Thursday, June 25, 2009

Abbie Gardner Co-Writes with Chris Stapleton

Not only did our beloved Abbie Gardner win the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Folk category back in 2008, but she also found out that she won the Grand Prize in the American Songwriter Lyric Contest shortly thereafter.

And now? The singer-songwriter has forged ahead into the musical platform, experimenting with new creative ideas and welcoming potential learning opportunities that may come her way. One such occasion includes co-writing a song with hit recording artist and bluegrass singer, Chris Stapleton.

The song, titled, “Bad Leaver,” fosters the instance when one doesn’t have that urge to leave a place or situation, just because. It aims to captivate the notion that sometimes one doesn’t want something to come to an end, and therefore, becomes a “bad leaver,” as the song title suggests.

“You know something’s not right, but you’re sticking around because you’re just not good at leaving,” states Gardner, on what the song is about.

Although apprehensive at first, Gardner exclaims that her first co-writing experience with Stapleton soon turned out to be one with instant chemistry. Realizing their similar styles and how comfortable she felt around him, they both opted for a more emotional approach towards their songwriting partnership, as opposed to a more structural method.

“I love that they’re not just strict country, strict bluegrass,” Gardner gushes, on Stapleton’s band, The SteelDrivers. “I think that he really thinks out of the box.”

And when asked if she would like to co-write with Stapleton again, she replied with a simple and effortless, “Yeah, of course.”


To read the full interview in its entirety, pick up a copy of the July/August 2009 edition of the American Songwriter. 



American Songwriter July/August 2009 Edition

The Flannery Brothers Perform at Their Old Elementary School

It's always nice to stumble across an article about a former JLSC contestant to see that they're continuing to write music and share their gift to others. 

Former Children's category Lennon award winners, the Flannery Brothers, were both recently featured in an Asbury Park Press article highlighting their memorable performance at their old elementary school in Oceanport, New Jersey.

Although you wouldn't expect this dynamic duo to muster up tunes with names like, "Broccoli Yet," or "The Sunglass Song" at first glance, The Flannery Brothers have managed to receive enthusiastic reviews and honorable mentions.

"We're trying to make the world a better place by making genuine, honest, fun music for an audience that is oftentimes neglected. The priority is there. To make people happy is a much better way to be happy yourself," states Dan Flannery, on the real reason for his essence of success.

The kids at Wolf Hill Elementary School could not have been more delighted to be treated to an upbeat and fun-filled performance.

Keep it up, guys!



Hey everyone,

Welcome to the John Lennon Songwriting Contest blogspot page! Here you can find the latest news and updates on the JLSC, an International songwriting contest for both amateur and professional songwriters alike. We are open year-round, and feature two sessions. Our topnotch panel of executive judges feature professional artists, such as Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas, Natasha Bedingfield, and The Veronicas. So what are you waiting for? Submit your songs for a chance to win some amazing prizes, and better yet, $20,000 in cash courtesy of the Maxell Corporation, a prize defiantly worth bragging about. For more details on how to submit your music, visit our official website at

Over the years, we've encountered some notable winners with bright futures ahead of them. In addition, we have just recently determined our winners for Session II 2008, and are very pleased to acknowledge the caliber of their work, as well as their hard work and devotion towards their passion for music. Please take some time to check them out at, and to listen to the awe-inspiring songs that these talented musicians have composed.

Currently, Session II of 2009 is now open, with a deadline of December 15, 2009. The winner will be announced on March 1, 2010. For those of you who have submitted songs for Session I, they are currently going through the John Lennon Songwriting Contest process, and winners will be announced on September 1, 2009. So, dear songwriters, if you're either anxiously awaiting for the big announcement or busy seeking out inspiration to write and submit your own song, we wish you the best of luck!