Wednesday, April 5, 2017

SONGWRITERS NOTES DSA E-News #186 April 2017

Hello Songwriter,  
    I love spring in Dallas. There's so much to do and the weather is wonderful. Festival weather is here! Deep Ellum this weekend at Sons of Hermann Hall, Guitar Show, and Wildflower Festival in May are just a few.

Our Monthly Meeting with guest speaker and song critiques IS NOW THE FIRST THURSDAY at Half Price Books with guest speaker, Rod Phelps (Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert). See # 2 below.

Other regular DSA monthly events are the open mics on the 2nd and 3rd Thursdays,1st Monday, the 3rd Saturday Showcase at Angela's, and the Song Swap on the 3rd Monday.

DSA is presenting a Susan Gibson (Dixie Chicks - Wide Open Spaces) workshop coming up April 22. Sign up online. Special price if you want to bring a spouse. See # 4. below.  Facebook event page:

The Wildflower Songwriting workshop with Joe Crookston will be on May 19. See workshops below. 

 The deadline for the BW Stevenson songwriting contest is April 10. Check the Poor David's Pub website for details.

July brings our 2nd Annual Dallas Songwriters Hall of Fame on the 22nd. Inductees include Songwriters Cindy Walker, Freddy King and Sam The Sham, Musician and cultural icon Trini Lopez and composer/arranger Gus Levene. The No Contact Band with Ian Dickson and guest Barbe McMillen will be the featured entertainment performing songs by the inductees, as well as, their own songs.

Did you know we are live streaming on Facebook? Thanks to Harry Hewlett you can view some of our open mics and guest speakers in a live stream on Facebook? See guest our guest speakers, and latest Angela's showcase. Can't make it? Then tune into Facebook/dallassongwriters. Want to be on our facebook streams? Show up and perform.
Next Deadline for the Winter Lyric Contest is March 31st See #5 below.

Thanks to Paul Zander, Michael Brandenberger, Bobby Montgomery, Jon Jaggers, Mimi Balkey, Suzi Morse, Rio King, Jared LoStratto and Bill Kapac for their contributions to DSA. Just a reminder that we are a non-profit and your tax deductible donations are always welcome. Follow this link to our donation spot on the website.


Spring 2016 Songwriters Notes Get a pdf version here.
Fall 2016 Songwriters Notes Hardcopy pdf version




 Winner Bill Wren with his Grand Prize, a Casio Privia keyboard. Notice is up on the screen in the background. Part of the suite of prizes. 


GRAND PRIZE WINNERS  Read Grand Prize Judge Roy Elkins comments
Grand Prize Winner Bill Wren

1. Enchanted Kingdom by Bill Wren and Frank Ralls, Port Aransas, TX 

Known as the Songbird of Texas, Bill Wren is an award winning songwriter who says, about his undying love for songwriting,"Music is the way I express what's in my heart without words. I strive for beauty and peace in the songs that I compose and hope that they bring the same peace and enjoyment in others." Bill was born in Corpus Christi, and is now settled on the water in Fulton, TX .

2. Just Can’t Drown a Broken Heart by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX
3. CLEANSING RAIN by Jared LoStracco, Nacogdoches, TX

Runner Up Jared LoStracco

Growing up in East Texas, Jared LoStracco picked up is love for music listening to his father`s country records. In high school, LoStracco learned to play the guitar from his older brother and quickly started playing his favorites songs from artists such as Willie Nelson, Waylong Jennings, Robert Earl Keen, and Pat Green.


2016 Winners
2016 Semifinalist
Winner of the Drawing for the IPod -  Jeffery Moore, Baton Rouge, LA  His entry, This Love, #102 was drawn.
Awards Dinner Streamed on Facebook
Photos of the Awards Dinner
Now in its 26th year, The DSA 2016 Song Contest is one of the longest running international song contests for amateur songwriters. Over $5,000 in cash and prizes.


GRAND PRIZE  -   A Casio Privia Piano
and a Nashville recording session at Beaird Music Group. 
Beaird Music Group

1st Runner Up
 wins studio time at
River Sounds Recording Resort

2nd Runner up
wins recording time at 

Grand Prize winners receive:
($199.95 Value) 
Includes Artist Website, 1 Yr. Hosting
1 Yr. Sonicbids Membership

Category winners get cash prizes


Read interview with 2015 winner T Edwin Doss and learn about out other Grand Prize Winners❤ 
Did you miss the Awards Dinner? Here's a blow by blow courtesy of Dan Roark

1. Jessie Brown by T. Edwin Doss, Silver Spring, MD
2. Real Love Next Time by Bonnie Warren, Philadelphia, PA
3. Aina Hanu by John Keawe, Kapaau, Hawaii


MC and GRAND PRIZE JUDGE,  ROY ELKINS, left us with extensive comments on the grand prize winners and more.

