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Songwriting Competitions is Appendix B in a series on How to Write a Song. Another way to gain recognition, win prizes and money, is to submit songs to songwriting contests. The John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the American Idol Songwriting are a couple of the most popular, however there are others.
I would like to recommend my favorite song contest, the Indie International Songwriting Contest. It is a progressive and contemporary contest designed for artists that are pushing the envelope. The other contests are great but they are so huge that they are difficult to win.
INDIE INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING CONTEST
The Indie International Songwriting Contest is an annual song competition that gives recognition to some of the best emerging songwriters in the world. It helps develop their talent and provides useful tools for developing the success of the artist. Over $38,000 in useful prizes awarded! It is the first contest of its kind to be conducted completely online.
OTHER LARGER SONGWRITING CONTESTS
John Lennon Songwriting Contest
The John Lennon Songwriting Contest is an international songwriting contest that began in 1997. The Contest 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 "Song of the Year."
Great American Songwriting Contest
The Great American Song Contest is open to songwriters, lyricists and music composers everywhere. This annual event is designed for amateur and semi-pro songwriters only. Individuals who earn over $5,000 in publishing royalties per year are not eligible.
Song of the Year
Song of the Year is currently accepting songwriting entries into the song and lyric writing contest. The songwriting contest's winners and finalists from each of the ten categories will have their material sent to record labels, publishers, management companies, promoters and many other music industry insiders for further consideration. The winners will also receive over $80,000 of cash and prizes. Submit your material online or by mail using 3 Easy Steps. International entries are accepted.
Billboard Song Contest
Whether your style of music is pop, rock, country, jazz, gospel, Latin, blues, or dance, the 14th Annual Billboard Song Contest could offer you unparalleled professional exposure among some of the music industry’s most influential names. All songs receive a judging report. Our judging report will tell you how your song performed with tips on structure and content.
Our professional songwriting and music industry judges will be considering your music on the basis of originality, lyrics, melody, composition and commercial appeal, so you don't need to book studio time to produce your entry. Although production does make the song prettier, production values do not count. A homemade "track" is fine. Don't worry if you're not a great singer - after all, these are songwriting competitions!
If you've averaged less than $5,000 per year total royalties earned from music since 1992 (including prize winnings from previous song contests), you're eligible to enter. Here's how a star could be born! Enter your original song(s) in any of these categories: Country, Pop, Rock/Alternative, Contemporary Christian/Traditional Gospel, Latin, Jazz, Dance, or R&B/Blues.