(This event is still happening at Aqus Cafe, for current details, see: http://aqus.com/event/west-coast-songwriters-competition/2017-02-15/)

The monthly West Coast Songwriters Association North Bay competition continues monthly on the third Wednesdays 7 p.m. at Aqus Café in Petaluma.

Winners of the monthly competition earn the chance to compete for the “Song of the Year” award at the yearly upcoming playoffs next summer.

“What’s most valuable for songwriters about participating is that it’s really about the craft of writing,” said Petaluma musician Jan White, who hosts the competition. “It’s also about perfecting your performance skills and networking with other musicians, and also the judges.”

The competition and playoffs feature judges working in the music industry who are able to offer insight and expert advice to participants, many of whom just starting out in songwriting.

“The judges are always top industry professionals who are very accomplished,” said White.

“The judges are able to give the contestants really good advice that can help them improve and make their songs better,” said White. “It’s been fun to watch the contestants grow and improve.”

The West Coast Songwriters Competition attracts performers of all ages, from children to senior citizens. White said the reason for this is because she strives to provide a safe place for beginning as well experienced songwriters to sharpen their skills.

“I want it to be a very supportive environment so that people feel comfortable,” said White. “Performing and singing a song you wrote yourself can be a very nerve-wracking thing. So far, we’ve had a good response from people wanting to participate. We’ve had people coming from as far as the South Bay and East Bay.”

The Aqus Cafe is located at the corner of Second and H streets. Phone 778-6060. From petaluma360.com