The Craft

Laura Marrich
2 min read
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Does your guitar have a person’s name? Do you sometimes fall asleep with it in your arms? Are your pants pockets stuffed with lyrics scrawled on little bits of paper? If so, you might be one of the millions of Americans who are aspiring singer-songwriters.

The good news is it’s treatable. In fact, the 2008 Songwriter Contest, hosted by The Songwriter Open Mic with
E. Christina Herr and Wild Frontier, may be the cure.

Preliminaries for the contest will be held over the next three Tuesdays (Jan. 22 and 29, and Feb. 5) at
O’Niell’s Pub (4310 Central SE). Songwriting categories are for Americana, blues, country, folk/bluegrass/traditional, jazz, pop and rock.

The point is to perform your own material (no covers allowed), but your songs may be cowritten. Performing songwriters can bring up to two accompanists on stage with them at the preliminaries, but that’s it. If you make it all the way to the Feb. 9 finals at
Grandma’s Music and Sound, you’ll be able to bring a full band.

Bring lyric sheets to supplement the songs you perform. Also include the song category you’re vying to win (you can enter as many of them as you like), the title of your composition, your name (plus the names of anyone else who shares credit for writing the song), and your phone number and e-mail address. Entry fees are $10 per song. Make your check or money order out to: "Western Gothic Productions, 8209 Fairmont Drive NW, Albuquerque, N.M. 87120."

The prizes?

For starters, goodies from Grandma’s (they ain’t cookies, either). There’s also five hours of recording time with John Wall from his award-winning
Wall of Sound Studio, an image-enhancing new hairstyle designed by Arte de la Mano wellness spa and salon, an Albuquerque Music Association membership package that includes free admission to all AMA-sponsored events, and discounts on a number of services from press kit development to professional photography.

Questions? Contact the Songwriter Open Mic at or e-mail

Get writing—and good luck!
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