ASA's Australian Songwriting Contest 2018

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The Australian Songwriters Association (ASA) is a national, non-profit, member-based organisation dedicated to the support of songwriters and their art. Founded in 1979, the ASA today has a large, vibrant and diverse membership across Australia, and is well established and highly regarded.

The ASA's Australian Songwriting Contest is the country’s largest and longest running competition (over 30 years!) for professional and amateur songwriters. Songs are judged on originality and craft. The song does not have to be performed by the songwriter, but it must be original and not signed with a publishing company at the time of entry.

Membership of the ASA and entry into the Australian Songwriting Contest is open to Australian citizens and permanent residents only, with the exception of the International Category, which is open to citizens of all nations. Entry must be in the name of an individual songwriter, whose responsibility it will be to list any co-writers and liaise with them as necessary if the material progresses through the competition.

Sponsors of prizes and supporters of the organisation include APRA/AMCOS, PPCA, Hal Leonard, Noteflight, Maton Guitars, James North Productions, Australis/Ashton, MAXXDBXXX-Sonic Management, Syntec International, Grover Allman, Ausmidi, Band in a Box, YOYO Management, Fast Track Talent Showcases, Magesongs School of Songwriting, Q Music, Song Central, Australian Institute of Music (AIM), Black Pearl Studios, iDOCoach, Katie Hardyman Music, University of Griffith, MMS Retail, KIX Country Radio Network, Vienna People Studios, , Wests Tigers Rugby League Ltd, Wests Ashfield Leagues Club, TrakVan, Rhythms Magazine, MusicNSW, Mackin Websites, Video Recordings Australia, Aerios Productions, Project TV and BDO.

As well as the Prize Sponsors listed above, the ASA gratefully acknowledges Radio Station 4BC and sister stations for ongoing support.

The ASA uses up to 60 well-qualified people from the music industry in a unique multi-tiered judging system in which each entrant’s identity is hidden. This precludes any tendency for the judges’ decisions to be influenced by any factors outside of the song itself.

A very exciting feature of this year’s Australian Songwriting Contest, is that, courtesy Hal Leonard and Noteflight, EVERY SINGLE ENTRANT WILL RECEIVE A CODE FOR 3 MONTHS FREE ACCESS TO NOTEFLIGHT!!! This is valued at $99.95, and regardless of results, every songwriter who puts a song in the competition will receive this benefit.

Following the judging process, 1st place-getters are invited to perform at the ASA's gala National Songwriting Awards, which is an important fixture on the Music Industry Calendar. The Lyrics Category winner is the only exception to this, but they will have their composition displayed in written form on the night.

All 1st place winners will receive a 3-year Noteflight Subscription (RRP $185) courtesy Hal Leonard and Noteflight.

All 1st, 2nd and 3rd place-getters will receive other prizes as detailed below, and all Top 10 finalists are recognised on stage at the Awards, as well as receiving a Certificate of Placing.

All entrants will have 3 free months free access code for all Song Contest entrants, valued at $99.95 sponsored by Noteflight.

The National Songwriting Awards have been dubbed 'the Easys', after the original inductees into the ASA's Australian Songwriters Hall of Fame, The Easybeats. This year's Awards Night will feature a very special performance by another elite Australian songwriter, who will be inducted into the Australian Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Other presentations made on the night are the Songwriter of the Year, the Rudy Brandsma Award and the PPCA Live Performance Award. Details of these 3 special awards are:

Songwriter of the Year

Judged from the 1st place getters of each category. Separate entry is not required.

Sponsored by APRA/AMCOS

Winner receives: $3,000 cash for APRA and an Easys Trophy.

Rudy Brandsma Award

All entrants who are ASA members qualify for nomination to receive this great honour.

Sponsored by Maton Guitars

Winner receives: Maton SRS60C worth $1899

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PPCA Live Performance Award

Judged and sponsored by PPCA, for the best live performance at the National Songwriting Awards

Winner receives: $500 cash

Each of the other 13 Categories have prizes issued for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and they vary as detailed below. All dollar amounts refer to Australian dollars. Here is the prize summary:


Songs with an Australian theme or subject
Sponsored by James North Productions and Song Central

  • 1st Prize: Mixing and Mastering of one song, Package valued at $700
  • 2nd Prize: $200 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

Sponsored by Christian Fox Accountants and Q Music/BIGSOUND

  • 1st Prize: $400 cash
  • 2nd Prize: BIGSOUND 2019 Pass, valued at $651
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash
Contemporary / Pop / Dance

Up-tempo modern songs
Sponsored by Vocal Art Studios and Grover Allman

  • 1st Prize: Private lessons in Vocal, Songwriting or Instrumental (7 private 1/2 hour sessions), valued at $500
  • 2nd Prize: 200 custom guitar picks, custom printed leather guitar strap, keyring and necklace, valued at $205
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

Sponsored by KIX Country Radio Network and Grover Allman

  • 1st Prize: 3 weeks hi rotation guaranteed exposure on air through KIX Country Radio networks across Australia, plus promotion and recognition on the network's web pages as Country Songwriter of the Year in association with the ASA.
  • 2nd Prize: 500 custom guitar picks, custom printed leather guitar strap, keyring and necklace, valued at $305
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash
Folk / Acoustic

Wide reaching, everything from ‘unplugged’ compositions to bluegrass
Sponsored by Rhythms Magazine and YOYO Management

  • 1st Prize: A guaranteed Interview in Rhythms Magazine
  • 2nd Prize: $200 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

Any genre or style, including traditional, blues, jazz, classical, contemporary, film/TV tracks & electronica
Sponsored by Katie Hardyman Music and Magesongs School of Songwriting

  • 1st Prize: $400 cash
  • 2nd Prize: $200 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

