CMT Contests

How To Enter

The contest is no longer accepting submissions and is currently in the judging process.

Fan voting begins on February 1, 2016. Once the panel of industry judges have finished all rounds of judging and selected the top 10 songs, these songs will be posted here for a period of one month (February 1-28, 2016). Friends, family and fans will have the opportunity to log-on, listen and vote for their favorite song. The song that accumulates the most votes at the end of the voting period will be awarded the Grand Prize.

All winners will be announced in early March 2016.

  • Music industry executives, professional songwriters and NSAI board members judge songs based on lyrics, melody and composition. Performance and production will not be evaluated.
  • Prizes are awarded to one (1) Grand Prize CMT Listeners' Choice Winner, one (1) Lyric-Only Winner, ten (10) Runners-Up and ten (10) Honorable Mentions. All songs entered receive a personalized score sheet.
  • Got questions about the contest? We've got answers. Click here for a list of FAQs.
  • Terms and Conditions


    The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly.
    Broadcast Music, Inc.® (BMI®) is a global leader in music rights management, serving as an advocate for the value of music. BMI represents the public performance rights in more than 8.5 million musical works created and owned by more than 600,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers
    Loews Vanderbilt Hotel (2100 West End Ave., Nashville, TN 37203) is located in Nashville's exclusive Midtown. Loews Vanderbilt Hotel offers a contemporary, yet comfortable escape in the heart of Music City. Renovated in 2013, the hotel features 340 rooms, including 9 well-appointed suites, and modern, tech-savvy gathering spaces to do business or casually mix and mingle. Our restaurant, Mason's, offers Southern-inspired dishes with European and Appalachian influences, while our rustic, public house-style bar, Mason Bar, serves local beer, wine and spirits in a casual cool setting. Just one mile from Music Row and within walking distance of Vanderbilt University, Loews Vanderbilt Hotel boasts an ideal location to experience one of the country's most popular destinations.
    SESAC is a Performing Rights Organization (PRO) representing songwriters and music publishers and their right to be paid royalties whenever their songs are played in public. The most progressive organization in the U.S., SESAC represents such artists as Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Mariah Carey, Mumford & Sons and Zac Brown. Headquartered in Nashville, the company also has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami and London.
    Customers have a lot of choices for their CD or DVD duplication and packaging needs, but We Make Tapes & Discs continues to prove that you can get great looking disc packages of any quantity and quick turnaround at very reasonable prices. We have great prices, we get the job done when promised (or before!) and we actually respond to your phone inquiries in real time -- no phone menus, messages or operators.
    Warner/Chappell Music, the global music publishing company of Warner Music Group, is home to a wide array of legendary songwriters and a rich catalog of contemporary hits and influential standards. With offices in more than 40 countries, Warner/Chappell provides deep expertise across a range of creative services and the most innovative opportunities for songwriters and copyright holders.

    Eric Paslay

    • Click for more on Eric Paslay
      EMI Records Nashville breakout country artist, Eric Paslay, delivers a powerful punch as a renowned, Platinum-selling, hit songwriter and dynamic performer. Paslay has celebrated five No. 1 hits including “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (Eli Young Band), “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” (Jake Owen), “Angel Eyes” (Love & Theft), “Rewind” (Rascal Flatts) and “Friday Night,” the smash lead single from his critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. The Temple, Texas native earned nominations for GRAMMY Best Country Song, ACM Song of the Year and CMA Song Of The Year for “Even If It Breaks Your Heart.” A true artists artist, USA Today calls Paslay “flat out-brilliant” and American Songwriter names him an influencer of country music. Paslay is currently writing and recording for his highly-anticipated sophomore album.

    Lori McKenna

    • Click for more on Lori McKenna
      Born and raised in Stoughton, Massachusetts, McKenna, along with her husband and five children, still call the area home. Her Boston roots run deep and find new life through her raw, honest lyrics and captivating voice seen in both her songwriting and her artistry. In the past decade McKenna has received multiple BMI awards, five Boston Music Awards and has had songs recorded by Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Alison Krauss, Faith Hill, Reba, Little Big Town, Holly Williams, Hunter Hayes, Raelynn and more. In her solo career, McKenna has released eight critically acclaimed studio albums: Paper Wings and Halo, Pieces of Me, The Kitchen Tapes, Bittertown, Unglamourous, Lorraine and Massachusetts. Her latest album, Numbered Doors, was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 40 Best Country Albums of 2014.


    You Could Win

    • Grand Prize
    • $5,000 cash prize
    • Mentoring session with EMI Recording Artist, Eric Paslay
    • One (1) year mentorship with a Warner/Chappell Music representative
    • Single song contract with Warner/Chappell Music
    • Meetings with industry representatives
    • NSAI Residency
    • Live performance opportunities
    • CMT Listener’s Choice Grand Prize trophy
    • One (1) set of guitar strings courtesy of D’Addario
    • Much More

    • Lyric-Only Winner
    • One (1) sixty (60) minute mentoring session with hit songwriter Lori McKenna
    • One (1) publishing meeting with a professional major music publisher
    • One (1) year NSAI membership
    • NSAI event gift certificate
    • Certificate of achievement
    • One (1) set of guitar strings courtesy of D’Addario
    • Much More

    • Runners-Up
    • One (1) publishing meeting with a professional music publisher
    • Song placement on NSAI’s Top 40 Song Page
    • One (1) year NSAI membership
    • Certificate of achievement
    • One (1) set of guitar strings courtesy of D’Addario

    • Honorable Mentions
    • Song placement on the NSAI Top 40 song page.
    • Certificate of achievement.
    • One (1) set of guitar strings courtesy of D’Addario