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2nd Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting
Team Penning Challenge
Academy of Western Artists

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The 1st Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting Team Roping Challenge was one of the most popular events at the  2004 Academy of Western Artists Trade Show and Convention in Fort Worth.  See our feature on that event here.

Below is information for the the 2005 event, called the 2nd Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting Team Penning Challenge, held at the annual AWA meeting in Richardson, Texas on Monday, July 11, 2005.  


Teams and Winners

General Information

Media Release

Summary - The Short Version



2004 winners Rick Huff, Jim Jones, Misslette the Singing Cowgirl, Rod Nichols, Belinda Gail, Curly Musgrave, Kip Calahan, Pat Richardson and Supervising Judge Larry Maurice on microphone.
photo by Yvonne Hollenbeck (also a winner)




General Information

Media Release

Summary - The Short Version


Entry Form


The 2005 theme was "All My Trails Lead Home"

Linda Kirkpatrick and Woody Woodruff's team tied for first place in the Poetry division
photo courtesy of Carla Woodruff




            1st Place: Curly Jim Musgrave & Belinda Gail
            2nd Place: Devon Dawson & Lyn Ryan
            3rd Place: Rod Nichols & Mislette the Singing Cowgirl
            4th Place: Jean Prescott & Doris Daley
            Andy Nelson & Kip Calahan
            Tom Hatton &
Donna Hatton
            Doc Stovall & Charles Williams
            Skeeter Mann & Miss Lindalee Green
               Rick Huff
& Jim Jones
Aly Sutherlin & Sharon Sutherlin


            1st Place (tie) Linda Kirkpatrick & Woody Woodruff
            1st Place (tie) Charles Williams & Doc Stovall  
            3rd Place Andy Nelson & Don Kennington
            4th Place Rod Nichols & Scott Hill Bumgardner
               Tom Hatton &
Donna Hatton
            Trey Allen & Ed Nesselhuf          


  Buckle and Scarf Slide Award Donors:

SilverCreek Books & Music - $135.00 (Buckle Sponsor)
Tony & Krista Reed / Double K Ranch - $135.00 (Buckle Sponsor)
Hollenbeck Ranch, Inc - $100.00
Joe Baker / Backforty Bunkhouse Promotions - $50.00
Hatton Land & Cattle Co. - $50.00
Anonymous - $50.00
Farmer/Ranchers Coop (Valentine, Ainsworth & Springview, Nebraska) - $40
Farm Bureau Insurance (Winner, South Dakota) - $40.00
Midway Oil (Valentine, Nebraska) - $20.00


General Information



(a unique team-writing competition)

A unique and exciting competition will take place at the AWA Meeting in Richardson, Texas on Monday, July 11, 2005 at (time TBA) on the Poets' Stage: the 2nd Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting Team Penning Challenge, where teams of poets and songwriters will compete for the championship.

Registration is open until June 5, 2005 and the topic will be announced on June 6, 2005.  

Only one team member will be allowed to present the resulting poem or song. That team member must be an AWA member and have paid the full registration fee for the AWA Convention and Trade Show (see the AWA web site for a convention registration form: www.awa-awards.org)

Prizes include champion hand made buckles for first place teams, silver scarf slides for second place winners, and a cash purse.

You can sign up for the 2nd Annual Cowboy Poetry/Songwriting Team Penning Challenge by email or mail.  The deadline is June 5, 2005 (no exceptions). Send your entry to:  Yvonne Hollenbeck, chairman.  Email:  geetwo@gwtc.net or snail mail:  30549 291st Street; Clearfield, SD 57580 - phone 605-557-3559 or cell 402-376-6991


  • the names of the Header and the Healer (the two people on your team)

  • both team members' email addresses

  • whether you are competing in the Poetry or Song Division

The topic will be announced June 6, 2005, by email to those registered and also posted on the AWA site (www.awa-awards.org), www.Cowboypoetry.com, and at SilverCreek Books and Music (www.silvercreekmusic.com). To ensure that no one knows the theme until the announcement, Brian Woodrome of SilverCreek Books and Music will independently come up with three themes.  He'll send
those to Yvonne Hollenbeck and Larry Maurice the day before the topic is announced, and they will choose one as the topic.

Media Release

From Yvonne Hollenbeck, January 10, 2005:

Because of its overall success, the second annual team writing competition will be held during the Academy of Western Artists Convention in Richardson, Texas, on Monday, July 11, 2005.  This event, entitled “AWA Team Penning Challenge” will feature competition between two-party teams in both song writing and poetry writing, with only one team member performing before a panel of five judges.  Prizes include beautiful hand made belt buckles for first place teams; silver scarf slides for second place winners, and a cash purse. 

