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presented by the Songwriters' Association of Washington


The Songwriters’ Association of Washington (SAW) presents the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest (MASC) to help songwriters receive recognition for their work and to further excellence in songwriting through education.  Entrants compete for monetary awards, other prizes such as recording credits, and MASC Awards Show and other performance and promotional opportunities. Gold, Silver, Finalist and Honorable Mention awards are presented in each category, and overall awards include a Director’s Award, Young Artist Awards, three Overall Grand Prizes, and other special awards. The MASC is now in its 41st year.


  • Adult Contemporary
  • Americana
  • Children's 
  • Country/Bluegrass
  • Folk Acoustic
  • Freedom
  • Gospel/ Inspirational
  • Instrumental
  • Lyrics Only
  • Open
  • Pop
  • R&B/Hip Hop/Urban
  • Rock/Alternative
  • Vocal Jazz/Blues
  • Video 

General INFO

The categories for this year's contest are: Adult Contemporary, Americana , Children's , Country/Bluegrass, Folk Acoustic, Freedom, Gospel/Inspirational, Instrumental, Lyrics Only, Open, Pop, R&B/Hip Hop/Urban, Rock/Alternative, Vocal Jazz/Blues, and Video.

You may enter as many songs as you wish in each category. You may want to listen to past winning songs to help determine which category to enter. You may enter the same song in more than one category. Entry fees are calculated based on one category per song, however, so entering a song in two or more categories means that additional entry fees will apply.  Discounts for entering multiple songs apply when the songs are entered in the same submission form submission, and SAW members are eligible to enter at a discounted rate (see rates below).

Each entry MUST have lyrics, except for the Instrumental category. Instrumental category entries MUST include a three-sentence explanation of the artistic intent of the composition. Submissions in the Video category are entered as YouTube or Vimeo links. Videos are not eligible for the MASC Grand Prize.

All entries must be submitted online by 11:59 pm EST on September 30, 2024.  

The judges are music industry leaders and musicians, including Grammy winners, previous winners of MASC and other song contests, plus some SAW leaders. SAW is the sole judge of entry validity, interpretation of voting, and who has won the contest. The decisions of the judges are accepted as final. The SAW judges will decide all questions and ties.


You must not have made more than $5,000 in publishing royalties in 2023 and you cannot be employed as a staff writer for a publishing company nor have been paid for such services by a publishing company.

Each entry must be wholly original (co-writers allowed) and shall not infringe on any copyrights or any other rights of any third party. The artist need not be the performer. Each entrant shall hold SAW harmless from and against claims inconsistent with these requirements.

No composition or lyric may be entered that has been: (1) placed under contract for commercial sale with any record label in which the underlying contract prohibits the distribution of the artist’s recording on the MASC website or other channels; or (2) selected in previous years’ MASC contests as Gold, Silver, . You may resubmit songs which have won Finalist  or Honorable Mention in past contests.

DISCLAIMER: Current SAW Board members and contractors are not eligible to enter the MASC. 

    Important 2024 Dates

Contest Opens: July 7
Final Entry Deadline: Sept 30
Category Winners Announced: on or before December 31

Overall and Special Awards: announced early 2024


Songwriters retain all rights to their songs.

Songwriters 21 or younger (as of September 30, 2024) may choose to be considered for The YOUNG ARTIST AWARDS and remain eligible for category and Overall awards. All songwriters and co-writers must be age 21 or younger at the end of the contest deadline, which is September 30 this year to be eligible for the Young Artist Awards, which could include songs in any category.   

AFTER THE JUDGING: The Young Artist Award winners and Gold, Silver, Finalists, and Honorable Mention winners will be announced on or before December 31, 2024 and notified by email.

ANNOUNCING WINNERS AND CELEBRATION: May include in person and online events. Traditionally we have hosted a MASC Awards Show and Concert each January. During Covid we produced a series of video interviews with MASC winners. Visit SAW Notes to watch the videos or watch on YouTube or Vimeo.

PROMOTIONAL AGREEMENTS: Gold and Silver category winners agree to authorize their winning songs for airplay during the MASC Awards Show and Concert.  Winners also agree that SAW may post clips of their songs and video performance on the SAW and StreamCatcher websites and social media.

CERTIFICATE DISTRIBUTION: Each songwriter and co-writer listed on the entry form of a winning song, including Finalists and Honorable Mentions, will receive a personalized Certificate of Merit at the MASC Awards Show or by email. The winning songwriter is asked to distribute the Certificates to any co-writer(s).


SAW Member Rates:

1 - 5 Songs:  $24 per song       
6 - 10 Songs:  $22 per song   
11 - 15 Songs:  $20 per song                   

Non-Member Rates:

1 - 5 Songs:  $28 per song
6 - 10 Songs:  $26 per song
11 - 15 Songs:  $22 per song

Not sure if you're a current SAW member? Check the Member Directory on the SAW membership page. If you don’t find your name, you will need to log in and renew in order to enter at the discounted rate.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQs about entering the MASC

How do I decide which category my song belongs in?

Giving advice about something that seems obvious to the self assured and daunting to the thoughtful is always a tough thing to navigate. Some suggestions below but know that we are not purists at SAW, nor are we a monolith of one opinion. With the many judges we have, the first thing we ask is put the song first. The style and execution are part of the song but the song itself is what really works. That said:

You may want to listen to past winning songs to help determine which category(ies) to select for your submission. Check out our MASC Stories video series on Vimeo or YouTube for a more in-depth look at the songwriting process. Find some similar well-known songs and artists and research how they are labeled. And/or ask your friends and fans for their opinions.

MASC Stories on Vimeo

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Remember that you can enter the same song in more than one category. You are limited only by your imagination and your budget.

How polished does my recording need to be?

Making your song as presentable as it can be is never a bad idea. But you don't need to have an elaborate expensive recording to win Gold at the MASC. 

Our judges evaluate the various components and overall delivery of the song itself, not its production or performance. That being said, if your singing is horribly off-key or the rhythm is off, it can detract from the overall evaluation in a way that’s hard to ignore. Try to focus on presenting your song in its most pure and effective form.

What about video entries? What kinds do you accept and how are they judged?

Again, the MASC is all about the song, so we are looking for videos that best support and present great songs. We encourage you to submit any and all types of videos for all genres of songs.

There is much weight put into the thought, song and presentation. As a visual medium, this category does have special considerations about the look and feel of the video. Emotional content can now extend beyond the expressiveness of the voice and the instruments. 

What rules do I need to know and how do I enter?

Read all the fine print on the About the MASC page and go to the ENTER page when you are ready to fill out the online entry form.

I started filling out the form but didn’t finish. How do I go back to where I left off?

You can save your progress at any time. When you click on the save button, you will have the option to copy the direct link to your incomplete form and/or email the link to yourself. Once your entry is complete, you will receive a confirmation email that includes all entry and payment details.

I want to use a credit or debit card to pay the entry fees, I don’t have a PayPal account.

You will see the PayPal logo when you check out because the entry fees are processed by PayPal and deposited in SAW's account. But you don't need a PayPal account to pay; you can use a debit or credit card.

What does my entry fee cover?

Your entry fee, in addition to making you eligible for all the prizes, provides funding for many educational and networking opportunities in the art and business of songwriting, and supports DMV songwriters, other music organizations and music events through SAW programming. SAW provides emerging songwriters with performance opportunities, workshops, and peer critique. For more information about SAW, visit the SAW website.

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