The home of songwriting for all songwriters, composers, singer songwriters, performing artistes, lyicists, DJs, poets and all those involved in the music industry. The Guild of International Songwriters & Composers are the publishers of Songwriting & Composing Magazine since 1986, which is the songwriting magazine for songwriters & composers getting you connected with the music industry.

This is the website of The Guild of International Songwriters & Composers containing information on songwriting, composing and music publishing for songwriters, composers, lyricists, musicians, performing singer-songwriters, artistes, groups, bands, singers, djs, producers, copyright owners, poets, publishers, record companies, record labels, management companies, studio owners, in fact all those with an interest in the music industry (where those personnel are represented by the Guild as members), and many aspects of songwriting, composing, lyric writing, performing, singing, recording, music publishing, copyright protection, songwriting contests, management, songwriter collaborations and songwriting partnerships, songwriters songwriting assessments, song promotions, music industry contacts.

The 3rd quarter 2016 publication of the Guild's Songwriting & Composing magazine has now been published. The magazine was distributed to all Guild members by email as an ezine on Monday 1st August 2016.

Songwriting & Composing MagazineSongwriting & Composing MagazineSongwriting & Composing Magazine

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Our website is quite text heavy with much reading and information.

Please take some time to read our pages which we hope you will find of intererest

SONGS & INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC WANTED: The music industry is always seeking new songs songs for singers, bands, record labels, music publishers , producers, management companies, etc. New songs and artiste performances are the "life blood" of the music industry. Production companies, production library publishers, radio, tv, film, audio-visual, advertising, multimedia and games industries world wide are always seeking quality tracks for programming and use.


PROTECT & REGISTER YOUR COPYRIGHTS as a member through the Guild's FREE International Copyright / Intellectual Property Rights Registration Centre.

Members can register as many copyrights as they wish free and unrestricted through being a member of the Guild of International Songwriters & Composers.

The Guild of International Songwriters & Composers International Copyright / Intellectual Property Rights Registration Centre, has been registering Guild members copyrights and intellectual property rights for the last thirty years.

The Guild of International Songwriters & Composersare the leading independent music International Copyright / Intellectual Property Rights registration witnessing service for certified copyright & intellectual property rights of songwriters, composers, lyricists and the music industry in general.

This is a free service for all Guild members. The Guild will supply, where there is ever any copyright dispute certified information and a copy of works registered with the Guild, as an official declaration of a members registration, to solicitors, lawyers or any member's other legal representatives in any country in the world where cases of copyright disputes arise, to support our members' copyright registrations and claims.

Much more information on the Guild's FREE copyright registration service is on our services page at: Songwriting Copyright Protection Service

The Guild's International Copyright / Intellectual Property Rights witnessing Service provides lifetime copyright and peace of mind for songwriters and provides the opportunity for songwriting and composing members of The Guild of International Songwriters and Composers to register FREE within their membership with the Guild's Copyright Registration Centre for copyright protection their songwriting and composing copyrights and ownership of their own and any co-written (with other Guild members) works copyrights & intellectual property rights FREE of charge, therefore helping safeguarding the Guild members’ songwriting copyright and other intellectual copyrights. Guild members can use the International Copyright / Intellectual Property Rights witnessing Service service either as an online email service or a postal mailing service.

A Copyright Certificate issued to the Guild member outlines details of the copyrights registered on any specific date to help protect against any copyright theft, claim, infringement or dispute.

Copyright protection through the Guild's members free Copyright Service can be used for the registration of songs, instrumental themes, manuscripts, lyric sheets, paper documents, poetry, traditional arrangements of songs/instrumentals, musicals, advertisements, spoken word, literary (consisting of or occupied with books), musical tutorials, manuals, literature or written composition, artistic, belletristic, poetic, dramatic, recorded works, sound recordings such as demos, commercial releases, library recordings, archive recordings, videos, films, etc, in formats to include cassette tape, DAT (Digital Audio Tape), compact disc, vinyl, mini-disc, computer disk (floppy disk / CD ROM), VHS video, DVD.

