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First, you'll need songs. Really good ones.

Hey, to do our job hooking your songs up to artists, we need to have songs we can believe in. We need songs that are gate-busters! Hooks and melodies and lyrics that bring a tear to the often hardened glass eye of the publisher, producer, or artist that we are showing the song to.

What We Look For

Now you as a songwriter, loving your songs, will have a tendency to think you should send us anything that moves you. But you have to put different ears on and send songs that you think WE will like. And here's what we like:

Hook. The song MUST have a repeatable hook that makes us sing it by the second chorus. DO NOT send a song that has no recognizable hook. If we see songs like that, we often stop listening by the end of the first chorus, and sometimes don't listen at all if we see in the lyric sheet there is no hook. And not just a lyric that's repeated, but an actual melody that is catchy and fits the words well.

Cliche-Free Lyrics. Since we deal mostly with Christian music, we see alot of "Amazing Grace" and "Old Rugged Cross". And we don't mean the hymns. I mean those actually words in other songs. We need to hear "old truths in new ways". Listen, it's tough to write an original song that deals with life, Christ, God, love, etc. But every day we all hear one and it rocks our world. If you use the word love and rhyme it with above, don't send us that song (in fact just go ahead and rewrite the line and make the song stronger). Watch common Christian expressions like "blessed assurance", "a mighty God we serve", and "blessed be the name".

Be Original. Think outside the box with your song titles and ideas. We find sometimes songwriters try to finish every idea. If it sounds like something else, then feel free not to complete it. Move on and think of something else. God made your life story for a reason. What have you experienced in your life that could be a song that nobody else could write? Those are the songs we want to hear.

Short and to the Point. All publishers want a 3 minute pop hit. Mainly because Radio wants 3 minutes too. So don't send us your 7 minute emotional story song. Send us short and sweet, hooky hits. Because truly, that's what we can sell to publishers, producers, and artists looking for songs.

Contemporary, NOT Southern Gospel. This is a tough one because everyone has a different idea of what contemporary is. Here's our definition: If you don't think it sounds like the Contemporary Christian Music of Natalie Grant, Toby Mac, Steven Curtis Chapman, Francesca Battistelli, Casting Crowns, Switchfoot, or Rebecca St. James, then don't send it. We're not looking for quartet music, country, rap, or other genre pieces unless we specifically put a song call out for those (See opportunities).

Get more tips on living a songwriter's life at our blog, Soul of the Songwriter

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