ECFF and Songwriter Challenge

Eagle Creek Folk Festival, Saturday 9/18/21 at Eagle Creek Park

Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Songwriter Challenge:

Karen Bridges, Katherine Nagy, and Jamie Nichole 

The Eagle Creek Folk Festival (ECFF), sponsored by the non-profit Central Indiana Folk Music Society, is an annual free music festival held at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. Normally it is held the second weekend in June, however, this year it has been moved to September 18, 2021.  We invite you to attend the Festival!

In 2018, the ECFF began sponsoring a songwriting challenge.  This tradition carries on, sponsored by the Indy Folk Series.  The challenge was open to members of the Central Indiana Folk Music Society, as well as any songwriter with a demonstrable connection to Indiana.

Songwriters were asked to submit one original song based on the theme “What now?”  This is not a word prompt, the phrase does not have to appear in the song.  There are myriad ways you could approach this.  For example, “First the pandemic, what now?” Or perhaps, “I’ve lived through this, what now?” You decide how the theme speaks to you. Our judges will review each song based on the theme and the strength of the songwriting. The top three entries will receive $100 apiece, awarded by the Indy Folk Series, There is no entry fee.

Winners will be invited to perform their song at the Eagle Creek Folk Festival on September 18.

Entries are no longer being accepted, the following is for information only:

  • The theme is “What Now?”  (These specific words do not need to appear in the song, although they can.) 
  • Top three entries will each receive $100, awarded by the Indy Folk Series.
  • Song to be submitted under the songwriter’s name. No band names.
  • Do not submit any lead sheets, lyrics, bios, or pictures.
  • Each contestant may submit only one song.
  • The first 50 submissions, based upon received date, will be considered.
  • The song must be less than five minutes in length.
  • Songs must be original, written and performed by the contestant.
  • At least one acoustic instrument must be included in any song.  Electric and electronic instruments – including loops are allowed, but the acoustic instrument must be clearly heard.
  • Songs will be reviewed by a panel of judges selected by the Indy Folk Series. This is primarily a songwriting competition, so although performance is important, it’s not necessarily the most important factor in judging. Songs will be ranked by each judge, based upon the following criteria:
    • Originality with Use of Theme
    • Engaging Lyrics, Creative Use of Language
    • Effective and Memorable Melody
    • Overall Songwriting Technique
  • Songs may be submitted by any songwriter with a demonstrable connection to Indiana.
  • To apply, complete the online entry form by August 14, 2021. After you have completed the entry form, submit your song as an MP3 using the instructions provided in the entry form.  
  • Contestants will be notified by email by September 5 if their song was ranked in the top three.

 In addition to the $100 prize, each winning contestant will be asked to submit a video of their song to be included on the Indy Folk Series YouTube channel and be offered the opportunity to perform at he Eagle Creek Folk Festival on September 18. In addition, there may be an opportunity to perform at the Indiana Folk Music Society Meeting.

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