Thursday, August 28, 2008

Judges Announced for NCSC Annual Song Contest

NCSC presents their 11th Annual Song Contest. Songwriters from across the world have entered the contest to win over $6000 in cash and prizes. Entry deadline is Sept 30,2008.

Raleigh,NC (August 11,2008) – The entries for the North Carolina Songwriters Co-op (NCSC) song contest have been pouring in from Indie songwriters since the contest was announced. Entries are limited to the first 250 submissions of two songs each.

"New to the judging panel for this year's song contest is Harriet Schock, Platinum award-winning songwriter." said Jon Batson ASCAP member and Judging Director.

Judges for this year’s contest are:

Catesby Jones: (Wilmington, NC)
http://www.catesbyjones.com Hit Singer/Songwriter;Penned songs for several Nashville publishing companies including hits recorded by Travis Tritt "Country Club" and Chet Atkins "Read My Licks."

Harriet Schock: (Los Angeles, CA)http://www.harrietschock.com Platinum award-winning songwriter, national recording artist, and songwriting instructor. She wrote Helen Reddy's hit song "Ain't No Way to Treat A Lady." Harriet just finished shooting Henry Jaglom's new film "Irene in Time." Harriet and her whole band are on camera performing her songs. Harriet also provided music for the highly acclaimed Jaglom film "Hollywood Dreams."

Linne Black: (Winston–Salem, NC) http://www.myspace.com/nextnumberone Co-owner of Pitchy Women Music and Pitchy Women Pluggers; Member of The Nashville Songwriters Association International and Coordinator of NSAI Winston-Salem; Voting member of National Academy of Recording Arts; Member of BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.); and hit songwriter "If I Could Just See You Now" (Alabama)

Michael Graziano: (Raleigh, NC) - http://www.myspace.com/zgrazi Recording Studio Owner, TV Producer/ Director;

Philip van Vleck: (Durham, NC) - Music Writer/Critic for Billboard, Dirty Linen and the Durham Herald-Sun.

Songs are judged on originality, lyrics, melody and composition

Details and entry rules for the contest are online at http://www.Sonicbids.com/NCSongwriters and the NCSC website http://www.NCSongwriters.org

About NCSC:
North Carolina Songwriters Cooperative is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and promotion of songwriters PO Box 335 Carrboro, NC 27510
http://www.ncsongwriters.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Eileen Batson
Batson Group Marketing and PR
http://www.BatsonGroupMarketingandPR.blogspot.com
BatsonGroup@yahoo.com
919.327.5021
Raleigh, NC

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

The New Recipe for Search Engine Ranking

The New Recipe for Search Engine Ranking
By John Eberhard

One of the characteristics of the web is that it is constantly changing. What may have worked great two years ago may be a dismal failure today.

After doing some extensive research I have come up with what I think is the best recipe for search engine success today. This is after reading these sources, among others:

The Unfair Advantage Book on Winning the Search Engine Wars
By Planet Ocean Communications
http://www.planetocean.com/

The New Rules of Marketing & PR
By David Meerman Scott
http://www.davidmeermanscott.com/

Tiffany Dow’s Blog
http://www.tiffanydow.com/blog/

Videos and eBooks
by Stompernet
http://www.Stompernet.com

Following the experiences of my client Stan Dubin
http://www.marriagesuccess.com

So here goes on the new recipe:

Keyword Selection and SEO
For gaining good organic (not paid through Google AdWords) position on the search engines, it is vital to find keywords with decent traffic, but without high competition. This is a process of mining not for the obvious choices, but for undiscovered gold.

Yahoo Search Marketing, formerly Overture, used to have a free search term suggestion tool that was the best tool on the web. Unfortunately, they took the tool down recently, or sometimes it works but it has old data.
My tool of choice that has replaced this is the free search term tool from Trellian:
http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/search.html?query=
It has a limit to how many searches you can do per day.