Hard Copy of Songwriters Notes Spring 2016 issue with 2015 winners 


 WINNER OF THE IPOD – Samuel Miller, Chico, CA


Click here for more info about this contest, and for more information about joining DSA (membership not required to enter contest). Click here to view a list of frequently asked questions. 

2001 - 2007 Winners Compilation CDs available at the DSA store

All winning songs are on a CD Compilation that was given out at the Awards Ceremony. To get any 3 double CD's simply make a quarter note donation to DSA through our online store and send us an email to request which 3 years of Cd's you want us to mail you.


2. DSA MEETINGS - Guest Speaker, Rod Phelps and Song Critiques, THURSDAY, APRIL6
Rod discovered Garth Brooks and Maranda Lambert
 The April monthly meeting will be Thursday, April 6 at Half Price Books Community Room in back, just east of Central Expressway in Dallas.
For the April meeting, we are pleased to have an attorney and Music VIP as guest speaker.
When Rod was at Baylor he started booking acts like Bob Hope and Brother Dave Gardner. Bob Hope you've heard of, and Bro. Dave had a comedy act that gave rise to the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.
      It was this activity that induced his cousin, Sheri Helt, a student at Oklahoma State University, to call him about a singer who was playing the "Strip" in Stillwater, OK. She said that all of the students at OSU really liked this new guy, and suggested that he go hear him.
   He went to a place called Wild Willie's on a Friday night and, walking in, he had some immediate concerns. One, the air was blue from cigarette smoke, and he's a non-smoker. Two, Wild Willie's didn't take credit cards, so he had no idea how he was going to pay for an evening's tab just to listen to some dude who probably wouldn't be any good anyway. Three, the men's room didn't have a commode, it had a bathtub that served as a urinal.
  He listened to the guy and introduced himself afterwards and told him that he was pretty good and he would like to do a demo on him. He found an 8-track facility and the next Friday they did four live sets, two cover and two original. They mixed them on Saturday, and on Sunday he came by the house and he gave him the reel-to-reel demo we had done, a list of his contacts in Nashville, the confirmation number of the hotel he had set up for him to stay in, and a handful of his credit cards.
   He said, "Rod, I'm going to have to use these credit cards because I don't have any money". Rod told him that he had given them to him to use, and all Rod asked was that he (1) go to Nashville, (2) become a star, (3) pay him back when he could, and to (4)  thank him when he won his first Grammy.
   Well sir, Garth Brooks went to Nashville, became a star, paid Rod back when he could, but never thanked him when he won his first Grammy. You can read about this in "Chicken Soup for the Country Soul".
   Rod's nephew, Tye Phelps, who owns the Love and War in Texas restaurants, asked him to listen to a female act playing at the Plano L&W. Rod went to listen to her, and she wasn't all that good. The other act on the bill who did impress me was a young blond from Lindale, Texas. Rod got a couple of demos from her dad, Rick Lambert, and sent them to his contacts in Nashville, mostly label heads. The rest is history.
   Other folks Rod has helped over the years include Chris Cagle (whom Rod hired as nanny because he said he had no money, no job, and no place to live) and Rory Lee Feek (former DSA member of Joey and Rory fame), whom Rod moved to Nashville, along with his two daughters. He had two daughters the same age, and Rod gave Rory the downstairs master bedroom suite. Rory signed with Harlan Howard soon thereafter (one of the most prolific songwriters in Nashville history) and Rory went on to become one of the best known Christian songwriters and performers of all time, especially when he joined forces with, and married, Joey.
   Rod also has had the good fortune to work with Larry Weiss ("Rhinestone Cowboy", "Bend Me, Shape Me"); Richard Leigh ("Don't you Make My Brown Eyes Blue", "Greatest Man I Never Knew"); Don Schlitz ("The Gambler"); Tommy Barnes ("Cherokee Outlaw"); Randy Boudreaux ("Goodnight Sweetheart", ""Brokenheartsville", "Alibis", "Who Needs You Baby").
   Rod has helped these local folks you might recognize as DSA writers include David Banning, Dickie Kaiser and Steve Hood.
   By simply hanging around individuals in broadcasting, Rod worked with Howard Cosell, Verne Lundquist (Rod got him his divorce from his first wife and introduced him to his second wife) and Roger Staubach, whom Rod got on the speaking tour.

