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Songwriting Contests Online

Updated on September 14, 2019

Every ambitious, highly motivated Musician, Singer, or Combo Artist I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, was intently focused on one goal and one goal only, to write the biggest chart busting, earth orbit changing number one with a light speed projectile hit song. Unfortunately, this lofty expectation is usually met with overwhelming heart wrenching disappointment. The odds of picking up a guitar, plugging it into an electrifying 200 watt Marshall full stack, and either caressing it gently to the point of enticing an irresistible pleasing to the ears angelic chorus of addictive melodies, or feverishly grinding and clawing at the strings and fret board to formulate the ultimate manic compulsive metal anthem, are as elusive as winning the lottery, twice, in a row, with the same numbers, that were randomly selected by a translucent hand of the ghost of Jimi Hendrix while serenading your senses with alternating unplugged versions of "Angel" and "Voodoo Child". Talk about two haunting melodies resulting in a mild case of emotional whiplash, I don't know whether to flip a newly minted shiny silver plated shilling or nice crisp hot off the presses greenback into the imaginary collection plate or call an Exorcist.

But really, let's get off the Jimi multiple personality psychedelic mind expansion mood altering journey thing for a moment and focus on the important business at hand. "Entering a songwriting contest and getting invaluable pro bono exposure and publicity by doing so".

Are the odds of producing a white hot hit song that will resonate at the speed of light toward the outer reaches of our universe that stacked against you? Well, for most unconnected artists, unfortunately the answer is yes. However the odds of writing and recording a song that will get noticed and possibly even promoted to a massive worldwide electronically connected network audience is without a doubt a realistic possibility via songwriting competitions. In this new fiber optically enhanced technological age consisting of online global reach platforms equipped with cutting edge applications, your songs can indeed get substantial airplay by gaining access to the virtually unlimited number of Internet broadcasting domains. And songwriting contests can be your conduit.

So just to recap, what are the odds of creating a number one hit song? Very slim, but much better than they were say ten years ago. And what are the odds of generating a steady flowing stream of listeners tuned into the song you just crafted and placed in that warm fertile growth inducing incubator? Not great. And is it a realistic goal to strive for a consistently growing audience and fan base numbering in the thousands without extensively and exhaustively touring the world? Believe it or not, today the odds are extremely favorable and goals very attainable if you're the proud owner of a computer, a built in AC outlet receptacle, and a simple generic power cord to extract the necessary amount of alternating current for PC operation.

So, as we conclude this exciting, musically motivated adventure, hopefully we've had some fun, but more importantly, leave with a broader understanding of song writing and maybe take away a few ideas on how to generate a little more exposure for your melodic works and lyrics. There are of course many avenues of choice to embark on your quest to conjure up, distribute, and promote the next "Stairway to Heaven" or "Paparazzi" and in this article we briefly discussed one increasingly popular way to achieve this goal, using the Internet to locate and participate in online songwriting contests.

  • For your consideration, please find a short list of contest sponsors, with more to come in future articles. The following includes 5 online songwriting contests and competitions for both domestic and international participants. Some conduct a LYRICS only competition, so even if you don't play an instrument you can still participate.

  • Below is a brief outline of contest guidelines. Please visit the corresponding web site for official rules and or more detailed information.


John Lennon Song Writing Contest

  • Brief Contest Description - An international contest open to both amature and professional artists. Only one entry in one category is required for consideration -
  • Criteria - One song 5 minutes or less in MP3, CD, or Cassette format. A lyric sheet ( Unless it's an Instrumental ). A completed application. Professionally recorded and sounding song not necessary. Songs will be judged on Originality, Melody, Composition, and Lyrics ( If Applicable ) -
  • Categories - Rock - Country - Jazz - Pop - World - Rhythm & Blues - Hip Hop - Gospel / Inspirational - Latin - Electronic - Folk - Children's - Instrumental -
  • Prizes - 72 Finalists - 24 Grand Prize Winners - 12 John Lennon Award Winners - 1 "Song of the Year" Winner. Prizes include Studio Equipment - Gift Certificates from Musicians Friend.The top prize will be awarded to the winner of the "Song of the Year" who will receive a check in the amount of $20,000, plus a wealth of music gear provided by several different manufacturers. Additional prizes include marketing consulting services -
  • Entry Fee - $30.00 per song -

Paramount Song and Lyric Competition

  • Brief Contest Description - Amature song writers welcome. Several contests are held throughout the year so multiple entries equals multiples chances to win -
  • Criteria - All song types in several different genres or categories are welcome. Complete songs with lyrics or just lyrics are eligible for the contests -
  • Categories - Traditional Country - Modern Country - Contemporary Christian - Gospel - Pop - Rock - Alternative - Jazz - Blues - And More -
  • Prizes - Over $125,000 in Cash & Prizes - Various cash and other rewards are given to the winners -
  • Publicity - The web site claims to present a variety of songs regardless of standing in the rankings, to industry professionals for consideration -

16th Annual USA Songwriting Competition

  • Brief Contest Description - The competition is designed for songwriters, solo artists, and bands worldwide. Winning songs are touted as receiving radio airplay which is claimed to be the first time this is offered for any songwriting competition -
  • Criteria - International songwriting event for songwriters, composers, bands, and recording artists worldwide.Each CD or Audio Cassette must contain only 1 song only and be 5 minutes or less in length. Entry form must be submitted -
  • Categories - 15 Different categories. Winners are judged and selected by industry professionals including publishers and producers from some of the most prestigious labels in the world -
  • Prizes - Grand Prize of $50,000 in Cash & Merchandise / Radio Airplay -
  • Entry Fee - $35 per song -

