Workshop description

Play for Publishers Workshop
 Oct 21 – 23, Nashville TN


Dave Pacula, Liz Rose Music
Janine Ebach, Ebach Entertainment
Kara Jackson, Spirit Music
Bobby Rymer, Writers Den
Chris Oglesby, BMG
Jamie Dryburgh, Demolition

Application deadline is Sept. 19th.


How to apply    Details       Frequently asked questions       Comments from past participants   


This 3-day workshop is a crash course in what it takes to write for the commercial Nashville market. Twelve applicants will be chosen to play one song each day for two publishers who give feedback on the craft and commercial potential of the writing. Hearing the feedback given to all the writers gives an in-depth look at what makes a song a hit.  Additionally, at the end of each session there is time to ask questions.

Writers do not have to perform the songs live, they can play a recording. It does not have to be the same song every time. The publishers are not paid to attend. They attend because they like to discover and nurture new talent. 


Writers who are not selected to play for the publishers are welcome to attend as auditors to network and learn. They pay a reduced fee but they participate in every way except presenting songs. You do not have to apply if you prefer to audit. Click here for the auditing registration form.



8:30 am – Writing for the Row, a class analyzing hit songs
1 pm – Listening session with Dave Pacula and Janine Ebach

8:30 am – Listening session with Kara Jackson plus one publisher TBA
1:30 pm – Performance and Q&A with pro writers
4 pm – No evening activities scheduled

9:00 am – Listening session with Bobby Rymer plus one publisher TBA
2:00 pm – Auditors play songs and get feedback from the group
7:00 pm – Wrap party

$495 for writers selected to play for the publishers. The fee is due by Oct 1st. Cancellations will only be refunded if the spot can be filled by a qualified writer.

$295 for auditors, due when registering.

Hampton Inn Nashville/Vanderbilt, 1919 West End Ave, Nashville TN 37203 

LODGING: Participants secure their own lodging.


Applications must be received by Sunday, Sept. 19th. Applicants submit an application form and send at least 3 songs  for consideration. The fee to apply is $25 for the first three songs and $5 for each additional song, limit 10.  Applicants who would like written feedback from Barbara on the songs they submit can request it for an additional $15 per song. Feedback will be sent within 10 days of the end of the application process,

All applications that come in by the deadline will be carefully reviewed and sixteen will be chosen based on how well crafted, original and relevant to the current market the writing is. Everyone will be notified whether or not they were selected to play for the publishers by Friday Sept. 24th.

Click here for the application form.



1. Q. Can I submit co-written songs?
A. Yes, but please identify your co-writers on the lyric sheet.

2. Q. What kind of demos should I submit?
A. You can send anything from a fully-produced studio demo to a rough phone recording. Submit your best songs, regardless of the quality of the demo. Songs will be judged on the the writing, NOT on the demo.

3. Q. What if I can’t perform my songs??
A. Then you can play recordings of your songs at the workshop. Writers who can perform may also play demos if they prefer.

4. Q. What if I don’t write Country songs?
A. The publishers who attend are looking for great writers who WANT to write for the commercial Country market, not necessarily ones who already do. If they see great potential they may want to give writers an open door and help them develop. You are welcome to submit songs in any genre when you apply. However, if you are not interested in writing Country songs, this is not the workshop for you.

5. Q. Can co-writers enter as a team?
A. Yes – the cost for a team is $495 plus  $295 for each additional team member.

6. Q. If I am selected, do the songs I present to the publishers have to be the same songs I sent in to apply?
A. If you want to present different songs, you have to get them approved before the workshop.

7. Q. If I can’t attend can I still submit my songs to be presented to the publishers?
A. No – the publishers aren’t simply looking for songs to pitch – they are looking for songwriters they may want to develop relationships with. They want to meet you as well as hear your songs.

Click here to read comments from past participants.


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