   Rod was the first attorney Buddy Magazine turned to some 44 years ago.
   This is only a few of many stories Rod has about the music business. His contacts are endless. Rod is an educator and loves to help careers. Come meet Rod Phelps who is doing a series of talks at DSA every other month. He's starting with PROs. Rod will be staying to hear your songs.

The monthly meeting will continue to have the song critique session but the format will be a little different.  Instead of judging a "winning" song each month that is eligible for the "Song of the Year", all songs submitted at the meeting will be entered in the DSA Member Best Songs of the Meeting at the end of the year for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the year. We are considering adding a peoples choice awards.

Each song entry will receive friendly feedback from two music industry professionals, Joe Milton and Barbe McMillen.  Joe has been an LA touring musician, studio musician and songwriter and currently owns Jo Musik, a Dallas area music production company and studio that has done music for film and TV, voiceover and dialogue, plays, live shows, jingles, industrials and videos. Barbe is currently Associate Professor of Songwriting at Collin College and President Emeritus of the DSA.  She is also a voting member of the Recording Academy that votes for the Grammy Awards.  As a recording artist she has recorded five albums. She has written songs in all genres, including a musical called "Give Me Break".

Songs can be on a CD, or emailed to Harry Hewlett at, or performed live, or even mailed in (you don't have to be present) or members can enter online at  Just let him know if you want to get a spot at the meeting because we are limited on time and you must be a member to submit your song(s).  The song entry/critique fee is $10 for each song.  Preferred entry is online, so we can know how much time to allot to critiques, however, don't let that stop you, you can bring a recorded song to the meeting or just sing it at the meeting. Be sure to provide copies of lyrics for the group so they can give friendly feedback too. Good thing is that you can bring your song in for a pro critique and submit your rewritten or updated song at anytime during the year before the cut-off date. This is to encourage members to use the critique sessions during the editing phase of your song. You can have plenty of time for a re-write and re-submit.
Facebook Event page:
Sign in and Networking begins at 6:30
Announcements at 7PM
Program about 7:30

Future Meetings
June 1st - Rod Phelps - Half Price Books

Recordings of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

Oct 2016 Barbara McMillen - Polishing Your Final Draft by Applying the Secrets of the Popular Song.

Sept 2016 Joe Milton on Preparing for a Recording Session

1 of 2
2 of 2

Reviews of past DSA Second Tuesday guest speakers  

Oct 2015  Tirk Wilder
MONDAY SONG SWAPS for peer critique
Song Swap Workshop
Monthly 7:30-10 PM
Free, Visitors Welcome
Where songwriters perform their songs for peer review. Bring your guitar and a few lyric sheets. This is like an old fashioned guitar pull with comments between songs.

Tino's - Steve Sullivan, Gigi Gostas coordinating.
Tino's Too Mexican Restaurant 2205 Ave K, Plano, Tx  972 881-9226

3. BEST SONGS of the Month - 

JAN - Love Without Money by Bobby Montgomery and Barbe McMillen
         Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
         Your The Best by Michael Brandenberger 
FEB -  
        Caribbean Holiday by David Alan Claer
        Johnny's Place by Bill Kapac
        Mean Woman Grill by Morri Hartgrave
        Oklahoma Grit by Rio King
        Six Gun Sally by Bill Kapac
        Stay (Until The Sunrise) by Steve Valenzuela
        Storm (instrumental) by Yulia Petrova
        The Days by Ireland Casteel
        When There Is Nothing (instrumental) by Yulia Petrova
        You Made My Day by Michael Brandenberger

       Goodbye by Yulia Petrova
       Gypsy (Girl) King by James Pappas
       House On The Hill by Bill Kapac
       I Found Myself In Austin by Morri Hartgraves
       Island Red by Ricky Gene Wright
       Never by Ireland Casteel

Here is the list of 2016  winners of the meeting critiques from which the top three were chosen thanks to Judge, Mr. Troll, Poor Davids Pub.
2016 Winners & Finalists

Q&A With Winner, Dori Weaver, Song of the Year 2015 

Songwriter of the Year 2015 - 2016
is Rio King with the most wins at the meeting critiques
To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
To hear the winners go to our Soundcloud page



(Each month DSA hosts 3 workshops at our monthly meetings on the 1st Monday, 3rd Monday and 2nd Tuesday these are ongoing. see item 2 above.)