Indie International Songwriting Contest

  • Brief Contest Description - Annual song writing competition for emerging song writers all over the world. All entries remain anonymous to the judges and are judged on originality, melody, composition, lyrics and phrasing -
  • Criteria -Each Song Writer or Group can enter up 3 songs divided between multiple categories if desired -
  • Categories - Americana - Country - Rock - Pop - Folk - Instrumental -
  • Prizes - Over $21,000 in prizes. All first & second place winners will be featured on the front page of the "Indie International" website and the winners page alongside previous awarded songwriters. The top 10 songwriters in each category will be permanently featured on the Indie International website -
  • Entry Fee - $30 per Song -

The UK Songwriting Contest

  • Brief Contest Description - Open to everyone, bands, individual artists etc. According to the web site, a host of industry professionals, producers, and experts will either judge the songs or listen to some or all submissions leading to possible radio or television publicity.Simon Cowell is said to have signed Natalie Chua after her participation in the contest -
  • Criteria - The contest is international and open to amateurs as well as professionals. Judging is based mainly on songwriting ability and not the quality of recording production -
  • Categories - Pop - Rock - Adult Contemporary - Jazz/Blues - Country - Singer/Songwriter - Love Songs - Christian/Faith - R&B/Urban - Lyrics Only - Instrumental - Open Category - Acoustic/Folk - Show Songs - Olympic Theme Song -
  • Prizes - All participants will receive at least one prize -
  • Entry Fee - Quoted in English Pounds, check currency exchange rate which can fluctuate daily -


<> Images courtesy of Alternative Prime's "fotoprime" collection <>


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    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      8 years ago from > California

      Hi Polina & Welcome to the "Song Writing Contest Network" where we bring the competitive music making "Word" to the awaiting universe -

      I'll check out your suggested website when time permits and once again, if you are affiliated and we can combine or fuse resources to create a more dynamically energetic public offering designed to inform all artists who are interested in exploring the most relevant contests in existence, maybe we can incorporate your ideas right here in part or totality -

      Best to you & stay in touch!

      Alternative Prime

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      8 years ago from > California

      Hi Terence, welcome and thanks for the input & heads up about the "Malibu Music Awards Song Contest" located right here in my back yard, scenically gorgeous Southern Cali -

      I'm constantly seeking out the best and brightest song writing contests to reveal to my growing international audience of talented professional music composers, recording experts/artists, and casual hobbyists alike via this domain - An effort to bring both domestically based and globally significant contests to the forefront for participation consideration -

      When I find the spare time to take a look at your site and if I thereafter determine it's a good "Fit" for this particular piece, would you like to see it incorporated into the above entry right alongside the other high profile, prestigious song composing contests?

      Let me know and please keep us up to date on current events & status of your MMASC venture -

      All the best,

      Alternative Prime

    • profile image

      Terence Davis 

      8 years ago

      Check out the Malibu Music Awards Song Contest now in it's 6th year. The winners get to perform at the Malibu Music Awards Show. We've had Glen Campbell getting this past LifeTime Achievement Award and he was amazing. We've honored Tom Petty, Pat Benatar, and many others. Our singer-songwriter finalists all get the beautiful Malibu Music Awards trophy. Please check it out and hopefully you'll recommend us!

    • POLINA BOGDANOVA profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi there!

      That was a very interesting AND useful article to read - thanks a lot for sharing!

      I'm a musician myself and I do know what's it's like to compete in a creative profession trying to get your work out there for the people..

      Maybe you'll find this interesting as well: That's a list of some nice reputable music contests that are held internationally for different disciplines (songwriting included).

      Again, thanks for the article and keep sharing! :)

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      10 years ago from > California

      Hi les,

      welcome and thanks for stopping by with a "Heads Up" on your contest, sounds like a good opportunity for aspiring bands.

      I only have so much space on each page to write about songwriting contests or any other subject so this is the first of many more fun and hopefully informative "Hubs" in an ongoing series of published articles related to current competitions & events.

      I'll take a look at your web site and maybe we can include one of your future contests right here on my HubPages.

      Take Care & Stay in Touch.....

      - Alternative Prime -

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      We're having a Contest for Unsigned Bands. Cool prizes for the Top 10 winners and voters can win an iPod Touch. Totally free - check it out ....

    • tlpoague profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      I hear ya, I was trying for awhile to use different font styles, but found I keep going back to the same one. The small print was where under each title was a brief discription of catagories. I had a hard time reading it but I like your style. It gives it a nice break from the usual stuff.

      Thanks! And keep up the great work...I enjoyed it!

    • Alternative Prime profile imageAUTHOR

      Alternative Prime 

      10 years ago from > California

      Hello tipoague, thanks for stopping by,

      Well, my apologies for the "Fine Print" however I think it's actually normal sized print that just appears smaller in comparison to the so called "Average" or "Large" print which at times can be a little overwhelming for the eyes.

      I like to write in different sized and style fonts to add a "Nuance" effect resulting in a more enjoyable reading experience for all the online visitors and viewers. Plus using "Superscript" font saves a considerable amount of space which shortens the page length so it's not necessary to Point, Click & Scroll down as much. Sometimes if you don't write with varying font sizes your article can end up longer than the list of artists that should have been inducted into the "R&R Hall of Fame" a long time ago,,,,,And that's pretty long.....

    • tlpoague profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      With the exception of not being able to read the fine print, I think you have hit on a great idea. I didn't realize there were so many different song competitions. Thanks for sharing. I gave it a vote up!


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