Another valuable tool is Wordtracker.
This is an online paid service ($60 per month). I’m not crazy about this tool but it does give you an invaluable insight into the value of a keyword, which it calls the KEI, or Keyword Efficiency Index. This is a score (the higher the better) that is based on a high number of monthly searches, and a low number of web sites competing for that keyword. This is how you can find gold.

SEO
Once you know what the best keywords are for you to work on, which is based on their having some decent traffic but low competing sites, then it’s time for search engine optimization. This involves:

Putting the keywords appropriate to your pages into the meta-tag keyword block
Putting the keywords into the headlines
Putting the keywords into the page title and the “meta title,” which is what shows up as the title for your page, underlined in blue, when the page comes up on the search engines
Putting the keywords into the text on the page
Putting the keywords into alt tags, which are text tags attached to graphic images on the page. These show up when you mouse over the graphic and leave the mouse there.

Anchor Text
In earlier articles I have covered the fact that even more important than anything you do on your site, it is vital for you to have links to your site coming from other sites. Google considers this the most important criteria in ranking your site.

According to the Planet Ocean book, THE most valuable thing that you can have in terms of raising your rankings in search engines is called “Anchor Text.” This means a keyword, let’s say “affordable SEO,” that appears on another web site, and where that text is underlined in blue and linked to your site. If the service that you delivered was affordable SEO, and a number of other sites had the words “Affordable SEO” and that text was linked back to your site, that would be the most valuable thing that you could have in terms of raising your ranking in the search engines for the keyword “affordable SEO.”

So the trick is building up links to your site, not just with your web site address, but with anchor text that includes one of the keywords you are working to get rankings for.

In the past, most search engine marketing experts did what was called reciprocal link building, where you link to another web site and they link to you, usually on a “links” page. And most search engine marketing experts today still recommend this as their core method of building links with anchor text. This method has slowly been dying out for a year or two, and even those experts who recommend it will qualify and say it should not be more than a certain percentage of your link building actions.

Then in May 2008, Google changed its algorithm again and the word on the street now is that the new algorithm gives much less credit to links that are reciprocal.

So how does one get anchor text links built up to his web site, without using reciprocal link building?

Content Hubs with Anchor Text
We have been submitting articles to content hubs, also called article directories, for over two years. We have built thousands upon thousands of links to client web sites through this technique. The problem was that you could just get your web site URL into the articles, you couldn’t put in anchor text. So it built up links, but not the most valuable kind of links.

Until now.

We have done research and have listed out a fair selection of high Page Rank content hubs that allow anchor text links into the articles. It’s a new ballgame with content hubs.

Blogs
I’m a relative latecomer in the blogosphere, and was finally convinced of the necessity of blogging by my client Stan Dubin, whose blog
www.marriagesuccess.com has gained excellent ranking on some long tail keywords by putting the keywords prominently into his blog posts, often in the title.

I have since started two blogs myself and am now working closely with clients on their blog activities.

One of the benefits of blogs is that you can put in, wouldn’t you know it, anchor text. You can use keywords in your posts and then link those keywords back to appropriate pages on your web site. My thought on this is that this works best if your blog URL is a different one from your main site.

Another advantage of blogs is that there is a group of search engines specifically geared to blogs and if you notify them (called “pinging”) after you make a post, the new post gets into the blog search engines and then into the regular search engines.

And when you set up your blog, put up links on it, to your other web sites and blogs, using – guess what - anchor text.

Optimized News Releases
In his ground-breaking book The New Rules of Marketing & PR, David Meerman Scott talks about the new rules of PR, including the swelling popularity of news releases on the web and how these can be used to talk directly to customers and potential customers, not just be directed at media people.

The key is to write a press release that is keyword rich, put it up on your site, or on a blog (my thinking is putting them on a separate blog just for your releases is better – that’s what I am doing now), and also post it on several online PR sites. These PR sites will then get it into big news sites like Google News.

And of course, when you post the release on your blog, don’t forget to add – you got it – anchor text. And some of the PR sites will allow you to add anchor text as well, usually for a fee.
My thinking on the releases is the best frequency is to do them once a week. David Meerman Scott says to find ways to write and send out releases all the time.