Registration is open until June 5, 2005, and the topic will be announced on June 6, 2005.

The format of the competition will be similar to that of the first competition held in 2004, with the exception of several minor adjustments.  Last year’s winners were Pat Richardson and Kip Calahan, Song Writing; and Yvonne Hollenbeck and Pat Richardson, Poetry.  Neither Richardson or Hollenbeck will compete in 2005, as Yvonne will be taking over the reins of the event this year, and Pat will chair the judging division. For rules, entry form, or more information, contact Yvonne Hollenbeck, Chairman; 30549 291st Street; Clearfield, SD 57580; phone 605-557-3559, or contact her via e-mail:  geetwo@gwtc.net 

Summary - The Short Version


  • Find a songwriting or poet partner

  • Sign up

  • The theme is announced June 6

  • Create your song or poem (5 minute limit)

  • Pay $20 cash per team at Ft. Worth

  • Win big (prizes and cash) in Ft. Worth




            1.  Poetry Writing
            2.  Song Writing


Each team will consist of two people who will both participate in the writing and creation of a poem or song based on the theme provided.  Only one team member will be allowed to present the poem or song.  No other person will be allowed on the stage during the presentation.  No duets, and no additional accompaniment will be allowed.  The presenting team member must be an AWA member and have paid the full registration fee for the AWA Convention and Trade Show.  (Although they will not be presenting or allowed on the stage, the remaining team member will be introduced and will be asked to set in a designated chair near the stage during the presentation of his or her team's creation.)

A person can only enter once in each event.  You cannot enter with another person as a separate team.



There will be an arena director who will enforce the rules and be in charge of all officials.

There will be five (5) judges who will be selected to score the event according to specific guidelines set before them by the committee.  The top score and low score will be discarded, and the remaining three scores will
be averaged.

There will be one timer, who is in charge of starting and stopping the time clock and blowing the whistle when the five (5) minute time limit is up.

There will be a flag judge, who will drop a flag indicating when the time starts, and will also indicate if a presenter goes over the time limit which will result in no score.

There will be an announcer and any other personnel that the chairman and arena director determine to be necessary.


There will be two divisions, Poetry and Song.  The "Poetry Division" will consist of a poem written by the team and can be performed by only one of  the team members.  The "Song Division" will consist of a song, with words and melody written by the team and can be performed by only one of the team members.

No entries will be taken after the deadline of June 5, 2005.  Entries received after 12 teams have signed up in a division will be put on a waiting list and teams will be added in the order signup was received in the event of another team's cancellation.

Individuals can enter each event once, however, they must be entered with different partner and must switch ends (for example, Joe and Mavis enter as a poetry team and write a poem;  Joe is the presenter.  Joe and Shorty enter as a music team and write a song; Shorty has to be the presenter because Joe has already presented in the poetry event.  Individuals can only take the stage and perform one time.  Joe CANNOT enter with another person as another team.)

Positions will be drawn immediately prior to the beginning of the event, at (time to be announced later) on Monday, July 11 at the Poets' Stage at the AWA meeting.

Each team will have five (5) minutes to perform their poem or song.  Time will begin when the first word is uttered, at which time the flag judge will signal the timer to begin the time clock; and a whistle will blow when the five (5) minutes are up.  Using less than five minutes is all right, however, exceeding the time limit will result in a disqualification. 

Your writing must comply with the theme, however, it does not have to include the theme in the title.

The Arena Director will assist in decisions pertaining to disqualifications.

Announcement of winners and awards presentation will be held at a time and place announced at a time and place designated by the committee.

Disqualification can happen based on the following reasons:

   a. failure to comply with theme
   b. use of obscene or distasteful material
   c. exceeding time limit

Failure to perform by teams entered will be excused only in the case of a death in the family (and it is your own), or a proper Vet release.

Entry fee of $20.00 per team payable in cash at event.  (Payback will be made in cash)

Total jackpot will be paid back as follows:

     1st place team - 40%
     2nd place team - 30%
     3rd place team - 20%
     4th place team - 10%

Additional prizes, including championship buckles, will be awarded and will be on display

We would also appreciate each team giving the arena director a copy of your creation so it can be posted on a special feature on CowboyPoetry.com!

Thank you.


Yvonne Hollenbeck, Chairman
Larry Maurice, Arena Director






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