Songwriting Contest Judging Criteria

Music City SongStar guitar logo round

Judges for the Music City SongStar songwriting contest are music industry professionals. They are dedicated to helping discover new talent and helping emerging songwriters receive the recognition and acknowledgment they deserve. Our judges use a consistent set of standards which the judges use to make impartial decisions as to the merits of the song. We strive to make sure that the judging is fair and follows our mission of supporting and encouraging songwriters. We want to help all songwriters improve. That’s why our judges will provide all contestants with helpful feedback that will inspire them to continue on their journey of songwriting.

Song Structure and Composition

  • The song has a clear theme or cohesive idea
  • The song has clearly identifiable sections, verse, chorus, etc.
  • The song is between 2 to 5 minutes


  • The lyrics evoke an emotional response from the listener
  • The lyrics are singable and memorable
  • The lyrics have an identifiable rhyme scheme or pattern

Music & Melody

  • The music and melody adds to the emotional impact of the song
  • The music keeps the listener interested and engaged
  • The music and lyrics fit together in a cohesive way


  • The song expresses the theme in a new or fresh way
  • The song is memorable
  • The song has commercial potential

Through the Music City SongStar awards, we want to give songwriters a chance to have their music heard. We’re believers in creativity, chasing dreams and getting the chance to pursue your passion. Why? Because our staff is made up of artists, performers and music lovers. We know it takes courage, conviction and passion to pursue your music and find your purpose. So what’s stopping you? Enter your song now!