The 2021 Contest, originally slated to be held during our May 2021 show, will now be held in September. The date will be announced soon. We will be in touch with contestants this year to inform them of the date change. Contest entries are due by July 15, 2021. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we hope that by September we’ll be able to have in-person shows again! Submitted contest entries will be held for consideration for our competition in September, unless a contestant wishes to withdraw.


The goal of the competition is to encourage emerging singer/songwriters to seek recognition for their work and to offer them the chance to further their careers.

Contest winners receive:

A $100 prize
A featured gig at the Rose Garden

Entry Form

1. Competition is open to all singer/songwriters interested in receiving wider recognition for their performance and writing talents, with the exception of Rule #2 below.

2. The following are not eligible: Rose Garden featured or co-billed performers from the past or current seasons; members of the Rose Garden Committee or volunteer staff, or members of their immediate families; and performers who have released an album containing original songs on a bona fide “record label.” Duos or groups should not enter; this competition is for individual singer/songwriters. Release of a self-produced CD which is not affiliated with an outside record label will not exclude you.

3. Entrant must submit two original songs on a CD/thumbdrive OR by using our online entry form, along with lyric sheets for both songs. Songs should reflect your individual performance style and need not be professionally recorded. Care should be taken, however, to produce a recording which allows the words and music to be heard clearly. Note: submission of highly produced songs with a lot of extra instrumentation and vocals is strongly discouraged. This can obscure the evaluation of your song and your performance on their own merits.

4. Entrant must be the person performing “lead” vocals on each submitted song. Co-written songs are acceptable as long as you are singing and one of the co-writers. Full credit must be given to co-writers.

5. The contest is held every year. Each year, all entries must be received by APRIL 15. After April 15, all entries for 2021 must be received by July 15. After July 15, the contest is open for the following year. One entry per performer, please.

6. Three finalists will be chosen and must be prepared to perform the two entered songs live at the Rose Garden at the MAY SHOW (dates vary each year; please check the schedule to make sure you can attend before entering the contest). The finals competition will precede the featured performance of an artist to be announced. A panel of judges will select the winning performer that night based on songwriting ability, stage presence and performance skills.  There is no fee for entering the Performing Songwriter Competition. All entries must be mailed to:

Rose Garden Coffeehouse
10 Toad Island Road
Norton, MA, 02766

All entries must be received by April 15.
CDs/thumbdrives will not be returned.

Entry Form