The ASG was founded in 1987 by Christine Albert and Tommy Pierce as a non-profit organization dedicated to educating and developing aspiring songwriters. With a membership of approximately 300, the group also provides numerous opportunities for working with publishers, A&R reps and other music industry professionals
ASG Meetings: Meetings are held monthly at the Saxon Pub on South Lamar in Austin, Texas. The meetings are always on the first Wednesday of the month, except in January where there is no meeting. Topics discussed at these meetings include ASG business, upcoming events, contests, and conferences, presentations by experts regarding the craft of songwriting, home recording, legal aspects of songwriting and more. A main feature of the monthly ASG meeting includes the "Songwriters In The Round" showcase. This event showcases some of the best songwriters in the world. Past performers have included Brad Paisley ("Who Needs Pictures", We Danced", "Half the Dad"), Tony Martin (LeAnne Womack's "I'll Think Of A Reason later", Tim McGraw's "Just To See You Smile", George Strait's "Go On"), Gretchen Peters (Pam Tillis' "Let That Pony Run" and Martina McBride's "Independence Day"), Mark D. S!anders ("It Matters to Me", "Heads Carolina, Tails California") and Harriet Schock (Helen Reddy's "That Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady"). Songwriters In The Round is sponsored by Hamstein Publishing, ASCAP, the Saxon Pub and the ASG. Featured guest speakers have included nationally known music industry professionals including Austin City Limits Producer Terry Lickona and Arista Records CEO Tim DuBois.
Austin Songwriter: Considered one of the top songwriting newsletters in the country, our bi-monthly publication features interviews, technical articles, pitching tips and a member's performance schedule. American Songwriter magazine wrote a glowing review of our publication in its March/April 1996 issue and the publications continues to receive accolates throughout the US.
Austin Songwriters Conference: The nation's leading song publishers, producers and record label A&R executives listen to songs pitched by seminar participants. These professionals give evaluations and often pick up songs from artists and writers who capture their interest. Workshops and panel discussions on the craft and business of songwriting give participants valuable insight into the business side of songwriting and the music industry. Collin Raye's number one country hit "Little Rock" was a direct result of a contact that ASG writer Tom Douglas made at one of these conferences. Other ASG members have received publishing deals, album cuts, movie soundtrack cuts and song holds as a result of contacts established at this conference. Last year's conference included industry representatives such as Chris DuBois of SeaGayle Publishing, Norman DeVasure of HoriPro Entertainment, Pat Pattison of the Berklee School o!f Music, Sherill Blackman of SDB Music Group, producer John Ravenhall, Ed Spacek of the Spacek Group, Dan Eckback of Bluewater Music Corporation and Jerome Ernest with Mark Hybner Publishing. This year's conference is slated for July 20-22 at the Thompson Center in Austin.
Monthly Critique Session: The ASG holds it's critique session on the third Monday of each month at the Austin School of Music, located behind Strait Music on 5th Street. This critique session is for ASG members who desire feedback on their songs from their peers. Most songs tend to be "works-in-progress" and the group discussion assists in improving the song. Songwriters usually bring a tape of their work (or guitar) along with a transparency (or 15 copies) of the lyrics.
Songwriting Seminars: The ASG sponsors several seminars during the year. Past seminars have concentrated on lyric writing, creativity, the process of songwriting and are hosted by nationally-acclaimed experts in the music industry. Additionally, the annual Texas School of Songwriting, co-sponsored with the Texas Branch of the Recording Academy (NARAS) and ASCAP, offers opportunities for members to learn and have their songs reviewed by top music industry experts.
Annual Songwriting Contest: The ASG conducts an annual songwriting competetion with over $3,400 in cash prizes. This contest attracts entries from across the nation and awards are presented during the December monthly meeting at the Saxon Pub.
Barebones Contest: This is an annual contest for members only where a "barebones" recording (one voice and one instrument) is submitted for prizes. This year's awards include full paid reservations and accommodations at the Old No. 9 Songwriting Workshop in Waring Texas, full band demos from high quality recording studios including Galen Breen's Gator Hole Studios and Denny Martin Studios in Antioch Tennessee, as well as gift certificates from Strait Music Company in Austin Texas.
Member Involvement: The ASG has a Board of Directors and several committees working hard to provide all of these benefits to its members. Committee members have the personal satisfaction of being involved in the first-hand experience of making decisions and helping make them happen.