2022 Online Songwriting Contest

Contest runs May 1 - May 31.

Entries must be received by May 31.

We are accepting entries for the 2022 Great River Folk Fest Songwriter contest through May 31, 2022.

Here’s what you need to know:

How to enter

The submission deadline has passed.

  • Email us at GRFFSongwriter@gmail.com. Include in the email:
    1. a link to a YouTube post of you performing the song and/or an attached mp3 file of you performing the song.
    2. Lyrics to the song.
  • Submit payment through the PayPal link ($10 per submission).

Note: Each song should have its own email. Payment can be made for all your submissions at once.

How will it work?

We will name 12 finalists. Out of these 12, a second round of judges will choose three to play at the August 27, 2022 Folk Fest in La Crosse, WI. The winner will be announced and will open for last year’s winner later in the day.


Top finisher will receive $150 and 8 hour’s studio time with Soundstrations. Second and Third finishers will receive $75 (see details below). Top 3 finishers must attend the fest to win an Award. If a finalist is selected as a top finisher but cannot attend, the next highest placed of the 12 finalists will be invited.


Entries will be evaluated based on melody, composition progression, originality, and lyrics. YouTube videos are preferred to allow for us to share in our weekly highlights blog which will promote your music as well. The winner will be based on performance the day of the festival where each contestant will play two songs

Contest graphic

Contest Awards (2022)

First place:

Second place:

  • $75 cash prize

Third place:

  • $75 cash prize.

Past Winners


  • 1st Place—Siena Christie - Vancouver, WA
  • 2nd Place—Chain of Lakes - (Kyle Rasche) - Alto, MI
  • 3rd Place—Sam Robbins - Nashville, TN
  • Fan Favorite—Chaislyn Jane - Baton Rouge, LA
  • Most Inspiring Story—Alex Rhodes - Denver, CO


  • 1st Place—Shanna in a Dress, Boulder, CO
  • 2nd Place—Amanda Pascali, Houston, TX
  • 3rd Place—The Sapsuckers, Nikki Grossmand & Joe Hart, Soldiers Grove, WI
  • Fan Favorite—Songa, Chippewa Falls, WI


  • 1st Place - Russ Parrish, Burnsville, MN
  • 2nd Place - Peter Lindsey, Dekalb, IL
  • 3rd Place (tie) - Despina Pafralides, Round Lake Park, IL
  • 3rd Place (tie) - David Nash, Onalaska, WI


  • 1st Place – Greg Gilbertson, Chippewa Falls, WI
  • 2nd Place – David Nash, Onalaska, WI
  • 3rd Place – Fran Felton, Viroqua, WI


  • 1st Place – Laura Joy, Oak Park, IL
  • 2nd Place – Randy Adams, Chippewa Falls, WI
  • 3rd Place – Rick Thompson, La Crescent, MN
  • 4th Place – Jim Armstrong & Pippa Armstrong, Winona, MN


  • 1st Place – Blaine Howard, Fairchild, WI
  • 2nd Place – Traci Stinebrink, Rhinelander, WI
  • 3rd Place – Mike Caucutt, La Crosse, WI


  • 1st Place – Michael Monroe, Grand Marais, MN
  • 2nd Place – Jane Fallon, Brookline NH
  • 3rd Place – Joe Schwem, Bozeman, MT


  • 1st Place – Derek Olson, New Lisbon, WI
  • 2nd Place – Jeff Cozy, La Crosse, WI
  • 3rd Place – Jim Gary, Elmhurst, IL


  • 1st Place - Aric Sampson, Galesville, WI
  • 2nd Place - Katie Dahl, Baileys Harbor, WI
  • 3rd Place - Joe DeLucia, Port Washington, WI


  • 1st Place - Barb and Tom Webber - Milwaukee, WI
  • 2nd Place - Roger Wendover (Brojo Rog) - LaCrosse, WI
  • 3rd Place - Scott Wilcox - Tomah, WI


  • 1st place - Joe Danielson & Casey Yeager - Cadott, WI
  • 2nd place - Roger Wendover - LaCrosse, WI
  • 3rd place - Kris Risch & Lisa Risch - Holmen, WI


  • 1st place - Tim Fast - Elk River, MN


  • 1st place - Mike Caucutt - LaCrosse, WI
1_Sienna Christie 2021 2021 online Song Writing Winner, Siena Christie of Vancouver, WA

Shanna_InA_Dress_20 2020 Songwriting Contest winner, Shanna in a Dress, Boulder, CO
russ_Parish_350 2019 Songwriting Contest winner, Russ Parish of Burnsville, MN.
Greg Gilbertson 2018 Songwriting Contest winner, Greg Gilbertson of Chippewa Falls, WI performs on the main stage during Sunday’s concert.
laura Joy 2017 songwriting Contest winner, Laura Joy of Oak Park, IL performs on the main stage during Sunday’s concert.
Blaine Howard Photo_J_Weigel
2016 Songwriting Contest winner, Blaine Howard of Fairchild, WI performs during the contest. (Photo Jerry Weigel).
MichaelMonroe_2015 (12K) 2015 Songwriting Contest winner, Michael Monroe of Grand Marais, MN, performs from the Main State at the Sunday Concert (Photo Jerry Weigel).
Derek Olson_2014_350 (26K) 2014 Songwriting Contest Winner Derek Olson Performs at the Sunday Concert (photo Jerry Weigel)
Aric Sampson) Aric Sampson performs during the Sunday Closing Concert after winning the 2013 Great River Folk Fest Songwriters and Performers Contest earlier in the day.

Casey Yeager and Joe Danielson
2011 winners Casey Yeager and Joe Danielson perform their winning songs.