HubPages.com, Stompernet.com and Tiffany Dow’s blog recommend setting up pages on HubPages.com. Each page should be on one specific topic, and can feature one article or multiple articles on that topic, videos, and links to your sites and other site of interest. Link to each of your sites that are on-topic to the page, to all your blogs, and to other pages that you set up which I’ll describe next. And would you be surprised to know that your links can be in the form of anchor text?

Anyway, every time you write a new article you should put it up as a HubPages page.

Facebook Page
I’ve become quite a fan of Facebook, and have now gotten into creating “Pages” on Facebook. These are pages that are devoted to promoting a business, and can have descriptive text, contact info, links to your sites and blogs, links to your other pages of interest such as your HubPages.com pages, videos, and photos. You can ask all your friends on Facebook to join as a fan, and once they do that you can send out information to them on a regular basis, such as sending out new articles, posting new videos, pictures relating to your business, and so on.

Squiddoo
Squiddoo is another site similar to HubPages where you put up what are called “lenses.” Treat the same as HubPages.com. Rinse and repeat.

Social Bookmarking
Now that you’ve created articles on your site, posts on your blog, news releases either on your site or on your blog, pages on Facebook, pages on HubPages.com, and lenses on Squiddoo, all with anchor text and all linking around to one another, the next step is to join Digg and Del.icio.us and start bookmarking each page and each new post or article. This adds another link to each of these pages and allows people to find your articles or sites or posts through searching on these sites.

Summary
So that’s the new best recipe as far as I can see today. By doing all these things, you can be proactive. You don’t have to take the idiotic approach that Google recommends and write good content and then wait for people to find it and link to it. You’re in control. You create the content. You put it up all over the place. You create the anchor text. You create the rankings. Let’s get to work!

My thanks to John Eberhard for an outstanding write-up
http://www.RealWebMarketing.net
Los Angeles, CA
See John's Blog: "Real Web Marketing Blog"
http://www.realwebmarketingblog.com

The Cure for False Virus Alert Emails

Hello Folks,
I received a message from my friend JoJo in LA and wanted to pass this on.


Over the last month (and indeed, over the last many years !), I have gotten many "Urgent! Virus Alert!" e-mails from many people, warning me that my entire hard drive will be erased and so on. In each case, the e-mails that were forwarded to me contained the line "This has been checked on
Snopes.com!" (Snopes.com is one of several informational web sites that provide information on whether various e-mails that are circulating are true or false/hoaxes.)

I beseech all of you who, in your desire to be of help, pass on such reports: CHECK THEM OUT FOR YOURSELF FIRST. Do not just blindly accept what the last person sent you (who also blindly accepted it, because they knew the person who sent it to them, who also blindly accepted it, and so on, for a chain going back literally THOUSANDS of e-mails).

There are many sites that can be checked. Snopes.com is probably the most well-known. It is very simple. For example, if you receive a report that there is an "invitation" e-mail regarding the Olympics that will wipe your hard drive, just go to Snopes and search for the word "invitation" (without the quotes). Up comes a link to a page telling you all about this false report.

You could even just search on Google, for example, for the words "invitation olympic" (without the quotes). The first item on the results page is a link to Snopes.com's page telling you how this is a complete false report. If you instead searched on Google for the words "invitation olympic hoax" (without the quotes), this is even a more specific search, and up will come 109,000 sites, each one verifying that this supposed virus is actually a totally false report.

See how easy this is!

So, BEFORE YOU FORWARD ALARMING REPORTS, VERIFY THEM YOURSELF. You can LITERALLY save MILLIONS of people from being upset for no reason, just by you, yourself, not sending on one more alarming report.

Things spread like wildfire on the internet.

We can be responsible and help calm things down, just by simply having a look ourselves at the data and verifying it before speading it to the rest of the planet.

~ Eileen

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

TeenScreen Lawsuit Advances: Federal Court Affirms Family’s Right to Sue School for Subjecting Teen to Mental Health Test Without Parental Consent

For those of you who have bought into the "TeenScreen is a good thing propaganda" read on...

