You write the songs

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I don’t know if this could be characterized as a premature proclamation, but since it’s pretty much all that’s been on my mind for the last few days, I’m going to tell you what I know, and then as the plan develops, I’ll keep you posted.

Anyway, the Reno News & Review is going to have a songwriting contest. We’re going to do it in conjunction with our massive Biggest Little Best of readers’ poll this year. I’m working with singer-songwriter Kate Cotter on this one. (She’s strictly administrative and will not be able to vote, influence voting or enter a song.) Again, details are still being worked out, but here’s some of what we know.

You must live within 50 miles of this building to be eligible. Songs must be previously unreleased. If you’ve recorded it live and put it on Myspace, it will not be eligible. Write something new.

Each artist may enter once as an individual. Each band may have one entry. Songs can’t be duplicated in individual/band entries.

All songs will be uploaded to our website, and we expect the upload page to be ready on July 1.

If you call it a song—be it, folk, rap, spoken-word, opera—we’re going to consider it a song. If it’s a recording of you in the restroom, we’re not going to post it for the contest. I’ll get to bitrates and size limits and all that stuff when the upload site is ready.

There will be two systems of judging: the public (with all our Best-Of madness, self-promotion and popularity begging) and a panel of objective music professionals (not your friends).

The public will vote during the month of September.

Cheaters and plagiarizers will suffer summary execution.

The results will be announced in our Best of Northern Nevada readers’ poll on Oct. 15.

We’re also going to do a CD for charity with the winners and have a live performance (at least one) at our Best of Northern Nevada winner’s party.