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Publisher Writer Experience
Spring 2023

4 Meetings With A Major Publisher!

Songwriters and artists who want to get their songs cut by major label artists or want to be a major label artist, need a relationship with a major music publisher. Getting those relationships is hard work, even when you have amazing songs.


Since major publishing companies are extremely selective about who they choose to work with, developing relationships can literally take years to make! 


The Publisher Writer Experience changes everything! You'll work one-on-one over 3 months with a major publisher, who'll give you career guidance, help you make your songs more cuttable and advise you just as they would any songwriter at their company.

Our next publisher is Lee Krabel, VP Publishing, Smack Songs.

Application Deadlines

Early bird: March 5, 2023  

Full Price: March 19, 2023

Program Overview

2 Zoom 1-On-1's with the Publisher
2 In-Person Trips to the Publisher's Office!

The Publisher Writer Experience is a chance at new beginnings with an amazing publisher who wants nothing more than success for you. 


Program activities include:

  1. Two 20 minute 1-on-1 meetings with the publisher over Zoom. Co-write (optional).

  2. One 30 minute meeting in-person at the publisher's office in Nashville (or on Zoom if you live outside of Nashville)

  3. One 1 hour group meeting at the publisher's Nashville office (optional)

Photo Gallery

Program Details

Application Deadlines

Early bird: March 5, 2023  

Full Price: March 19, 2023

March 27*   At your first 1-on-1 on Zoom with the publisher, get comfortable, learn about the publisher and their goals. Share your goals and play 1-2 of your best songs. Set up your 30 minute 1-on-1 for whatever date/time works for both you and the publisher.

TBD   Have a 30 minute 1-on-1 at the publisher's office on the date/time decided upon on by you and the publishers. If you cannot come to Nashville, no problem, schedule a 30 minute Zoom.

April 24* At your 2nd 1-on-1 Zoom with the publisher leave a lasting impression by playing more great songs and the work you've been doing to further your career since last you met.  

May 11*  Celebrate the closing of program with a group visit to the publisher's office.  Meet the staff that makes t he company go, enjoy the moments and learn more your fellow songwriters!​

*Dates are subject to change depending on publisher's availability.

Publisher Bio

Lee Krabel is the VP of Publishing at SMACKSongs with over 12 years of working with songwriters in the publishing space in Nashville, TN.

Krabel grew up in Chrisman, Illinois working on farms, where he found himself enamored by all genres of music. He developed a passion for country music specifically while serving in the US Army from 2002-2008. After his service in Iraq, he attended Belmont University, where he graduated in 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration. In 2009, Krabel accepted an entry level position in the tape room at SeaGayle Music, working amongst writers like Chris Stapleton, Lee Miller, Frank Rogers and Chris Dubois. In 2011, he was hired on as Creative Manager at HoriPro Entertainment, working with Phil O’Donnell, Dean Dillon, Brinley Addington, Mike Walker and Tommy Cecil, to name a few.


Following his time at HoriPro, Krabel was elevated once again, accepting a position as Creative Director at SMACKSongs in 2015. Since then, he has helped sign and develop writers such as Aaron Eshuis, Ryan Beaver, Emily Falvey and Josh Dorr; while also working with hit songwriters Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Josh Jenkins, Matt McGinn and Scott Stepakoff. He has secured cuts with Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Morgan Wallen and Jordan Davis.

Lee has a strong connection with his Nashville community. Combining his passion for songwriters and our military, he has started a successful songwriter series with the USO that travels the country playing shows for active duty soldiers, veterans and wounded warriors.

When he’s not working, Krabel also serves on Nashville's Board of directors for the Ronald McDonald House and can be found working in his garden or watching the Chicago Bears play football at his home in Kingston Springs, TN.


SMACKSongs is a Nashville-based music publishing company that represents SMACK partners/hit songwriters Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, Green River Ordinance’s Josh Jenkins, Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey and Trevor Rosen and Walker Hayes.

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Lee Krabel, VP Publishing

"There are all kinds of different ways that I meet writers. For the most part, it's a pretty organic thing. I'm looking forward to meeting all of the Discover Sooner writers."

A Champion for You!

Discover Sooner builds long-term connections between writers and publishers. Multiple writers have taken giant steps forward and are now writing with at publishing companies. 


Whether that happens to you right away or not, we are your champion long after the program is over. We keep that connection between you and the publisher going.


Program Overview:

Participants: Limited to 9 writers accepted


Location: Mix of Zoom and In-person in Nashville

Save These Dates: 

Early bird Application Deadline

  • March 5, 2023

Full Price Application Deadline

  • March 19, 2023

Applicant selection notification

  • March 20, 2023

Songwriter orientation

  • Mar 23, 2023 (5-6pm cst)

20 minute Zoom Meetings with Lee

  • April 3 and Apr 24 (4-7pm cst/5-8pm est)

30 minute In-person or Zoom Meeting with publisher

  •  Schedule your meeting with the publisher at the first Zoom 1-on-1

Group Meeting at publisher's office

  • May 11 (4-5pm cst)


Early Bird: $357

Regular Registration: $417

Why don't we co-write as a part of this program anymore?

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1.  Prepare a link to 3 songs on SoundCloud, Songspace, Dropbox, etc. OR If you're in the Sooner Community: just use a link to a song in your Music List.

2. Apply: ($20).

3. Receive email with your acceptance status 7 days before the program begins. If accepted, you'll receive additional program details and a payment link ($).

What Songwriters Say...