone"


Contact us with any questions:
d’Aigle Autoharps And Folk Instruments
19106 Des Moines memorial Drive S
SeaTac, WA   98148

1-800-630-HARP (4277)