Blackbird Academy of Arts is accepting submissions through Sept. 9 for its 7th annual Alchemy Songwriting Competition

Jennie Strange, executive director of Blackbird Academy of Arts, is the organizer of the event.

The competition, founded in 2011 by Blackbird Academy of Art with the help of American Idol winner and Conway’s Kris Allen, judges original songs in seven genres and two age categories — youth 13-17 and adult.

The songwriting competition serves to get up-and-coming songwriters’s works in front of industry professionals.

"As a young songwriter I would have loved an opportunity to be a part of something like this," Allen said. "I think it’s a great venue to have your songs heard."

According to a news release, past competitions have featured artists from as far as Canada and Mexico but has also been a source of inspiration and encouragement for many Arkansas-based songwriters.

The top 40-50 songs will be reviewed by a guest judging panel including Allen, songwriter Adam Hambrick and Grammy-nominated producer Jonathan Smith.

They will hone in on the top 10 submissions and those finalists will be invited to perform at a showcase here Oct. 14 in Conway.

"As the focus of the competition is primarily on songwriting, the writers have the option of having their songs performed by other musicians," a news release stated.

The grand prize winner of the competition will receive a songwriting session with one of the guest judges, an artist branding session with Zinepak, two tickets to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) conference, a $500 Southwest Airlines gift card, $250 Airbnb gift card, 30 days of radio airplay and more.

Prizes for the runner up, youth winner, fan favorite and genre winners will also be awarded, ranging from guitars, amplifers, free studio services with FretMonkey Records, and more.

Blackbird Academy of Arts is a non-profit that works to provide quality arts education to the Central Arkansas area. All proceeds will be used to help the organization continue to provide classes and scholarships for both visual and performing arts.

This year’s presenting sponsor for the Alchemy is Crain Automotive, with FretMonkey Records and Palmer Music Co. offering support for prizes.

Guidelines, contest rules, full judges’a bios, showcase information and links to previous winners can be found at .