A special category open to songwriters from any country in the World, including Australia!
All genres can be entered.
Sponsored by TrakVan

  • 1st Prize: AUD $1000 courtesy of TrakVan - the new way for indie artists to play and sell their music direct from their websites.
  • 2nd Prize: $250 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

Words of a song or poem/words suitable to be set to music
Sponsored by Band in a Box and ASA

  • 1st Prize: Band in a Box - Ultra Plus Pak valued at $699
  • 2nd Prize: $150 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

For that song that may not fit the other categories
Sponsored by MAXXDBXXX-Sonic Management and YOYO Management

  • 1st Prize: Mixing and Mastering of one song package, to the value of $750.
  • 2nd Prize: $200 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

Contemporary songs and heavier arrangements
Sponsored by Black Pearl Studios and Magesongs School of Songwriting

  • 1st Prize: Recording time valued at $1,000
  • 2nd Prize: $200 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash
Songs for Children

Sponsored by Wests Ashfield Leagues Club

  • 1st Prize: $400 cash
  • 2nd Prize: $200 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

Songs of faith or inspiration
Sponsored by University of Griffith and Christian Fox Accountants

  • 1st Prize: $200 GIFT CARD From Griffith University, and cheque from ASA for $200
  • 2nd Prize: $200 cash
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

Any genre or style - songs by entrants 17 years of age and under as at 1st June this year
Sponsored by Magesongs School of Songwriting and iDOCoach

  • 1st Prize: Magesongs full songwriting course run via 'web-conferencing live online' (20 sessions, to be done in 2019, valued at $1200
  • 2nd Prize: 1 session (valued at US$125) to be conducted via Skype with acclaimed USA songwriter Mark Cawley
  • 3rd Prize: $150 cash

Rules & Regulations of the Australian Song Writing Contest

  1. CLOSING DATE – 31 May, but the ASA reserves the right to be flexible with this date as may be deemed desirable.
  2. ENTRANTS - Entry is open to all amateur and professional songwriters who are Australian Citizens or hold permanent Australian residency, though Foreign Citizens can enter the International Category. Entry must be in the name of an individual. The entrant must be the writer or a co-writer of each song entered. Entrants may join the ASA at the time of entry by submitting payment of membership fee with completed entry form. Contest entry is not open to ASA Board Members, or persons involved in the administration and processing of entries.
  3. COMPOSITIONS - Material must be original and have not had obvious commercial success at the time of entry.
  4. ACCURACY - Accuracy of entry information is entirely the responsibility of the entrant. The ASA cannot be held responsible for omissions or mistakes, and entrant miscalculations in payments will not be refunded.
  5. COPYRIGHT - Only material in which the entrant has copyright for may be entered in this Contest. The entrant implies that they have full copyright by the act of entering the Contest. Entrants guarantee to indemnify the Contest organisers against any claim or loss resulting from noncompliance with copyright laws. Entrants’ copyright in submitted songs is not affected by entering the Contest.
  6. CO-WRITERS - The names of all contributing writers must be included in the entry form. It is the responsibility of the entrant to divide any prizes with co-writers appropriately.
  7. PROMOTIONAL USE - By entering, the entrant agrees that entry materials may be used by the Australian Songwriters Association for promotional purposes. This includes such things as placing the Top 10 songs on the ASA website, production of compilation CDs and DVDs, reproduction of Top 10 lyrics in the ASA magazine and possible radio, television and website broadcast.
  8. JUDGING - All entries are rendered anonymous and numbered prior to judging. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into. The ASA Board will have final discretion in all matters. All entries are judged in the preliminary rounds by at least 3 judges, prior to their selection as Finalists in each category. Category Finalists are judged by a fresh set of music industry professionals to determine the Top 10 in each category. The official placings are announced at the National Songwriting Awards later in the year. Watch the homepage of for announcement of the exact date.
  9. NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS - Those who are shortlisted will receive an email notifying them of this achievement. Those who proceed to the Top 30 will not be emailed but are required to go to the website to view the Top 30 lists approximately 2 weeks after the shortlist email. The Top 10 finalists will be announced at the National Songwriting Awards, where they will be honoured on stage.
  10. FEEDBACK SERVICE - For a fee, this service is offered to entrants who would like to have written feedback on their work from a professional evaluator. The evaluations are separate to the judging process. Feedback critiques will not be commenced until after the final results are announced. This rule is in place in order to ensure that no judges, who may be used for the Contest as well as for Feedback evaluations, become unfairly familiar with the works prior to the Contest results being decided.
  11. NUMBER OF ENTRIES - There is no limit to the number of entries that may be submitted.
  12. ENTRIES IN MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY OR FROM A PREVIOUS YEAR - A single song can be entered into multiple categories, or in another year of the contest. There are different judges for each category and they vary from year to year, so this means that a song may get through in one category or in one year when it may have missed out in another.
  13. YOUTH CATEGORY - Songs by entrants and all co-writers must be under the age of eighteen (18) as at 31 May this year.
  14. PRIZES - Prizes may be varied without compensation at the discretion of the Sponsor or the ASA. Any physical prizes not collected by a winner or their representative at the National Songwriting Awards, will be shipped at the entrant’s expense. In the event of a tied result, prizes are also split as fairly as possible, with the ASA Board making the final decision with no prolonged correspondence to be entered into.
  15. PRACTICALITIES: Songs need to be submitted in accordance with the digital requirements described by the online entry platforms which are listed on the homepage of . Any entrants unable to use this technology may request a Manual Entry Form by phoning the ASA Office (which is staffed part-time) on 02 9516 4960 or (preferably) emailing, so that their songs can be submitted on CD or USB stick. There is an additional charge for manual entries due to the additional handling required. Lyrics do not need to be typed up except when they are going to be entered into the actual Lyrics Category.

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