13 Song Writing Competions That Are Worth Your Time


Songwriting competitions are very good and popular ways for new or amateur songwriters to have their music heard. For a writer that may not perform, a competition that is solely based on performance is a really great opportunity to be judged mainly on the writing. But what are the advantages of songwriting competitions? What could be the pros and cons of entering one? Writers are over dismayed when they enter a competition, win, and then come to realize that they have handed over all or part of their song’s rights unknowingly when they refuse to read the fine print rules.


1. American Idol

Entry fee is $10. This is really reasonable if compared with other songwriting contests out there. You need to reside in the USA. Though this makes sense–but, after all, it is American Idol– so it excludes, for example, other songwriters from UK and Canada.

2. John Lennon Scholarship Awards

Set up by Yoko Ono; The John Lennon Scholarship does not need an application fee. It is a very straightforward competition with very little fine print, though the stipulation is that you can’t have had any material that has been commercially distributed or released. This implies that anyone who is a member in a band that has played original music and has recorded an album or EP that was sold, even if it is on a small scale, is ineligible.

3. John Lennon Songwriting Competition

For John Lennon Songwriting Competition the entrance fee charges are $30 per song submitted. This entrance fee is reasonable enough if only you are submitting one song, but if you decide on the other hand to submit two or more songs, then the bill starts to add up. The writer reserves the rights to his or her song. The fine print states that “entry constitutes permission to use winner’s names, likenesses, and voices for future advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation”.

4. Eurovision

Eurovision contest is the most complicated to enter of all the major songwriting competitions. Those that host this years televised competition are the participating broadcaster from the country that won the previous year. Forty-eight countries completed it, with assured spots in the finals to the champion country, plus France, Spain, Germany, and the UK.

5. International Songwriting Competition

ISC (International Songwriting Competition) charges an entrance fee of $35 for a song entered. Just like the John Lennon Songwriting Contest as well, this adds up fastly. However, if you win, or even place, the cash involved is fairly large (though, the US government will tax you). “The winner of the Grand prize receives US $25,000 cash and $20,000 in merchandise and services as well.

6. American Songwriter lyric writing contest

The entry fee is just is $10. And in the scheme of things, $10 is very affordable and reasonable. American Songwriter provides you a free yearlong sub to the magazine provided you enter two lyrics. This contest is open to amateur songwriters only

7. Song Door

This songwriting competition is open to both amateurs and professionals worldwide. The entry fee is just $10 per song (as it has been since 2006 till date) and whoever enters receives a free all-access trial to SongU.com, a free songwriting software, and a Broadjam membership (different every year, for Windows and Mac), the worth is around $170. There is no obligation at all. It’s just free. 

8. USA Songwriting Competition

USA Songwriting Competition®, world’s leading international songwriting event, has since 1995, been honoring songwriters, bands, composers, and recording artists all round. This competition is open to all, regardless of country origin or nationality.

9. Mid-Atlantic Song Contest (Annual)

In other to help songwriters receive recognition for their work and also to further excellence in songwriting through educational programs, Association of Songwriters Washington (SAW) presents a songwriting competition with eleven different categories. The Prizes include $1000 cash; paid studio time, SAW membership, registration to Folk Alliance conferences, and many more!

10. Song of the Year - Song & Lyric Competition (annual)

They give over $80,000 of cash and prizes, also have their material sent to publishers, record labels, promoters, management companies and other music industry insiders as well.

11. Great American Song Contest

They offer 50 awards in the categories of ten songwriting, and $10,000 cash prize. songwriters receive written evaluations of their songs from the contest judges who are well experienced music-industry experts.

12. Unsigned Only Music Competition

Annual competition for those that are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. Grand prize is $20,000 in cash (plus other additional prizes) and face to face mentoring by an elite group of record company executives.”

13. Our Stage monthly contest

You upload your music and videos, fans vote, and then you win prizes. Our Stage is where music fans can discover, enjoy and reward the best emerging songwriter.




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