Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Songwriting Workshops and the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest Deadine September 15

The Mid-Atlantic Song Contest is in its final weeks. From our friends at the Songwriters' Association of Washington:

There is still time to enter your songs into one of the nation's best and longest-running song contests! It's the greatest year ever to enter and have an outstanding chance to win top prizes, including $1,000 overall Grand Prize, SAW and Sonicbids memberships, studio time, a Martin Guitar, and other musician-friendly prizes!!

The MASC closes midnight, September 15, so get your MP3s to us NOW!! Register online at, or, or send your cd entries to:

PMB 106-137
4200 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016
(must be postmarked no later than September 15, 2009)

Did you know that The Writer's Center now offers workshops in songwriting? Check this out, and tell your songwriting friends:

Grammy Award-winning Musicians Offer Songwriting Workshops at The Writer’s Center

Workshops held in partnership with Songwriters’ Association of Washington

Beginning this fall, The Writer’s Center—in partnership with the Songwriters’ Association of Washington (SAW)—will offer songwriting workshops at its Bethesda facility. The workshops will each focus on different areas of music, yet each will be taught by renowned local musicians: Cathy Fink, Marcy Marxer, and Terence Nicholson.

For Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Grammy Award-winning songwriters in their own right, “Good songwriting combines skill, practice, tools, and of course, courting the muse.” In their 6-session workshop, titled simply “Songwriting,” students will dissect the elements of ‘perfect’ songs, and they will learn techniques for opening the creative channels to write great songs. The curriculum includes building a songwriter’s vocabulary, writing devices, warm up and practice techniques, co-writing, self-editing, and using others as editors.

And if you’re unable to play music but want to write lyrics, don’t worry: This workshop actually encourages lyricists to participate. Learn more about these experienced musicians and instructors at

Songwriting Workshop start date: Tuesday, September 22. 7:00-9:30 P.M.
Price of workshop: $240 ($220 for Writer’s Center, SAW, and Washington Area Music Association members)
Visit for details or call 301.654.8664

Local artist Terence Nicholson, on the other hand, will focus his 8-session workshop—“The Five Rings Arts Writers’ Block Workshop”—on Hip Hop music. The goal of the workshop, Nicholson says, “is to cultivate a well-rounded Hip Hop Songwriter.” Using video, audio, and lyric sheets, participants will “examine structure, composition, and the connections shared by Hip Hop songwriting. And participants are encouraged to bring work samples. Nicholson has a wide and diverse variety of experience, including a stint with saxophonist Steve Coleman at The Stanford Jazz Workshop. His Web site is

The Five Rings Arts Writers’ Block Workshop start date: Tuesday, September 29. 7:00-9:30 P.M.
Price of workshop: $345 ($315 for Writer’s Center, SAW, and Washington Area Music Association members)
Visit for details or call 301.654.8664

About the Artists/Workshop Leaders:
Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer are prolific songwriters with two Grammy Awards, 11 Grammy nominations and 50 awards from the Washington Area Music Association in bluegrass, folk and children’s music. Their catalogue includes over 40 recordings, books and videos. They maintain an active tour schedule as children’s/faily performers and folk/roots/country/swing artists. Cathy’s song “Names” about the AIDS Memorial Quilt was recorded by over 20 artists in several countries. They have won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and International Songwriting Contest. They write songs in many styles for listeners of all ages.

Terence Nicholson
Nicholson is a graduate of the Corcoran School of Art and a native Washingtonian. He has toured extensively with saxophonist, Steve Coleman, pianist Omar Sosa, and trumpeter Nils Peter Movlaer. He was the Grand Prize winner of the 2006 Mid Atlantic Song Writing Contest (with Carl Walker). Terence is currently writing and composing for his band Opus Akoben and Alternative project, Thaylobleu.

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