THE BLANK PAGE: Finding and following through on your inspiration, Grabbing
the songs from thin air, Fishing with a line versus a net.

Performing Songwriter Susan Gibson, writer of Wide Open Spaces performed by the Dixie Chicks, will present a workshop on Saturday, April 22. Workshop, pizza dinner and performance all included for $35.
Susan has taught songwriting workshops to all ages. She has been a mentor at the Real Life, Real Music Summer Camp in The Woodlands, Texas for the past five years. She's also given workshops and talks at The Brauntex Theater, The San Antonio Songwriters' Saloon, The Songwriters Serenade Competition, The Bugle Boy Soldier' Songs Program, Belmont University, UT Austin, NSAI Nashville and Houston Chapters, and at The Boys and Girls Club among others.
Susan draws from her experience as a commercially successful songwriter as well as a nationally touring, independent artist with 5 albums of original material in her catalog. She can address a variety of topics from writing to business. 
Facebook -

Performing songwriter Joe Crookston will be leading the Songwriting Workshop at the Wildflower! Festival this year!  The workshop will be on Friday, May 19, 2017 from 9 am - 4 pm at the Courtyard by Marriott on Spring Valley (same location as last year).  For more information and to sign up, click on the link below:

How Music REALLY Works July 9-14, 2017
Learn the songwriting techniques of the master songwriters with best-selling author Wayne Chase. Learn how you can use these tools to craft great songs. Includes FREE library, books, music charts & more ($400 value).
Details Here

SongMatrix Retreat August 13-18, 2017
Hands on, in-depth exploration of your original songs using more than 40 specific SongMatrix musical & lyrical techniques. Create brilliant melodies and emotion-evoking lyrics. Includes 1-year post-retreat mentoring with SongMatrix author Wayne Chase.
Details here

Want to study songwriting but don't want to get out of your PJ's?

* Take a class online through a songwriting workshop yahoo group with Barbara McMillen, associate professor of Songwriting and Music Business at Collin College.

* Check out the songwriter learning community.




HALF PRICE BOOKS OPEN MIC - NORTHWEST HIGHWAY - Rotating guest host featured artist
EVERY 1ST MONDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Sign up begins at 6:30
If you want peer feedback on a song bring a few lyric sheets

EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Hosted by  Craig St.Clair 
In November 2015, DSA celebrated 11 years at Dunn Brothers
see review of

BURGER EDGE - North Dallas
EVERY 2ND THURSDAY - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Hosted by Michael Brandenberger and rotating guest host.
BURGER"S EDGE inRichardson
3rd Saturday 6:30 -8:30
7529 Campbell Rd. at Coit
This a perfect venue for an open mic because it has a nice stage with a complete sound system. It also has a great food menu if you want to come early to eat or invite friends who can enjoy a very tasty burger or chicken sandwich while they listen to you perform.  
Rotating host. Interested in hosting an open mic? email Michael.

3rd Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 Check out our facebook page where Harry is posting live streaming.
Hosted by Dan Roark
    7:30  M'Lynn Musgrove
    8:00  Baylis Laramore
    8:30  Jeff Stachowski
    9:10  "Guest host" Harry Hewlett

Other area open mics OPEN MICS

6. DSA LYRIC CONTEST - Next deadline postmarked June 30

or by mail


The Days by Ireland Casteel, Grapevine, TX
Still by Lonnie Jordan, Casar, NC
The Cowboy Rides Away by Lonnie Jordan, Casar, NC
Big Enough To Be Small by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
Cufflinks by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
I'll Make Your Dreams Come True by Bill Kapac, Williamstown, NJ
That Makes Two and a Half Times You Broke My Heart by Derek Houghton

AND THE 2016 WINNERS ARE.........

See Summer winners on the website:

2016 Spring Winners on the website: :

See winners from 2016 and 2015 listed in the DSA 2016 Fall Hardcopy of Songwriters Notes featuring winner, Bill Kapac on front page. This issue was handed out at the Arlington Guitar Show in October.

See Winter 2016 on website:


Next Lyric Contest Deadline is June 30th for Spring Lyric Contest
Entry fee is $10
Please see lyric contest webpage for details.



Wanna get involved? Become a committee member. It's fun! Be apart of the inner workings of the DSA. We have committee positions open. Let us know if you'd like to be on the board. Just show up a our membership meeting.