As a songwriter / composers, where Do I Begin? How do I progress from my current status (amateur, semi pro or professional)? - questions you may ask. Analysis of your current situation will help you begin moving in the right direction with your songwriting, composing, recording and business developments. You may be a novice songwriter, composer, artiste or you may be established and require a better understanding of issues that need further explanation and clarification. As a Guild member, talking to us will help us to identify your specific aims in the music industry and try to help you with your market direction for exploitation of your copyrights and performances and understanding of how to get your money being royalties from the exploitation of your copyrights and performances. Our member consultants work full time in the music industry as music publishers, record company owners, producers, distributors and promotors, and are experienced professionals.

(public performance, broadcasting, streaming, download, mechanical songwriting licensing royalties)
(performing artiste / singer songwriter royalties)

Songwriting, Composing, Performing: If you perform a song or composition, written by yourself, in any venue you could be due a payment for your songwriting performances. This counts for any genre of music so if you are playing a gig in your local pub, community centre, hotel, in a club, or a jazz recital or performing your classical piece at a music society, you can make a claim for royalties for your songwriting performances.

As a Guild member we can work with you to ensure that you understand how to make claims to receive royalties.

If you are unsure if there are any royalties/money owed/due to you, then please contact us to discuss. because we have extensive research facilities for songwriters, composers and singer songwriter/ artists who are unable to collect their royalties. Our research facilities provide us with information on copyrights, publishing, license requests, and releases.

If you have been unable to collect royalties, or obtain the proper licensing of your product, as a Guild member, please contact us.

Our associated music publishers working on an international basis, can audit, back claims and collect UK and foreign royalties relating to your releases as a songwriter, composer singer songwriter/ artists on record labels/commercial releases for up to 6 years from the date of release and forever thereafter and also for any radio and/or television broadcasts that may have taken place we can go back for the last 3 years from the date of the broadcast and then collect your royalties / money forever thereafter.

Our associate music publishers also administer publishing rights / intellectual property rights for songwriters, composers, businesses, partnerships and companies where they do not wish to have the day to day administrative duties music publishing and royalty collection entails.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) quotes.

Support for the UK Songwriting Contest competition comes from heavyweights of the music industry, The Guild of International Songwriters and Composers. ( and the BRIT Trust (of BRIT Awards fame)

The Guild of International Songwriters & Composers. The home of songwriting for songwriters and composers.

Publishers of Songwriting & Composing Magazine since 1986 - The songwriting magazine for songwriters.


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Past issues of the Guild's SONGWRITING & COMPOSING MAGAZINE which is only available to Guild members have contained informative articles on writing instrumental music for the radio, television, film, audio-visual, advertising, multimedia and the games industry worldwide, along with member profiles, how to negotiate publishing agreements along with clauses and the terms and conditions that should be contained in publishing agreements to make them reasonable and fair, licensing your recordings, contact information for artistes, record companies and music publishers along with information on leads to music publishers and record companies seeking songs for music publishing and artiste record deals, collaboration register for composers seeking lyricists to co-write with, Royalty collection societies around the world such as MCPS, PRS (PRSforMusic) in the UK etc, the USA songwriting competition information and entry form, The Tipperary Song Contest, The Benelux Song Contest, The Unisong Song Contest, The American International Song Contest, The International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA), John Lennon Song Contest, Billboard, a songwriters collaboration agreement for members use to protect their share interest in co-written works, terms and clauses in music publishing contracts, how to write for film and television, members artistes profiles such as, Jeremy Spencer, Fleetwood Mac, Charlie Landsborough, DJ Gammer, AudioJunkie & Stylus, Kevin Kendle, Rik Waller, Shanelle, Bram Stoker, Zoe McCulloch, Pete Arnold, Toots Earl & Clown, The Glen Kirton Country Band, Bram Stoker, P.J.Proby, Scamp Music Publishing, Digimix Records, etc, to Guild members biogs profiles and releases, articles on licensing your songs and recordings, setting up your own publishing facility, how to write for the film tv, audio-visual ,games, advertising industries, to contacts for production music libraries,etc, along with much other useful information and informative articles.

