Songwriters are invited to enter the 2016 Telluride Troubadour Competition held in conjunction with the 43rd Telluride Bluegrass Festival that takes place June 16-19 amid Colorado’s rugged San Juan Mountains. Entrants will vie for cash and other prizes, recognition, and the opportunity to perform at the festival.

Entrants in the competition, which is open to anyone who writes and performs original music and who is not currently signed to a major recording or publishing deal, will be judged on the basis of the quality of their songs’ composition, vocal delivery, and the overall performance.

Songwriters may submit up to two songs either via U.S. Mail to Planet Bluegrass, P.O. Box 769, Lyons, CO 80540 (Attn: Telluride Troubadour Contest) or electronically via SonicBids. There is a $10 entrance fee per song. If applying via mail, entrants must submit a CD with the songs/tracks for consideration clearly specified, along with a check payable to Planet Bluegrass. Songwriters are asked not to send any lead sheets, lyrics, bios or other PR materials. All CDs must be postmarked or submitted by April 8, 2016. Ten finalists will be selected for the preliminary round in Telluride and will be notified by April 29.

Each of the 10 finalists will perform two original songs in the preliminary round at the Elks Park Stage in downtown Telluride, while the top five finalists will perform two different original songs in the final round the following afternoon during the festival — for which they will receive a complimentary four-day pass. Each finalist also receives an “’in-the-round” performance slot in Elks Park, a live radio spot, a performance coaching session, and an opportunity to perform a “tweener” song on the festival’s main stage. The Troubadour winner performs a 15-minute set on Saturday evening.

More than 300 entries were received for the 2015 competition. Caitlin Canty (Pittsford, VT) was named the Troubadour winner, while the next four finalists, as chosen by the judges, were Hadley Kennary (Nashville, TN), Maria Brosgol (Albany, NY), Carter Sampson (Oklahoma City, OK) and Rachael Kilgour (Duluth, MN).

Previous winners in the competition that has been held in conjunction with the Telluride Bluegrass Festival since 1991 include Larry Good (1991), Cosy Sheridan (1992), Dan Sheridan (1993), Catie Curtis (1994), LJ Booth (1995), Michael Lille (1996), Jonathan Kingham (1997), Eugene Ruffolo (1998), Libby Kirkpatrick (1999), Mary Coppin (2000), Kris Delmhorst (2001), Deb Talan (2002), Rachel Davis (2003), Brian Joseph (2004), Keith Greeninger (2005), Nels Andrews (2006), Gregory Alan Isakov (2007), Nathan Moore (2008), Mitch Barrett (2009), Robby Hecht (2010), Matt Harlan (2011), Reed Waddle (2012), Reed Turner (2013), and Michael Kirkpatrick (2014).

More information on the Telluride Troubadour Competition can be found online at