Directors elected at our Nov 8th Annual Membership Meeting were:
Michael BrandenbergerBobby MontgomeryDicky JohnsonRachel WilhelmDan RoarkBarbe McMillenJoe Milton, Marcus Belmore, Steve Sullivan, Ken Duren, James Pappas, Ginger Stanoiu, Milani Shaw and Harry Hewlett. New officers were elected at the planning meeting on Jan 7th. 

Newly Elected Officers 2017
Michael Brandenberger -  Prez
Bobby Montgomery - VP Programs
Dicky Johnson - Treasurer
Secretary - Ginger Stanoiu
Dan Roark - Director of showcases, workshops
Barbe McMillen - Administration, Newsletter
Harry Hewlett - A/R
Milani Shaw - VP of Membership 
Gene Schillaci - Lyric Contest Director
Steve Sullivan and James Pappas - SongSwap Coordinators
Joe Milton, Ken Duren - At Large
Rachel Wilheim - Technology
Marcus Belmore - Executive VP, Webmaster

If you are not a DSA Member, you missed these tips sent out through our yahoo group:

* Publisher looking for Childrens songs
* Artists/Producers looking for original material for recording artists
* Major Brand X (To be disclosed at a later time) Seeks Independent artist for music campaign.
* Where to get your cd reviewed
* Music related job listing
* Film Licensing Co. seeking instrumental music
* Cheap and free tickets - Free tickets to selected Winspear Opera House events.

Lyricists are invited to co-write with music writers by submitting your lyric through the member yahoo group.
NEW MEMBERS: Have you joined our member only yahoo group where you can talk with the group and get special offers and last minute updates on events? subscribe:

                   PATRON SAINTS: PAUL ZANDER
Patron Sponsor L3: Bobby Montgomery, Michael Brandenberger, Bill Honker
Patron Sponsor L1: Cliff MonroeSuzi MorseJon JaggersRio King
Patron Sponsor: Mimi Balkey

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Ricky E Wright, Bianca Rodreguez, Stephen Valenzuela, Yulia Petrova
THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: Gene Schlacci, Jackie Schwartz, Aaron Shook, Ron Young, Rachel Wilheim, Julia Pauletti, Terry Bloss, Jeff Stachowshi, Raquel Linderman, Victoria Bouton, David Claerr, Jon Jaggers, Don Wall, Joe Milton, Harry Hewlett, Rio King, Morri Hartgraves, Barbara McMillen, Bobby Montgomery, Randy Wallace, Ken Golden, Bill Honker

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

EXPIRED IN MAY: Ted Pearce, Mark Evans, Tamara Stamps, Ray Baker, Timothy McGarity 
EXPIRED IN JUNE: John Thomas Lane
EXPIRED IN JULYMichael Franceus, Tom Prasado Rao, Crystal Taylor, Bill Sibley
EXPIRED IN AUGYanna Zovich, Minnie Murray, Warren Hanson

EXPIRED IN OCTDenise Rosier, Katie Hardyman, Charlie Hill, Darren Rozell, M'Lynn Musgrove, Stephen McKinnell, Jenni Peal, Jay Gallagher, Rick Webster
EXPIRED IN DEC: Michael Brandenberger, Buck Morgan, Ross Vick, Anthony Groom, Kathryn Taylor, David Morales, Ashley Sichler, Brad Davis, Scott White
EXPIRED IN JAN: Jeff Moxcey, Robin Carr, Andrew Plan, Cousin Don Brown, Tony Ramey, Lucia Comnes, Gracie Lott, James  Bennett, Rob Cariddi, Tyler Hook, Sarah Ashley, Christopher Hart, John Keawe, Katie Riley, Marc Tilson, Mathew Stemme, Patrice Luce Chapman, Clark McAlister, Ginger Stanoiu
EXPIRED IN FEBTrevor Dahlen, Anthony Castillo, Mark Pierce, Katrina Pitts
EXPIRED IN MARCH: Carol Shaw, Ken Duran
TIME TO RENEW: Helene Cronin, John Mason, Ireland Casteel, Kathy Adams, Jim Collins
  Renew your membership online.
You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right
Or paste this link in your browser:


8. EVENTS Featuring local and worldwide events of the songwriting community including, seminars, conferences, and showcases.


