The 2013 Singing News/Solid Gospel Songwriters Search has now concluded, and we're happy to announce that the winners have been chosen. Songwriters from all around the country sent in their original compositions to be judged by a top panel of judges. 

The winner of the 2013 Singing News/Solid Gospel Songwriter Search Grand Prize Winner is Gerald Reeder for his original song, "Vapor"! Congratulations to Gerald! The runners up for this year's contest are listed below.

To hear Gerald's winning song, "Vapor", in it's entirety, CLICK HERE.

To hear more songs from this year's contest, including Gerald's song and the songs of the runners-up, click here.

We asked Gerald a few questions to get to know him a little better:

What made you enter the contest?
GR: I've written songs without much response from artists. I'm sure they're plenty busy and they are probably bombarded with email from folks like me. But I sent some songs to the Dunaways and they were very encouraging, and always responded. It made me think maybe I had a chance.

What inspired you to write vapor?
GR: My wife and I were in a car accident where we were rear-ended. The car we were in was about half its original length when it was over. We walked away only sore. The next year I had congestive heart failure. I guess I started thinking about how short life is and the different stages from beginning till end.

How long have you been songwriting?
GR: I started writing about four years ago.

How did you hear about the contest?
GR: I get the Southern Gospel News update newsletter in my email.

What have you done for a living?
GR: I've been involved with construction since I was sixteen. I work with some of the best people you could imagine. They're not as rough as everyone thinks.

Where were you born and raised?
GR: I was raised in the Whites Memorial Community of Franklinville, North Carolina.

Tell us about your relationship with God
GR: I've been saved since 1982. God blessed me in so many ways I began to think I was responsible for all the good in my life. I grew cold in my walk with God, and I knew I was sliding but I thought pretty highly of myself. After the wreck and the health scare I wondered why God had kept me here. I knew I didn't deserve any of his goodness; that's when I started writing. I wake up with lyrics now I know it's God's will. Hopefully something I write will bring someone to Jesus and they will realize what real assurance and joy is. Only salvation can bring peace.

What do you like to do in your free time?
GR: I love to spend time with family , (especially grand-kids) gardening and sitting in a deer stand.

The runners up for this year's contest are as follows(click on the name of the song to hear it):

1.  Resting Place by Michael Harcus
2.  Jesus In Your Hand by Monica Otten
T-3.  Strong Arm Of Love by John Swaim
T-3.  We Believe by Julie Ferguson
T-3.  I've Heard And Seen Too Much by Stephen Phillips

Congratulations again to Gerald and all the runners-up! And if you want to hear many of the other entries in this year's contest, click here.

Stay tuned for more information on our next contest!