HomeContemporary A Cappella Recording Awards - CARAsEligibility and Submission Guidelines


Your album/track is eligible for the 2016 CARAs if:

1. It was released to the public in the 2015 calendar year. With so many creative endeavors being released exclusively on the internet recently, we have changed the CARA rule to accommodate these works. Therefore, public release date is the time at which either:

a. your complete, packaged, retail-ready CD was delivered to your group or

b. your work became available online for free or paid consumption by the public

We cannot accept CD-Rs or any other unfinished form of your album/individual tracks, but we will be glad to accept the work the following year, once it has been publicly released.

2. If you are submitting an album, at least one track on the album must be entirely a cappella (use no instruments). In order to be considered in any best album category, more than half of the tracks must be a cappella, but even a single a cappella track will be considered in a best song category. Any tracks with instruments (including percussion instruments) will be disqualified.

If an album contains music of multiple styles, each song will be considered in the category for which it is most appropriate. Our nominating panel listens to every song on every album no matter what (so long as it’s a cappella). You can find out more about what happens once the albums leave your hands by going to the nominations area of this website.

3. It is received at the CASA office no later than December 31. Unfortunately, a postmark of December 31 is not acceptable. We would also like to note that the earlier you send your album the more time we will have to listen. Although our goal is to give every album the same length of time for consideration, and all are re-listened to by nominators between December 31 and January 10, it does make it easier for our nominators if they can spread the initial listening over weeks rather than days. We understand how much hard work goes into album production and we would like to give each disc the attention it deserves.

4. A submission application form has been filled out on carawards.org and submitted by December 31.

Submission Instructions

1. Fill out the submission application form at carawards.org. If you have questions or would like to follow up on receipt of the form, email the CARA team at cara@casa.org.

2. If you are unable to upload your album: Mail us two (2) production copies of the album in final retail packaging with liner notes. CD-Rs or pre-production runs will not be accepted. Consider sending more than the 2 required albums for inclusion in CASA’s charitable Tunes To Teens program. See submission application form for more information.

Mail albums to the following address:

CARA Submissions
c/o CASA
7 Rybury Hillway
Needham, MA  02492  USA

CARA Timeline

November 30

Application for nominators and judges are due.

If you would like the opportunity to participate in the CARA process, please see the application on this website. You may apply at any time during the year to be a nominator in the upcoming cycle. All applications received after November 30 will be considered for the following year.

December 4

Nominators and judges selected and notified by email.

December 18

Nominations begin.

December 31

Submission application form due.

The submission application form on carawards.org must be filled out by this date in order to be considered eligible.

January 18

Nominations end, 11:59 PST

January 29

Nominees are announced and judging begins

Nominees are announced in all categories; judges log in to the CARA system and begin assessing and ranking the nominees.

February 29

Judging ends, 11:59 PST

April 9

Winners are announced live at BOSS and on www.casa.org

One winner and one runner-up is announced for each of the awards.

Are you a previous winner of a CARA and want to request another award for your producer/engineer, group member or management? Click here and we will verify eligibility.