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Sharing Christ Through the Arts

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2021 Songwriting Contest

Calling all Adventist Songwriters – you are invited to participate in our annual inSpire Songwriting Contest!

Once again inSpire is hosting its annual songwriting contest. A good song does no one any good if it’s not heard! If you’ve written one that you think is special, we’d love to hear it.

inSpire is a community of Seventh-day artists who use their craft to promote God’s healing message of hope and deliverance. inSpire also promotes dialogue between professional and amateur artists, filmmakers and songwriters who wish to impact culture in positive ways.

The submission window has been extended to October 27, 2021.

There are two tracks to accommodate different ages. Payment is non-refundable.

Track 1 – Submission/Registration – Anyone (ages 10 – 15 years) who is a Seventh-day Adventist church member in the North American Division may enter the contest. Please send your lyrics to lynn.liers@adventistfaith.com.

Track 2 – Submission/Registration – Anyone (ages 16 years or older) who is a Seventh-day Adventist church member in the North American Division may enter the contest. Please send your lyrics to lynn.liers@adventistfaith.com.

To be eligible, songwriters must live within the territory of the North American Division and submit a smartphone video of themselves performing an original song they have written. You can have friends assist with the performance if you like. Each submission will be evaluated by a panel of songwriting jurists. In addition, your video will also appear on the inSpire Facebook wall where viewers can listen and respond. The juried evaluations are the only criteria that will be used to determine the awards.

We’re not looking for super polished studio quality videos. Just sit in front of your smart phone (horizontal or landscape mode only) and record yourself playing and singing. You must play, or have someone play an instrument (guitar, ukulele, keyboard or piano, etc). Please do not sing with pre-record tracks, even if they are yours. The song(s) you sing must be created by you (music and lyrics).

Each song should convey a lyrical message that conveys a spiritual message. This is your chance to tell a story or simply render praise. Whatever you submit must be your creation (music and lyrics). We prefer an acoustic guitar, or piano, singer/songwriter style recording that clearly features the lyrics and allows the construction of the song to shine.

Details, Details…

PLEASE NOTE: If you have won first place in an inSpire Songwriting Contest within the last three years (2018-2020) as an individual artist or a group, you are not eligible to enter the 2021 inSpire contest. Watch the inSpire Songwriting video.

Your song should be one that you have written and recorded as a video on your smartphone (landscape or horizontal format only. No vertical videos please). We ask that you not use any other recording device other than your phone. You can plug a mic into your phone, but don’t get carried away. We are primarily interested in the song itself, not the production of it. We want to see you in the video playing and/or singing!

Execution – Each song should be submitted as a video (FLV, WMV, MP4, MPEG, or .MOV file). We prefer an acoustic guitar, or piano, singer/songwriter style recording that clearly features the lyrics and allows the construction of the song to shine.

Your song must be created by you and not entered into a previous inSpire songwriting contest. Neither should it be derivative of other copyrighted works. No modified hymns, please.

Song Limit – Each songwriter may submit 2 songs (please submit your lyrics as well).

Submission Fee: $15 for one song, or $25 for two.

Submission Dates – October 10- 27, 2021.

Membership – Songwriters must be members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North American Division.

Got Questions? – If you have questions or comments, please send us a message.

Winners will be posted here on November 15, 2021.

Copyright and use – Any submissions you make will still be your material. You will retain first rights to everything you create! PLEASE NOTE: We strongly recommend that you copyright your material with the U.S. Library of Congress. By submitting your music to us, you give inSpire the right to share, or possibly feature your creations on the inSpire website or Facebook wall, and in our inSpire/Renew newsletters.

Registration

There are two tracks to accommodate different ages. Payment is non-refundable.

Track 1 – Submission/Registration (October 10-27) – Anyone (ages 10 – 15 years) who is a Seventh-day Adventist church member in the North American Division may enter the contest. Please send your lyrics to lynn.liers@adventistfaith.com.

Track 2 – Submission/Registration (October 10-27) – Anyone (ages 16 years or older) who is a Seventh-day Adventist church member in the North American Division may enter the contest. Please send your lyrics to lynn.liers@adventistfaith.com.

Snail Mail: We recommend that your submission(s) be made online. However, if you cannot do this, you may submit your entry via snail mail. Please send it on a CD to Pacific Union Conference, Songwriting Contest, Church Support Services, P.O. Box 5005, Westlake Village, CA 91359. Make check payable to Pacific Union Conference ($15 for one song, or $25 for two). Put your song(s) on a CD and mail it to the above address.

Employees of the Pacific Union Conference (and their immediate family members), judges, staff or members of the inSpire organizing committee (and their immediate family members), may submit works, but are ineligible to receive awards.**

Contest Awards

Awards for Track 1: (1) First place – $150. (2) Second place – $100. (3) Third place – $50.

Awards for Track 2: (1) First place – $300. (2) Second place – $200. (3) Third place – $100.

**If you are a student missionary, going to school abroad, or in the military, etc., you may still participate if you have a home address in North America and are a member of an NAD church. This contest is administered by inSpire—an initiative of Pacific Union Conference Church Support Services, as part of its effort to promote the creative arts for ministry purposes. Songs submitted belong to those who submit them and are assumed to be written by the submittees.


Recording Tips

The Basics – Make sure the lighting is decent and the audio is clear. You may connect an external mic for better audio quality. More explanation is given below for how to do that.

TECH NOTES: Make sure your instrument doesn’t overpower the recording so the words cannot be heard. The absolute best way to record yourself is with an external mic that is plugged into your phone. This can be accomplished in several ways.

1. How to connect an XLR mic to your smartphone: Read article

2. A MUST HAVE ADAPTER: Most microphones don’t work out of the box with smartphones and tablets. This adapter solves that problem.

3. Here are two helpful videos on how to use an XLR mix with your Android or Apple iPhone.

4. Another option is the iRig device.

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About ASA Editor

ASA Editor

writes from Westlake Village, California.

9 comments

  1. You don’t say what your raising money for. Or I assume that’s what this is for as the awards a pretty small. Do all the songs get posted somewhere so we can all be inspired by others with whatever their talent level may be? I’ve seen the adds in years past but have never seen any follow up for where we can also watch. Who are the judges? Are they qualified? I think this is a fabulous idea. I also think it maybe, and i could be missing somethig, could be made a bigger deal of to encourage our young people to be more involved. Thanks for what your doing. Its’ great. Just my thought as a singer/song writer. Please take with a grain of salt. Thanks.

    • Thank you. We’re not raising money for anything. The submission fees help to cover the cost of the awards. We have had songwriting contests for the last 5 or 6 years. Yes, we will post the winners and the songs that were submitted this year on this site, later in April 2020. Thank you for asking.

  2. Hi, Is there an age limit?

  3. Nice site, and inspirational too. I did not see the contest winners names. Have they been posted as yet?

    Thanks.

    LM

  4. What if the song I created is a scripture song? Okie lyrics word by word from the Bible? And another song is also mostly from the Word I just made some feew changes to the lyrics, would that work?

  5. How do I send the check via online

    I don’t know how to send the video to you. Can you give me details? It keeps telling me file is to large.

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