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This ended October 15, 2013
DeoSound 2013 Songwriting Awards

Let heaven and earth praise him
    the seas, and every thing that moveth therein

Welcome to the third annual DeoSound songwriting awards!

God turn can turn someone's world upside down - or right-side up - and He may use your song to do it. Now is your opportunity to share the great gifts He has given you!

We've expanded in several directions this year. First off, we've increased the size of the awards, with more than $2000 USD available. We've also expanded beyond the US and Canada to include Britain, New Zealand, and Australia. Plus we've created a Talent Scout award in recognition of all of you that tell friends, teachers, choir masters, pastors and other songwriters.

But the core of the awards is the same: Encourage Christian songwriters to write great songs of worship, and praise, teaching and reaching - and share those songs freely so God can use them around the world.

How to enter

Entering is even easier this year - all on line, which means no more email! Yay!

  • Compose an original Christian song, music + lyrics
  • Mark it Some rights reserved CC-BY-NC-SA, making your song free for non-commercial use with a Creative Commons license
  • Upload your song entry along with a basic recording to Awards.DeoSound.org

Entries must be in by midnight, October 15, 2013 in the eastern US and Canada, that's 5am GMT - but you won't be cutting it that close, right? It's a good idea to create your account at Awards.DeoSound.org now so you can see exactly what you need to complete your entry. You don't want one of those horrible last-minute discoveries!

Once your entry is in, get praying, reading, playing and worshiping, and set to work on another. If it's also an awesome song too, then enter that too. There is no fixed limit to the number of entries (but don't tempt us to put one on). However, we encourage you to focus just on your very best songs.

Then let God use your music to turn the world upside-down!

Awards & scholarships

Many winners have used the awards for scholarships to continue their music or pastoral education. Others have put it toward recording equipment, so they can afford to share their music for free. There are lots of possibilities!

This year's awards offer a first-place award of $1000, plus entry to the Songwriters' Boot Camp at the Christian Musician Summit valued at $200 (DeoSound is not affiliated with CMS). New this year is a Songwriters' Craft Award, encouraging every songwriter to deliberately work at getting better and better at songwriting, and closer to creating songs that reflect the glory of our amazing God.

How to Win

There aren't too many secrets! The judges look at lyrics, lyrics, music, originality, prayer, and lyrics. Lyrics are definitely high on the list, so let's start there.

Words God will use your music to lead others, so your music always needs to lead people in the right direction. That doesn't mean your music will necessarily be light and cheery - sometimes we learn more from examples of people that have made bad choices or faced very hard times. But our music, like our lives, should always be glorifying God and pointing people toward him. So make sure that your lyrics - even if they are challenging - are perfectly in line with superb guide God has given us in the Bible. Never pick just a single verse, make sure that whatever you say lines up with the whole passage, and with the whole amazing character of God that he's revealed to us.

Your song does not have to quote scripture directly, and it may be an advantage to avoid the Christian clich├ęs we sometimes fall into using. Your song might not even appear on first glance to be a 'Christian' song at all. But your songs need to contain Biblical truth based on God's word that will draw people to faith, strengthen people's existing faith, or challenge them to Christian growth.

Music God made you an original. Make your music original too. Create music in whatever genre you think is right for your words: Who do you picture listening to or singing your song? Whether it's choir or country, hymn or hip-hop, think of who God may be reaching through your music.

And remember: It may be possible to write a truly original worship song using those same chord progressions as 125 other worship songs, but it's not likely. If your song sounds pretty much the same as every other song in your worship services or on your local Christian radio station, you may be snuffing out that unique creative spark God wants to let shine out.

Prayer Everything good comes from God, and anything important needs to start with him. If you write and sing for the King of King's, that will show through in your music. Be open and authentic with God, he knows it anyway, but he wants to talk about it with you. If you are open and honest with him, that too will do wonders for your music.

The fine print

It's really not that bad. But read the complete 2013 Contest Rules here.

May God bless you with joy, fun and creativity as you use your talents to further his glory!

Can God use your song to turn the world upside-down?

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