Ohio Valley Filk Fest 36

Song Writing Competition

A line drawing of a pegasus in flight

Every year since 1986, OVFF has held at least one songwriting competition in order to encourage the creation of new songs and increase the number of active song writers in the Filk community. That, and it's a lot of fun! This year we will only be holding the traditional song writing contest, but we expect the Iron Filker contest to return in 2021.


CONTEST FOR 2020: My Corona

The song writing contest, to be held Saturday evening, is the traditional type: write a song on a topic (see above) announced in advance. Entries should be new material of limited distribution written between October 2019 and October 2020.

Contest Rules

  1. The songs can be original lyrics and music OR new lyrics to existing music.
  2. Entries should be new material of limited distribution written within the previous year.
  3. Songs are to be performed live at NOVFF on Saturday evening for a panel of three judges and all virtual attendees.
  4. Songs are judged on the quality of the writing--not on the strength of the performance.
  5. The Audience Choice Award Online Ballot will only be open for a limited time after the contest. The results will be announced on Sunday.
  6. If the songwriter is not a performer, the entry may be performed by a friend. (Please note that the songwriter must be in attendance at the contest in order to enter.)
  7. All entries must be received via email to programming@ovff.org by Monday October 19th by 6PM Eastern time. If there are more than 15 entries, 12 will be selected at random from the first 100 entries received, with another 3 entries selected at random as alternates. You will be contacted at least 2 days before the convention to verify your entry and ability to attend and/or perform. All entries must include:
    1. Name of the author and name of the performer if not the same
    2. Contact phone number of the author
    3. Name of the song and name of the existing tune if the song lyrics are written to existing music.
    4. The complete set of song lyrics (to be distributed to the judges and made available to all virtual attendees so they may follow along)
    5. Please include "Song writing contest for 2020" in the email subject
  8. If you have any questions as to the appropriateness of the entry, please seek out an OVFF concom member or e-mail us

(A PDF file of the scoring sheet used by the judges can be found here.)

Our congratulations go out to the winners of previous competitions, a partial list of whom is found here.

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