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Date: February 21, 2014

“Gathering in the Gap” Announces Annual Songwriting Contest

Big Stone Gap, VA. Entries are now being accepted for the popular song writing contest for the 2014 “Gathering in the Gap” to be held May 17 in Big Stone Gap at the Southwest Virginia Museum. The contest draws entries from across the state and showcases outstanding, but under-recognized, performing songwriters who represent the spirit and traditions of Appalachian culture. This year’s “Gathering in the Gap” features special musical guest, Grammy Award winner Rodney Crowell.

Entries include songs relative to Americana and related topics and songs about historic or current events. Song genres should have roots in Appalachian culture, such as old-time, folk, bluegrass, country, gospel, blues and rockabilly. A panel of professional songwriters, publishers or other music industry professionals will judge entries on: originality, lyrics, melody and relevance to criteria. Music production and performance quality of submittal are not considered.

From the initial entries, panelists will choose ten finalists who will compete on the “Gathering in the Gap” main stage. Each finalist will be given a free-access ticket to the festival along with a festival t-shirt.The top three winners will receive cash prizes and plaques.

There is a $10 entry fee for the first song and a $5 fee for a second song. Checks or money orders are to be made out to the Friends of the Southwest Virginia Museum. To enter, send a CD of the submissions along with a check or money order to Friends of the Southwest Virginia Museum, P.O. Box 294, Big Stone Gap, Virginia 24219 or deliver the entry during business hours to the Southwest Virginia Museum. All entries must received in the museum by 4 p.m. April 11.  

For a complete set of competition rules, a schedule of events, or a downloadable registration form, please visit the festival website at and click on “Songwriting Contest.”  For more information about the songwriting contest or festival events, please call the Museum at 276-523-1322 or visit the website mentioned above.

The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about Virginia State Parks’ activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit


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