Tamworth songwriting award for Springwood singer Peter Christie

Springwood singer Peter Christie has won his first songwriting award at the Tamworth Country Music Festival.

He took out the Songwriter Salute Award for gospel/spiritual song of the year, for Across the Jordan Wide, presented by the Tamworth Songwriting Association.

Christie describes it as a "funeral song". "It's about where we go when we die and looking forward to that. But it's a celebration song, it's not sad."

He was inspired by a sermon in late 2018, which stewed in his brain for a while before translating into a song.

"When it comes to song-writing I'm fairly slow. I sit on them and develop them and end up changing them," the head of the music department at Norwest Christian College, said.

He likes to keep tweaking the song, often unable to find that end point himself. "The producer will say 'it's done, leave it,'" Christie said.

The song is from his God Guitars and the Open Road album.

Christie has won seven international music awards, and regularly visits the United States to perform.

Some of his songs have made the US charts, including Two Ways to Sunday which reached the top 20 of the US Gospel charts in 2018.

God Guitars and the Open Road also got to number 40 on the mainstream country music chart Country Tracks Australia in 2018.

After several surgeries on the elbow of his dominant arm, this has put the mockers on touring the past year, but Christie is plugging away at new material for another album which he hopes to release next year.