3 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
6 DSA Monthly Meeting with guest, Rod Phelps, at Half Price Books
9 Sally Barris Black Box Series, MCLGrand, 6:30
13 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge
13-15 ASCAP I Create Music conference, LA 
15 DSA Showcase at Angelas
17 DSA Song Swap at Tino's Too
20 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
22 Jon Christopher Davis with Crystal Yates, Texas Tunes Series, MCLGrand 

1 DSA Open Mic at Half Price Books
4 DSA Monthly Meeting at Half Price Books
5-7 Dallas International Guitar Show (visit DSA at our booth)
11 DSA Open Mic at Burger Edge
13 - Joe Ely - Full band, Texas Tunes Series @ MCL Grand Lewisville, 8pm
15 DSA Song Swap at Tino's Too
16 - Music Biz 2017, Nashville  
18 DSA Open Mic at Dunn Brothers
19 - 21 Wildflower Festival, Richardson, TX
20 DSA Showcase at Angelas

 June 10 - John Ford Coley - solo  (Texas Tunes Series) 8pm
               He also gets a star on Denton's Arts Walk of Fame at noon that day!

9 - Ronny Cox (Black Box Series) 6:30pm
22- DSA Hall of Fame Dinner and performance at Sons of Hermann Hall
and soon to be announced...
August 26 - Walt Wilkins and the Mystiqueros w/Susan Gibson
            (Texas Tunes Series Encore) 8pm

Moses Avalon's List of Top Ranked Music Conferences.

Go to the events page to view links to local and Texas venues.


9. Featured Articles:

By Robert Levine

By Randy Lewis
Stevie Wonder has been tapped to give the keynote address at the annual ASCAP "I Create Music" EXPO this month in Los Angeles. During the conference, set for April 13-15 at the Loews Hollywood Hotel, the 25-time Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist will also be presented ASCAP’s first Key of Life award, in recognition of his track record of 65 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, including nine that reached No. 1. Continue Reading 

By Allen Johnston

Paul Christensen in Music Industry Forum
Article on NRGStudios. Lots-O-History...

Here you are. You’ve done all the hard work of getting your music together and you’ve finally printed your single, ep or full-length album. Internet offers an infinite number of opportunities of...

Allen Johnston in Music Industry Network

When you’re starting out as a songwriter, a common scenario is that something in your life moves you to the point where you’re inspired to write about it and, thus, your song is born. This may still be the case – and on some level I hope so – but if your hopes extend...


National Geographic
Nestled near the Arctic Circle, the Swedish Lapland town of LuleĆ„ is an enchanting winter wonderland of snow and ice. This magical place is also the home of Ice Music, a new musical art form introduced by American ice sculptor Tim Linhart. In his celebration of the Arctic spirit, musicians play hand-carved ice instruments inside a glowing igloo concert hall. Continue Reading 

By Rick Lee
Someone teaching you to write from a list of words ? Forget that , write from inside you .

Barbe McMillen's blog, The Craft of Songwriting

Online Thesaurus and Rhyming Dictionary

Great web tool for lyric writing
10. Song and Talent Contests

 DSA Quarterly Lyric Contest
Next deadline - March 30th

The deadline for Poor David's Pubs BW Stevenson Performing Songwriter Contest is fast approaching - April 10.  For more information, go to to learn how you can win $1,000!   

Lonestar Songcrafters is having a performing songwriter contest every Sunday at the Texas Muscians Museum in Irving. 

DSA Song Contest Closed - Winners Announced Dec 13 

A comprehensive list of Song Contests compliments of

11. Songwriting Resources -  Now accepting book reviews

Links to websites about songwriting, performance, music industry.

DSA Book Store - reviews, links, lists of recommended reading, and what's in the DSA Library.

12. Archives of Past Programs and Activities


Did you know???  DSA held two song contests for active military and the CDs of the winning songs, Songs From the Soul of Service Vols. 1 and 2 are available.
Tribute to our fallen soldiers from DFW at our Podomatic site:
You Know Me Tribute to Fallen
Read the latest story about this years winners

View past showcase performances and workshops on Crossroads Youtube.

DSA depends on your support.

Giving Rocks! While it never hurts to remind you that DSA is a non-profit organization (and so your contributions are tax-deductible) -  this year it means so much more. We're proud to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary as a non-profit. DSA has been an organized songwriter group since 1985 and became a non-profit in 1990.

Your gift
 enables us to meet our mission.

Our programs created to meet our mission goals are: a monthly newsletter, workshops, critique sessions, showcases, contests, networking opportunities and community service.
If you like what we do, and want to help us keep doing it, please make a contribution today. Gifts of all sizes are meaningful and appreciated.
Donations are welcome year round. 
Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions for the newsletter, please let me know. Follow me on Twitter @barbemcmillen. Give me a tweet.

  Barbara McMillen, Editor
  Songwriter Notes
  Founding President Emeritus,
  Online Songwriting Workshops and Classes