Below is the press release from the Rutherford Institute in Charlottesville, VA

SOUTH BEND, Ind.—A federal court has given the green light to a civil rights lawsuit filed by Rutherford Institute attorneys in defense of a 15-year-old Indiana student who was subjected by school officials to a controversial mental health examination without the knowledge or consent of her parents.

In ruling that the lawsuit filed on behalf of Chelsea Rhoades and her parents, Teresa and Michael, may proceed to trial, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana upheld the claims that the local school district deprived the Rhoades family of their federal constitutional rights to family integrity and privacy when it subjected Chelsea to the “TeenScreen” examination. A copy of the lawsuit is available at http://www.rutherford.org/PDF/Filed_Complaint.pdf.

"This ruling rightly recognizes that parents have an intrinsic right to control their children’s education, as well as safeguard their mental and physical well-being,” stated John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute.

On December 7, 2004, Chelsea Rhoades, a student at Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind., was subjected to a mental health examination known as “TeenScreen” by personnel with the Madison Center for Children, a local mental health center. The mental health exam consisted of questions seeking only a “yes” or “no” answer, with no opportunity to explain or offer an alternative response. Only students with an opt-out slip were excused from taking the exam. All other students were divided into groups of 10-15, herded into classrooms and placed in front of computers.

After completing the examination and being escorted into a private hallway by an employee of Madison Center, Chelsea was informed that, based on her responses that she liked to clean and didn’t like to party very much, she suffered from at least two mental health problems, obsessive compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder. Chelsea was also told that if her condition worsened, her mother should take her to the Madison Center for treatment.

According to Chelsea, a majority of the students who were subjected to the TeenScreen exam were also told they were suffering from some sort of mental or social “disorder.” Chelsea’s parents were not informed about the mental health screening exam until after it had taken place, when Chelsea spoke to them about her so-called diagnosis.

In September 2005, Rutherford Institute attorneys filed suit in federal district court on behalf of the Rhoades family, charging that school officials violated Chelsea’s constitutional right to be free from unnecessary intrusions by the state. In rejecting the school district’s attempt to have the case dismissed, the court also ruled that the school is liable for the false diagnosis of mental illness that was given to Chelsea.

Mental health screening exams like TeenScreen have increasingly been adopted by schools in 43 states, reportedly as part of an effort to identify students with mental health problems or at-risk tendencies for suicide that cannot be seen outwardly. However, while federal and state law generally requires that parents grant written consent in order for their children to take mental health screening exams, some schools had relied on “passive consent” forms in order to administer the exams.

Passive consent requires parents to return a form only if they do not want their child to participate in the screening. However, according to the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment, as well as Indiana state law, schools are required to obtain “written parental consent” before engaging in such programs as mental health screening.

Founded in 1982 by constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead, The Rutherford Institute is an international, nonprofit civil liberties organization committed to defending constitutional and human rights.

The Rutherford Institute Post Office Box 7482 Charlottesville, VA 22906-7482
Phone: 434-978-3888 (8:30 AM - 5:00 PM) Fax: 434-978-1789
http://www.rutherford.org/

Sign the Against TeenScreen Petition: http://www.petitiononline.com/TScreen/petition.html
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfU9puZQKBY

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Is Your Child a Target in Today’s Education System?

Is resistance futile? That’s the question concerned parents across the country are asking with the rollout of a seemingly beneficial program called TeenScreen.

If you are not up on the latest way to "help" our young people, this is it in a nutshell. TeenScreen is a program developed by Columbia University’s Child Psychiatry Research Department. Their goal is to screen every school-aged child before graduation for suicide and "mental disorders" using a computer survey and then recommending those that are considered "at risk" for "treatment."

The Truth Behind TeenScreen
What TeenScreen really is, is a very controversial, unworkable, and unscientific suicide screening program developed by psychiatrist David Shaffer. It is obvious that psychiatric drug manufacturers are very interested in this program because it will funnel more customers to them - our children.

