Songwriting contests can be a very good venue to display your songwriting talents. Winning a good songwriting contest could be like winning “American Idol” to an aspiring songwriter. It’s the chance to jump ahead of the competition. To be put in the spotlight, to get the attention that you need. And to get it all at once (especially if you win). Also, if you have a music video of your song, many of the songwriting contests have categories for music video’s also. You will just have to do a little searching.
Be aware of the Scams…
There are many reputable contests, and there are just as many “scams” going on as well. So be careful not to enter a contest that promises you quick success, or sends you back a letter saying your song is fantastic and if you send them $500 they will get it to the right people – these are scams. If it sounds too good to be true, it is! If your song is “great” and someone likes it, and they want to use it, or get it to the right people, there should be no fee or any type of payment needed from the songwriter. Let me repeat this – If your song is that good, then you should never have to pay someone any money up front, never. When someone asks you for more money to push your song, don’t do it, you’re wasting your money.
Registration Fee’s / Deadlines
Songwriting contests will have a small registration fee (usually around $20 – $60 at the most) which is normal. But it should not be an unreasonable amount. So don’t ever pay $300 to enter your song in a contest, you will be wasting your money.
Very Important – All Songwriting Contests have deadlines so it would be a good idea to do some research, document when the deadlines are, put them on your calendar, get on the contest reminder list, etc.
What are my chances of winning?
First and foremost your songs have to be great. This doesn’t mean that you have to “over-produce” your songs, but it does mean that you will have to have a great melody and hook. Be aware that along with your song, there will be about 50,000 other songs entered as well. It’s almost like the lottery, the chances are slim that you will win (even if you have the best song). But of course you will never win if you don’t enter, so if you feel you have a great song, go for it.
The one thing that separates successful songwriters and those that never succeed is that successful songwriters never give up (they keep going and going and going).
There are many variables involved once you enter the contest:
* Will the judges listen to your song all the way through? Is your hook in the middle?
* Will the judges be tired from listening to 1000 songs, and when they get to yours, they just have had enough, and don’t have the energy to give your song a chance.
* What if you write a ballad and the judge that listens to your song is a rock and roll artist that is looking for a fast, upbeat type of song.
* Is some judge in a hurry, and listening to every other song in his or her pile? As you can see, I am just pointing out some things that could affect how and why your song doesn’t make it all the way.
Of course, not all songwriting contests are the same, and the really good ones most likely give every song a chance. So don’t let anything stop you from fulfilling your dreams. Just make sure that you understand what is real, and what is a waste of time (and money). Do lots of research, read the small print on any songwriting contest rules / guidelines.
DON’T GIVE UP!
Most of all, keep at it, if you give up too easily, then you’re not really cut out for this. As with anything you do in life, the more time you put into it, the harder you work at it, the better you will get at it. Go for it, and give it your best shot…good luck!
My Disclaimor – I am not saying that any of the Songwriting Contests listed below are completely legitimate – this is just a list I compiled for your convenience. So make sure that you do some research before you enter any of the contests listed below.
Here is a list of just some of the major songwriting contests: