Each song is ultimately judged on these four elements:

1. Originality

2. Melody

3. Composition/Structure

4. Lyrics

Round One: Each entry is screened by SongDoor Advisory Board members — a group of seasoned music industry artists, producers, engineers, songwriters, lyricists and musicians — who listen to every entry, in its entirety.

Scoring: Each of the four elements above can earn a maximum score of 5 points. After each song is judged, thefour elements scores are addedtogether for a Round One Score. The maximum possible points for any song in Round One is 20.

Round Two: The Board selects 30 songs (the best 5 songs in each category) to send on to the judges in Round Two. (These 30 finalists’ names are posted on the website.) Those songs are assigned to whichever judge’s expertise is best-suited to evaluate that category, and multiple judges will be judging each category. The top-scoring song in each category is a Category Winner.

Scoring: The five songs remaining in each category are judged on their own merits, not against each other, as in Round One. The same scoring system is used in Round Two, except that a song has the opportunity to score a possible total of 100 points. The song with the highest score in each category becomes the Category Winner, and goes on to Round Three.

Round Three: The judges re-evaluate each Category Winner against one another to choose the Grand Award Winner. (Yes, the Grand Award Winner is also a Category Winner by default.)

Scoring: Each song can score a possible total of 100 points. The song with the highest total of all six judge's scores is the Grand Award Winner. In the event of a tie, the judges will decide on a consensus basis which song should be the winner.

We’re very fortunate to have our stellar judging panel back again this year!

These are the tools of our trade. We LISTEN. All songs are played for the Advisory Board and judges in the order they are received, and all songs are judged blind (the listeners do not know who the entrant is). Each and every song we receive is intently screened in its entirety by professional industry people. We never have and never will hire temporary workers to screen entries.