Shaffer himself admits that TeenScreen identifies "a whole bunch of kids who aren’t really suicidal, so you get a lot of false-positives." This means that a whole bunch of kids with nothing at all wrong with them, will be interrogated by mental health clinicians to find out what's "wrong".

TeenScreen's goal is to screen every child in the United States before they graduate from high school. The pharmaceutical companies love this, because it mean thousands and thousands of more kids on psychiatric drugs (the ones with the FDA Black Box warnings) and labeled for life with a "mental illness."

How Kids are Tested, Labeled and Drugged
A simple test is given to students and the results are scored using a screening checklist based on "symptoms", to determine what "disorders" the student is manifesting. These symptoms are the sole basis for any diagnosis of mental disease. The screening questions are specifically geared to match criteria from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth edition (DSM- IV), a manual that comprises all the "symptoms of and treatments for 297 mental diseases" that were voted into existence by the American Psychiatric Association.

Strong evidence suggests that the intended treatment for those so labeled is psychiatric drugging, using antidepressants and mood-altering drugs such as Ritalin, Xanax, Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, Thorazine, Luvox and other similar drugs which are known by the FDA (and the pharmaceutical companies) to cause depression, violence, suicide and homicide. Kids involved in the horrific shool shooting were found to be prescribed and taking these types of drugs.

In a recent survey of child psychiatrists it was discovered that 9 out of 10 children in their care were on at least one of these or similar drugs. Despite the recent FDA "black box" warnings, it is not unusual for a child to be put on two or more psychotropic antidepressant drugs — drugs that the FDA says can trigger suicidal thoughts. Do you want your child to be on these drugs with their potentially deadly side-effects?

What is the reason for these psychiatric screenings? The psychiatrists will say it's to prevent teen suicide and violence. Look at the questions being asked and see if you think it serves that purpose. Also look at what will happen to your child once someone reviews your child's answers. How would you fare on the test?

You could probably find out what your teen is thinking by talking with them. You say they won't talk? Try going away to someplace away from the city and people and cell phones for a weekend, just you and them and acknowledge who they are and listen to them. Be interested in them, not in shaping their behaviour, just in knowing who they are. Listen, do not advise, or correct, or disapprove, just listen and let them know that they were heard.

It is important to know that the teens who commit mass murders are teens who were placed on psychiatric drug before they had the desire and means to kill. The side effect of the mental drug was homicidal tendencies. These drugs do more harm than good.

TeenScreen Violates Federal Law by Using "Passive Consent" on Parental Consent Forms
TeenScreen is very tight-lipped on the screening materials and the questions they ask students. Why is this? This is actually against the law called the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment.

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment
Parents need to know this Federal law exists (commonly referred to as PPRA). It says you have a right to inspect those questions and materials before consenting to any screening of your child and that this screening requires written parental consent. Even so, in a TeenScreen newsletter they discuss making screening a matter of the schools curriculum as a method to bypass this law and use passive consent instead. This is a purposeful method of avoiding parental complaints against their children receiving highly controversial and potentially dangerous psychiatric testing and drugging.

Watch Out for "passive consent"
In some areas, TeenScreen currently uses what they call "passive consent" or "opt-out consent", which requires no written parental approval to screen their child. Instead, a passive consent form is sent home to parents with the child and if they don't return it, signed by their parents, TeenScreen considers that the parents approve. But what if a parent never sees the form? What if the child never delivers it?

Leslie McGuire, TeenScreen’s Co-Director, says: "Unless we hear from you that we can't screen your child we assume we have your permission and we're gonna' screen them." TeenScreen officials discovered that using (illegal) passive consent boosted the number of teens to be tested from 50% to over 95%.

Is Resistance Futile?
The answer is a resounding NO. But it is clear the "game is afoot" and "tag - you’re it" is the game being played on an unsuspecting public.

