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Grand Tournament VI: Music Contest

Grand Tournament 2017 Rules

To commemorate the Six Year Anniversary of Writing Knights Press events, we are preparing the Sixth Annual Grand Tournament. Words belong to everyone and pieces must work on the page as well as on the stage. The Grand Tournament is designed to find the best musicians AND performers from all over the world!

I Speak Hick
by 2015 Champion Alexis-Rueal
First Round – On the Screen

1. Entries will be accepted between March 4, 2017 and June 3, 2017. Any entrants submitting before or after these dates will be reminded of the deadline and their submissions discarded. All entries should be sent to Subject line of emails should read "Grand Tournament 2017 - Music".

         a. Single entrants should compile three songs up to between 9:50-10:10. These songs should be uploaded to YouTube as an unlisted video. The videos themselves do not have to be super well produced, but making something sound good is definitely preferable.
        b. There are no inhibitions as far as genre of music. It should be noted, the performance round may have limited electronic access, therefore acoustic music, or music needing less electronic aid will have an advantage.
        c. While we would prefer if the musician/band uploaded the blank video themselves and linked it to us, if the entrant is technologically challenged or doesn't have proper access to Youtube Writing Knights is willing to work with them to get their entry online for judging. Don't let technology be a barrier!

3. Preferably, material provided should be unreleased or at least not released during the last 12 months.
         a. Previous contestants (including FORMER Grand Tournament WINNERS) are welcomed and encouraged to enter the tournament, however;

4. The videos should be void of the performers (basically, make a video with a picture and music behind it). There should be no images of the performers. Do NOT include the list of songs on the video.

5. In the body of the email include: Band and Performer Name(s) (Pen Names and Legal Names of Entered Performers), At least one Contact Address (email and snail mail), a 25-50 word bio, a black and white musician/band photo (this can be attached), at least one phone number, and the list of songs included in the submission.

6. Collections will be scored 0-10 by the five judges by their own calibration.

Second Round – On the Stage
Cover A of Graffiti Wisdom
by 2012 Champion Skylark Bruce

1. The performance round will be held July 29th, 2017 at a Kathleen Howland Theatre, Canton, OH.  The top five scoring entrants will advance to the performance round (there must be at least three musicians/bands to enact this round).

2. Only one prop will be permitted per contestant.
         a. Approved props include, but are not limited to: masks, walking sticks, stage blood, riding crops, scarves, whips under 3 feet long.
         b. Any mess created by the performer or prop must be cleaned up, or the performer will be disqualified.
         c. Not approved props include, but are not limited to: other people, non-service animals, apparatuses of a strictly sexual nature (stimulation devices, gags, fuzzy handcuffs, etc).

3. Performances will be scored 0-10 by the five judges by their own calibration.

4. Finalists must perform the entire unedited submitted manuscript. They do not necessarily have to perform it in the order it is submitted, but no words may be changed between submission and performance.
5. The highest combined score of the manuscript and performance rounds will win. If there is a tie, the performers in contention will be given a 1 minute lightning round performance to decide the winner.

Nothing, but Skin
by 2013 Champion Quartez Harris

1. The winners of the Grand Tournament will be get their choice in a release with Writing Knights. This offer does not expire.
         a. A 5 track EP.

2. Winners will also receive a $100 Gift Card.

3. Runners up in the Second Round will receive a $15 Gift Card.

Notes to Potential Entrants

1. Anyone from any country may enter the competition, but there will be no video conferencing or competing. If an entrant qualifies from the manuscript round and they are unable to be at the event by 7pm July 29th they will forfeit all possible contest winnings.
         a. Starting with the next highest scoring entrant from the manuscript round, alternates may be promoted to take the place of entrants who forfeit.
         Example: Jen scores 6th in the screen round, but Joe cannot compete in the 2nd Round. Jen is promoted to the 2nd Round.

2. Competitors in the Second Round who have merchandise are invited to sell it at the Grand Tournament event. Individual consignment agreements will be brokered between the poet, the organizers and the venue.

3. Traveling performers cannot be explicitly offered room and board. Arrangements may be made, but this will be on a case by case basis and are not guaranteed.

4. Scoring of this event is anonymous, but entrants who would like to see their scores and the judges notes may ask to do so AFTER the Second Round has completed.

5. Family members, romantic partners of current Writing Knights Press staff or current event judges are ineligible to compete.
           a. Past judges, their family members or romantic partners are eligible to compete as long as they are not disqualified in another way.

Cover B of Graffiti Wisdom
by 2012 Champion Skylark Bruce

1. This year’s judges will be the same from the Screen (video) and Stage (performance) rounds.

2. Writing Knights will be searching for 5 uniquely qualified judges to judge both the page and stage rounds. There will also be an alternate judge chosen in the event one of the judges cannot attend.

3. Judges will score anonymously from each other and from the contestants in the Screen and Stage rounds.
a. Scores in the Screen round will be sent to the Event coordinator as they are tallied.
b. Scores in the Stage round will be kept secret until all five competitors have been scored.
c. It is up to the Judges’ sole discretion how they will score the contestants.


1. All Entrants and Judges will receive a free copy of the corresponding anthology release.

2. All Finalists, other Entrants and Judges will receive free e-copies of the winning releases produced, with an option to buy a discounted copy of the release.

More details will be added as needs arise.

Any questions, comments, or suggestions may be sent to Any complaints, gripes or bitches can be directed to your usual venting board. We only accept constructive criticism.

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