Contest Corner

Billboard's sixth annual song contest is currently underway; deadline for receipt of entries is October31. There are seven categories: Pop, Rock, R&B/Rap, Country, Latin, Jazz and Gospel/Contemporary Christian.

The grand prize winner will receive $5,000 cash, a Gibson Chet Atkins SST guitar, an Orange Amplifier and a BMG Publishing contract for the winning song. The six first-place winners will take $1,000 plus the guitar and publishing contract. Seven Epiphone PR-350 acoustic guitars will be awarded to the second-place finishers in each category and third-place winners will get Gibson strings and accessory packs. The top 500 songwriters in the contest will receive a pair of BluBlocker sunglasses.

Finalists in each category will be chosen by a Blue Ribbon Panel of world-renowned music industry celebrities. Past members of the panel have included Billy Ray Cyrus, Amy Grant, Julio lglesias, Lou Rawls, Carole Bayer Sager, George Strait, Travis Tritt and Frank Zappa, among others.

It costs $15 per song to enter; entry forms, rules, etc. are available from any Gibson Guitar dealer or by writing to the Billboard Song Contest, P.O. Box 35346, Tulsa, OK 74153-0346, or by calling 918-627-0351.

The Austin (Texas) Songwriters Group announces its 6th annual songwriting contest with cash prizes of $300, $150, and $75 in 5 categories including Country, Pop, Rock, Blues/Rap/Reggae/Jazz and Singer/Songwriter. Judging is by industry professionals. Entries must be postmarked no later than Nov. 4. For more information and entry forms write to: ASG Songwriting Contest, P.O. Box 2578, Austin, TX 78768, or call 512-442-TUNE.