Thanks to the following web sites for the information in this article.
http://www.teenscreentruth.com/


http://www.teenscreen-locations.com/

http://www.psychdisorders.org/

The Great and Powerful Oz - 0 ..... Homeschooling - 1

For those of you who might have heard something about a recent court case in California regarding the legality of homeschooling in California, here is the site that gives the true and up to the minute information.http://californiahomeschool.net/howTo/updates.htm

In a nutshell, here is what was ruled on August 8, 2008:
"Today's court ruling held that (1) California statutes permit home schooling as a species of private school education; and (2) the statutory permission to home school may constitutionally be overridden in order to protect the safety of a child who has been declared a dependent. Homeschooling, therefore, remains a legal educational option in California. "

This is a big win for the white hats. I don't know about you, but the question that looms large to me is "Why is the 'Great and Powerful Oz' fighting so hard to make homeschooling illegal?"

Oh wait, of course! They (educrats, Big Pharma and those who are supported by them), don't want a bunch of independent thinkers around. If they did actually want intelligent free-thinkers, TeenScreen would not exist. See my post: Is your child a target in today’s education system?


Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Jon and Eileen Show

Folks always seem to want to know what we are up to since leaving Los Angeles. Here is a quick update on what's happening here in Raleigh, NC on what I call "The Jon and Eileen Show."

JON BATSON: THE WRITER

Jon is busy writing his next story/novel? We'll see where it goes.

Nina Knows the Night is at our editor Alice Osborn. NKTK follows the adventures of Nina Richardson a mild-mannered law school dropout who becomes a kick-butt heroine after innocently acquiring a metal case filled with military-like weapons. Determined to knock out the growing crime in her formerly posh-turned-run-down urban neighborhood she discovers her superpowers to be her own inner-strength and purpose.






The Trasaron Chronicles is now available and will be on Amazon and others sites soon. This character driven sci-fi novel explores survival, interpersonal relationships and quality of life when many of Earth's population are displaced elsewhere. Always riveting and often humorous, Trasaron captivates the reader in an ever-evolving tale set on an inhospitable world. $24.95 + $5.00 S&H in the USA BUY NOW



JON BATSON: THE PUBLISHER - Midnight Whistler Publishers

He is working with Beverly Eakman and her latest book, Walking Targets. She has been invited to speak at a number of conferences and the books and DVDs are selling well. $24.95 + $5.00 S&H in the USA BUY NOW





JON BATSON: THE ENTERTAINER

Jon is entertaining folks at the retirement facilities with songs they remember of the 30's and 40's; he did the Festival of the Eno, is booked to sing at the Carrboro Festival the end of September as well as some local gigs. Next one is Saturday August 9 at the
Gulf Rim Cafe in Hillsborough. He is also booking talent for the NCSC Summer Showcase there.


EILEEN BATSON: Batson Group Marketing and PR
Walking Targets - Just penned a deal with The Hollywood Education & Literacy Project in Miami with Barbie Rivera H.E.L.P. Miami- They are using the sale of the book as a fundraiser. Also a putting together a deal with a successful tutoring group in Burbank and a chiropractor to carry the book.
NC Songwriting Contest - Chose this year to help promote it. Last year I was the Director and am unable to put in the time for that. Deadline is September 30th,



New Clients for PR - White Pear - Delicious Bath and Body Products, Design Mill Faux Finish Studio, Alice Osborn - Writer/Seminarist, Crowley4Carpets, Fresh Faces by Lauren, Coffee and Contacts their upcoming Lunch and Learns with Susan Hite August 21st and Barbara Hemphill October 9th.

