When Emily Lysaght entered the Tamworth Queen of Country Music Quest, she had no idea how much it would change her for the better.
Apprehensive when her mother-in-law first floated the idea, Mrs Lysaght eventually came around and couldn't be happier she did so.
The self-proclaimed introvert came out of her shell, claiming the crown of 2020 Tamworth Queen of Country Music in the process.
"I have never been a confident person and I felt that changing right from the course [to prepare for the quest] we did beforehand," she said.
"I'm so thankful I had the chance to do it.
"It was great for our self development and professional development. There was a lot that happened behind the scenes."
When Mrs Lysaght's name was read out on Sunday night, the music teacher couldn't have been more surprised.
"Wow. I don't really know what to say. I did not expect this at all," she said to the crowd at the crowning.
"All of these girls have been incredible to spend the last 10 days with - and a few weeks beforehand.
"Thank you to the Zonta Club, thank you to everyone who helped us through this, thank you to my sponsor and thanks guys [to the other entrants].
"I really look forward to the next 12 months.
"I have grown so much in the last 10 days I can only imagine what it's going to be like for the next 12 months."
There was more than one crowning on the night.
Carissa Ryan was named Miss Congeniality, the title of the Miss Social Media went to Jasmine Whitten while Susie Rixon was named the 2020 Tamworth Princess of Country Music.
Ms Rixon, who is originally from Gunnedah, has lived in Tamworth for the past five years and said being named princess was still sinking in.
"It's bit surreal really, its been a big week - a long week - and getting a result like that was a bit unexpected," the support coordinator said.
While the schedule was at times hectic, Ms Rixon loved the experience.
From meeting representatives from the New Zealand Country Music Festival to attending gigs, it was all a thrill for the new princess.
"I'm a fan of just being country. I love the atmosphere, the friendliness. I'm a proud country girl, being born bred out here. The country music festival is all of that and I got to really enjoy it this year," she said.
The judging for the Queen of Country Music was run over several weeks, including across the 10 days of the sestival; and was judged by Tamworth Regional Council deputy mayor Phil Betts, Zonta president Sharon Draper, and former Queen of Country Music Sophie O'Neill.
Delivered by the Zonta Club of Tamworth, the purpose of the Queen Quest is to build confidence in young women and inspire them to pursue leadership roles in the community.
Sharon Draper said: "The quest offers a diverse program to fully equip these young women with a wide range of professional and personal skills.
"We are focused on empowering women and providing them with an experience that not only inspires them to represent the Tamworth region over the coming year, but for the long-term.
Both the Queen and Princess will be ambassadors for Tamworth and the region throughout 2020, spending the next 12 months volunteering their time and assisting at a range of high-profile civic and community events, guest speaking engagements and corporate and festival functions.
As part of the major prize, the newly crowned Queen will travel to Tamworth's sister city, Gore in New Zealand, where she will represent Tamworth at the 2020 Gore Country Music Festival.