Ricky Williams part of "The Alchemy" Staff and the administrative assistant at Blackbird Academy of Arts, Inc., said that the 1st Annual songwriting competition "The Alchemy," which opened up a songwriters search on Oct. 15 through Nov. 15, received hundreds of submissions. Blackbird Academy of the Arts, a nonprofit arts education program based in Conway, announced the finalists for its competition.

The top 10 finalists are:

Joel Dibble, Amherst, N.Y. — "Alive."

Adam Hambrick, Conway — "I Would Never." 

Andrew Landry, Conway — "Country Girl."

Edward O’Neil , Ontario, Canada — "Girls They Talk."

Daniel Winfield, Conway — "Downpour."

Yolanda Venise Champion, Alexandria, Va. — "Can’t Wait."

Daniel Grear, Conway — "Lonely Trees."

Bettina and Philippa Cassar, Bidnija, Malta — "Tom, Dick, and Harry."

David Pierce, Fayetteville — "The Midwest."

Jonathon Lindsey, Little Rock — "Fun Away."

The contest judges — Kris Allen, a platinum-selling artist and 2009 American Idol; David Hodges, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter; and Andy Davis, founder of the Music Empowers Foundation — will give live feedback to finalists and choose the grand prize winner at the showcase on 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, at Hendrix College’s Worsham Hall. Genre and age division winners will also be announced. Tickets are $10 at the door.

The contest’s grand prize is an expenses-paid trip to Los Angeles to record the winning song in a studio with award-winning producers Ryan Peterson and Nolan Sipe. Proceeds from the competition, including entry fees, sponsorships and showcase tickets, will benefit Blackbird Academy. For more information, go to either website www.blackbirdacademy.org or www.thealchemycompetition.org, or call 501-336-8200.