I have expanded my line of product offering to include a variety of top-of-the-line home care products; skincare, anti-aging solutions and cosmetics; and supplements - the only global vitamin and mineral brand to grow, harvest, and process plants on its own certified organic farms. I am continuing to focus on my gift program for individuals and busineses, so whatever you need, let me know. Use referral # 1645629


COFFEE and CONTACTS: POWER NETWORKING FOR WOMEN

This is an awesome group of women in business started by Jeanne Moyer (EcoBroker) and Jean Hedges (author and mortgage broker). We now have eight chapters in North Carolina and growing. I organize the one that meets at the Royal Bean on Thursdays. Check us out at http://www.CoffeeandContacts.biz

Song Contest Call for Entries


Song Contest Call for Entries: North Carolina Songwriters Co-op Annual Song Contest


NCSC presents their 11th Annual Song Contest. Songwriters from across the world can enter online with www.Sonicbids.com/NCSongwriters or mail their entries to NCSC. Deadline is Sept 30,2008.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRLog (Press Release) – Aug 9, 2008 – Raleigh,NC - The North Carolina Songwriters Co-op has launched it's 11th Annual Songwriting Competition. Songwriters, Bands and Musicians are able to enter a contest that is aimed at independent songwriters who have received less than $10,000 in royalties. Songs are to be judged on originality, lyrics, melody and composition.


Entries are limited to the first 250 submissions of two songs each. Dwight Sullivan, coordinator for the organization stated, “ NCSC is a non-profit group of songwriters supporting songwriters and the art of songwriting. We open our contest to many genres of music to give everyone an opportunity.”

Returning sponsors include Sam Ash Music, Oasis CD, Taxi, GHS Strings, Levy’s Leathers, the Curran Foundation, The Music Loft of Carrboro, Sonicbids, Batson Group Marketing and PR and Guild Master Graphics. A special package deal between NCSC and Sonicbids includes a six-month subscription to Sonicbids as well as membership in NCSC with each contest entry.

New sponsors include Awesome Websites, The Beat Magazine, Coffeehouse Tour, GoGirls Music, and the Gulf Rim Café. By becoming a sponsor, businesses, organizations and individuals align themselves with a statewide cooperative with a history and reputation for producing a quality contest.

This year the board members decided to forgo the live performance pre-requisite and offer cash as well as prizes to the three top winners and five finalists. “Everyone is feeling the hit of high gas prices. Many touring musicians have had to cancel shows. Even getting to local gigs can be a strain on the wallet.” commented long-time award-winning songwriter and ASCAP member Jon Batson.

Judges for this year’s contest are industry professionals:
Catesby Jones:
http://www.catesbyjones.com Hit Singer/Songwriter;Penned songs for several Nashville publishing companies including hits recorded by Travis Tritt "Country Club" and Chet Atkins "Read My Licks."
Harriet Schock:
http://www.harrietschock.com Platinum Award-Winning Songwriter. National Recording Artist, and Songwriting Instructor. She wrote Helen Reddy's hit song "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady." Harriet just finished shooting Henry Jaglom's new film "Irene In Time." Harriet and her whole band are on camera performing her songs. Harriet also provided music for the highly acclaimed Jaglom film "Hollywood Dreams."
Linne Black: http://www.myspace.com/nextnumberone Co-owner of Pitchy Women Music and Pitchy Women Pluggers; Member of The Nashville Songwriters Association International and Coordinator of NSAI Winston-Salem; Voting member of National Academy of Recording Arts; Member of BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.); and hit songwriter "If I Could Just See You Now" (Alabama)
Michael Graziano:
http://www.myspace.com/zgrazi Recording Studio Owner, TV Producer/ Director;
Philip van Vleck: Music Writer/Critic for Billboard, Dirty Linen and the Durham Herald-Sun.

Details and entry rules for the contest are online at www.Sonicbids.com/NCSongwriters and the NCSC website http://www.ncsongwriters.org/

About NCSC: North Carolina Songwriters Cooperative is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support and promotion of songwriters. NCSC assists new and established songwriters by providing a nurturing, supportive environment, resources for self promotion/ marketing information, and holding workshops designed to enhance songwriting and performance skills. PO Box 335 Carrboro, NC 27510 www.ncsongwriters.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Eileen Batson
Batson Group Marketing and PR
http://www.batsongroupmarketingandpr.blogspot.com/
BatsonGroup@yahoo.com
919.327.5021
Raleigh, NC

SPONSOR CONTACT
Pete Leary
Guildmaster Graphics
guildmasters@mindspring.com
919.781.6494

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