ANN ARBOR, MI – The deadline for entries in the 2008 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest has been extended by a week and a day, to Saturday, May 3.

“Our contest is run by a democratic group of songwriters, and while there was no arm-twisting of Super Delegates, the strategic use of free pizza and adult beverages proved highly effective. The Procrastinators’ Bloc has obviously prevailed,” said contest spokesperson Bill Frank.

Entries can be submitted on-line through Sonic Bids or by mail. Mailed entries must be postmarked on or before May 3, and on-line entries must be sent before midnight on May 3. Rules, entry forms, and information on last year’s winners and judges can be found on the contest website, www.GreatLakesSongs.com.

This is the fifth year for the contest, which is open to songwriters of all ages and all musical styles in the eight states and one Canadian province that border the Great Lakes: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and the Province of Ontario. Winning songwriters keep all rights to their songs. Thousands of dollar’s worth of new prizes have been added this year, and the entry fee reduced.

The 2008 Grand Prize is $2,000 cash; tuition, room and board at a 3-day weekend songwriting retreat; and the headliner spot at the contest’s annual Winners’ Concert in February 2009. The remaining 10 winners get a variety of prizes with a combined value of about $10,000. All winners will have their photos and bios listed on the contest website.

“A lot of great music has come out of our part of the world, from Motown to Prairie Home Companion to Chicago Blues and Broadway,” says contest spokesman Bill Frank. “It’s produced big names like Bob Dylan, Prince, Madonna, the Barenaked Ladies, and Jars of Clay, just to name a few. But some of the best music is written by the locally known, little-known, and unknown songwriters, and that’s who we’re looking for.”

Past winners have included an organic farmer from rural Michigan, a retired Marine Corps captain from Minneapolis, a Chicago novelist, a former child actress from New York City, and numerous high-school and college students. Winning songs have ranged from hard-rock instrumentals to jazz, country, folk, R&B, Christian, and various hybrids. For the past several years, the top winners have performed at sold-out crowds at the Winners’ Concert series at the Trinity House Theatre in Livonia, MI.

The contest is sponsored by:
- Indie-Music.com, an Indiana-based company that has produced one of the most respected and imitated independent music sites on the web.
- Broadjam Inc., based in Madison (WI), one of the world's largest web communities focused on web-based promotional tools and services for independent musicians.
- Songbridge, the song marketing company based in Ontario, Canada, which provides a weekly pitch sheet to its songwriting members and a free e-newsletter with tips and insights on marketing.
- Elderly Instruments of Lansing (MI), one of America’s largest mail order suppliers of vintage and new stringed instruments.
- Lamb's Retreat for Songwriters of Royal Oak (MI), which holds songwriting weekends in Northern Michigan.
- The CD Seller of Minneapolis, an online company that has created a CD selling tool for independent performers.