Best Songwriting Contests

Songwriting contests offer wonderful opportunities for songwriters of every genre. Aside from possible cash prizes and publishing deals, you also get your music heard by some of the industry's top professionals. Click here for more songwriting contests

Many of them will give you a personal critique of your song, which you can use to improve your craft.

Here is a list of some of the best and most prestigious:
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The John Lennon Songwriting Contest

This is an international competition and is open to amateur and professional songwriters who submit entries in any one of 12 categories. The JLSC is open year-round and features two Sessions -- with 72 Finalists, 24 Grand Prize Winners, 12 Lennon Award Winners and 1 Maxell Song of the Year.

The International Songwriting Competition

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual song contest designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels. Amateur and professional songwriters and musicians are invited to participate. ISC has the most prestigious panel of judges of all the songwriting and music contests in the world, offering exposure and the opportunity to have your songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry. Over $150,000 in cash and prizes shared by 62 winners.

USA Songwriting Competition

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

Winners are selected by a Blue Ribbon committee of music industry judges including record label publishers, producers, A&R from Universal Music, Warner, EMI, Sony/BMG Music, and other distinguished professionals. This is your chance to be discovered by the biggest names in the music business!

The Billboard World Songwriting Contest

The Billboard World Songwriting Contest offers unparalleled exposure among some of the music industry’s most influential professionals. The top three winners in each of the 12 categories win great prizes as well as placement on the Annual Billboard Song Contest Winners’ CD. This CD is a compilation of the best songwriting the world has to offer.

Song of the Year

Song of the Year is an international contest encouraging the art and discipline of songwriting. The primary focus is to find great songwriters while helping them network with professionals in the music industry. Songwriter's submissions are judged by a panel of music professionals.

The preliminary-judging staff consists of individuals who have showed leadership in music related fields as well as notable songwriters. Top yearly winners will be judged by an elite panel of judges consisting of Grammy Award winners as well as individuals from Rolling Stone, ABC television, and more.

The UK Songwriting Contest

The UK Songwriting Contest is dedicated to promoting the art of songwriting and the discovery of new talent. All entries are very carefully examined by experienced industry professionals and everyone has the chance to get noticed.

Many important people in the music industry follow this event closely, and past winners and finalists have been noticed by prominent members of the music community including Sir Paul McCartney and Simon Cowell. Writers that show potential, whether they are contest winners or not, may be offered opportunities for publishing and career development.

Great American Song Contest

Created by songwriters, this innovative contest offers a positive alternative to the hype and high cost of the "big-cash-prize" competitions.

The Great American Song Contest features opportunities to 1) have your songs heard by qualified professionals; 2) to win prestigious awards and useful prizes; 3) to advance your songwriting, promote your songs & open doors in the music business. 4) Low-cost & affordable entry fees. Great American Song Contest judges listen thoroughly and respectfully to each and every song. Then they provide a detailed evaluation. Each participating songwriter receives the judges' written evaluations upon completion of the contest.

SongDoor International Songwriting Competition

With the goal of helping songwriters everywhere to improve their craft, SongDoor provides all entrants a free self-paced songwriting course from and a professional, personalized evaluation of every song.

The Grand Award winner receives a private-session, full band demo produced on Music Row in Nashville, as well as a one-year Platinum Membership to and many other great songwriters' tools. There are also seven Category Winners.

The judges (industry producers, engineers, artists and songwriters) have worked with the likes of Neil Young, *NSYNC, Tony Bennett, Britney Spears, Kenny Rogers and The Allman Brothers, to name just a few. The competition is open to amateurs and professionals worldwide. Competition opens: April 15. Entry deadline: November 15. Entry fee: $10.

Entering songwriting contests is another way of getting your music out there and heard by music industry professionals.

I also believe a little friendly competition can be a great motivator to write better songs.

So go compete! Click here for more songwriting competitions

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