Entries are currently being accepted for the International Acoustic Music Awards. Now in its ninth year, the competition promotes excellence in acoustic music performance and artistry. Awards will be presented in eight categories: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo, Folk/Americana/Roots, AAA/Alternative, Instrumental, Bluegrass/Country, and an Acoustic Open Genre category. An overall Grand Prize winner also will be named.

A panel of judges comprised of established artists, A & R representatives, and other music industry professionals will evaluate entries (of which there were nearly 12,000 last year) based on music performance, production, originality, lyrics, melody and composition. In addition to valuable products and services, the winners and top runners-up in each category will be featured on a compilation CD that is distributed to radio stations. Although the entry deadline is Nov. 9, the first 1,000 entrants by Sept. 28 will receive a free compilation CD.

Maddy Rodriguez, an 18-year-old Canadian country-pop singer-songwriter, was the overall grand prize winner in this year’s IAMA competition. Previous winners include fellow Canadian David Francey (2011), Liz Longley (2010), The Refugees (2009), and UK-based singer-songwriter Charlie Dore (2008).

To enter the competition, artists are required to submit a CD containing one song and a lyric sheet (except in the Instrumental category), along with a $35 fee per entry. There is no limit to the number of songs and categories an individual or group may enter. For more information and entry forms, log-on to www.inacoustic.com.