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Happy Holidays!
December 04, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Hey Gang, Jim Attebery here with a couple of updates on the upcoming Santa Barbara Wine Country Expo, Feb. 28th - Mar. 1st, and our ongoing "Write With A Hitmaker" contest.

First of all, regarding The Wine Country Expo, we're presently working on brochures and confirming artists and industry pros and we'll try and have the brochure up and out by Dec. 15th. Rest assured, it will be another incredible Expo. Regarding the contest, I just want to stress to each of you how remarkable this opportunity is. I know of no other contest that gives two winners the opportunity to write with a bona fide hit songwriter and get a one song publishing deal. And the only reason the hit songwriters agree to do this is because they know how great the talent is at The Expo, as demonstrated by the winners of the first two contests!

Alissa Moreno won the pop contest two years ago and wrote with Tony Scalzo from Fastball. Subsequently she wrote with Jeffrey Steele at The Expo, and the song they wrote, "Every Day," is slated to be a single on the new Rascal Flatts record, Still Feels Good, which has already sold close to a million small feat these days!

Richard Harris, who won the pop contest last year is being heavily courted by publishers from both LA and Nashville.

Jennifer Johnson from Midas Music in Nashville came to The Expo for the first time this year in Arizona and was blown away by the talent and immediately arranged for SESAC Writers Of The Year, Sam and Annie Tate, to come to Santa Barbara to write with the country winner. She also got Midas Music President and hit songwriter Keith Follese, who's had huge hits in both pop and country to come to write with the pop winner. This guy's not only a huge hit songwriter, he's the head of a music company!

The cost of entering this event is small and the potential reward is career's really something every serious writer should consider. We put our reputation squarely on the line every time we do this and we certainly want people to take advantage of it, and we're not talking 5,000 entries here, this is purposely a small contest. We want great quality, not quantity.

So keep the next Expo and the songwriting contest in mind if you will. I know it's the holidays and everyone's attention is understandably diverted, but this is the real deal, and we want you to take advantage of it. In addition to the grand prize, we will also be offering discounts to attend The Expo for the four runner-up finalists in each category...more on that next time. Don't let this chance pass you by!

Happy Holidays everyone, and THANKS for being a part of our little community!

About Our 2008 Contest

The winning songwriter in the Country Category will write a song at the EXPO with the hit songwriting team of Sam and Annie Tate whose hits include, "Shut Up and Drive" for Chely Wright, "Somebody" for Reba, and "If You're Going Through Hell" for Rodney Atkins. Emerson Drive's "Moments" just became their third #1 song.

The winner in the Pop/Rock Category will write a song with hit songwriter and industry powerhouse Keith Follese. Keith grew up in the music rich scene of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has spent most of his music career dividing time between Los Angeles and Nashville. Keith's relentless drive and songwriting talent has rewarded him with many top songwriting honors. Keith has been named both ASCAP and BILLBOARD magazine's SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR. Keith is currently the CEO of Midas Music and is the lead writer for the production team THE CENTER. He continues to write with top producers and artists all over the world. Keith's hits include Faith Hill's smash, "The Way You love Me" and Lonestar's "Smile."

Each winner will also receive a SINGLE SONG PUBLISHING DEAL! The Pop/Rock category winner will have the opportunity to publish with LA-based Leftwinger/peer music. The Country winner will have the opportunity to publish with Nashville-based Midas Music.

Get the Registration Form

OUR NEXT EXPO is FEBRUARY 28, 29 and MARCH 1st, 2008 in Wine Country (Santa Barbara, CA). Please be sure that you have signed up for our Great Connections Newsletter to get the latest news from DurangoLand!

Jeffrey Steele performs "What Hurts the Most" at the Expo.

Our Genuine Jenn...

Genuine. That's what songwriter, teacher, ace-networker (and indispensable Expo co-organizer!) Jennifer Marciano is and that's what she talks about here in this new feature article and interview. Check it out!

Add YOUR BIO to our website! Click here.

Showcase at OC's Gypsy Lounge!

Thanks to our friend and Expo veteran, Frank Giampaolo from Laguna, CA, we can hook you up!

Says Frank, "I have been attending your Durango Songwriters Expos in the Santa Barabara Wine Country. If you have any songwriters that would like to play my Songwriters Live showcase in South Orange County, please have them contact me at:

"It is held on the fourth Thursday of each month. Some of the past performing songwriters include Steve Dorff, Ray Herndon, Jimbeau Hinson, Kevin Fisher, Pete Sellis, Amanda Williams and Bobby Tomberlin."

So there you go! Contact Frank and get yourself added to a Songwriters Live bill!

Visit the Bookstore!
SPECIAL OFFER: Get a $70 Discount on MasterWriter—The Ultimate Collection of Songwriting Tools for the Serious Songwriter

Durango Writers Night in Nashville!

The Amanda Williams Monday Writers Night, which is host to our Durango Songwriters the THIRD MONDAY of each month, is held at the Blue Bar on Broadway, starting at 9pm. Next DSE night is December 17th.

Rack Room/Blue Bar
1911 Broadway
Nashville, TN 37203

Email if you would like to be added to the line-up. Thanks to all who come out to play, listen and support us!

What is

Not everyone can join us in Durango each year to be educated and inspired by our panelists and hit songwriters. But every songwriter can now have access to the next-best thing -- -- and benefit from many of the same resources provided each year at the Durango Songwriters Expo. offers Members a chance to hear writers, publishers, producers, managers and executives who decide what songs and artists make it to the big leagues.

Annually, we record the EXPO Panel Discussions and make them available in our subscription-based Backstage. If you can't make it to the EXPO in person, you can still get the same information from our ever-growing library of recorded discussions, as well as songwriter interviews and other special features.

Check Us Out!

Got a Website? Special Request from the EXPO—

If you've been marketing yourself and your music through a website, no doubt you already know the importance of "back-links" (how many websites, and their popularity, link to YOU) in gaining high search engine rankings and growing your traffic.

If you are interested in exchanging links, please link to:
The Durango Songwriters Expo

Then send us an email with YOUR link either by using the Contact Us Form, or sending an email to


Essential Reading for the Serious Songwriter

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