Songwriting & Composing Magazine

How to write songs on guitar Charlie Landsborough - Rosette Records country artisteMp3 and the Internet - audio handbookMorgan Kahn - producerAudioJunkie, DJ Stylus & Scarlet - Digimix Records artistesZoe McCulloch - Mustang Music recording artiste - Girls with guitarsPete Arnold - singer songwriter folk artiste - Digimix Records artisteBehind the glassKevin KendleWayne Clark - Australian recording artistePure Hardcore - Mixed by AudioJunkie & DJ Stylus - Digimix Records releaseMemarie - Cupit musicSongwriting & Composing  Magazine  1st qtr 2009The WaifsSonggwriting & Composing mag  4th qtr 2014Songwriting & Composing magazine 4th qtr 2012Songwriting & Composing Magazine 3rd 2014Songwriting & Composing Mag 1st qtr 2015Songwriting & Composing Magazine 2nd qtr 2015Songwriting & Composing Magazine 3rd qtr 2015Bram Stoker Heavy Rock Spectacular Songwriting & Composing MagazineSongwriting & Composing MagazineSongwriting & Composing Magazine

Songwriting & Composing Magazine



Songwriting & Composing magazine

The 3rd quarter 2016 publication of the Guild's Songwriting & Composing magazine has now been published
and was distributed to all Guild members by email as an ezine on Monday 1st August 2016.

Songwriting & Composing MagazineSongwriting & Composing MagazineSongwriting & Composing Magazine



Jeremy Spencer was born in Hartlepool, County Durham. Known as one of the guitarists in the original line-up of Fleetwood Mac since Fleetwood Mac's inception in July 1967. Jeremy's speciality became the slide guitar, and he was strongly influenced by the American blues musician Elmore James. Jeremy remained with Fleetwood Mac until February 1971. After a couple of solo albums in the 1970s,Jeremy continued to tour as a songwriting musician, but did not release another album until 2006. Jeremy's songwriting talents came to the fore on the album "Jeremy Spencer in Session" recorded in August 2005. Releasing further solo albums in 2012 and 2014. Jeremy Spencer has also recorded as part of the folk trio Steetley.

In the summer of 1967 Spencer came to the attention of ex-Bluesbreakers guitarist Peter Green, who was looking for another musician to join him in his new Fleetwood Mac project. Peter Green had recruited drummer Mick Fleetwood and temporary bassist Bob Brunning, and wanted a second guitar player to fill out the sound onstage. Jeremy Spencer was then playing with blues trio The Levi Set, and was already an accomplished slide guitarist and pianist. He fitted in well, and soon after his arrival Fleetwood Mac's intended bassist John McVie eventually joined.

This line-up of Fleetwood Mac recorded two albums of traditional blues songs, with Spencer contributing many variations on the Elmore James theme, particularly centred around James' version of "Dust My Broom", plus a few songs of his own. Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac brought in a third guitarist, 18-year-old Danny Kirwan, after 1968's album release Mr. Wonderful. This album featured several of Spencer's Elmore James tunes.

Jeremy Spencer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 for his work as part of Fleetwood Mac. Music and songwriting wise Jeremy Spencer's sole recordings/releases are well worth buying


Arthur Kay of Ska Wars fame has joined the Guild

Arthur Kay's (aka Arthur Kitchener) first Ska records were released in the 1970's and these early recordings helped in starting the massive British Ska movement of the early 80's and have had an influence on Ska and Reggae bands ever since.The Ska band The Originals have been Arthur Kay's and the late Judge Dread's backing band since the 70's. Arthur Kay (Songwriter, Vocals, Guitar) has been playing and writing songs since he was at school in South London during the 1960's. Arthur fell in love with Ska music when he heard the classic ‘Guns of Navarone’ by The Skatellites - one of the greatest Ska bands of all time. Eight years later and he recorded his first Ska single 'Ska Wars'.

Arthur KaySka festival Arthur Kay & The OriginalsArthur Kitchener - Wordsmit



Charlie has released a CD called "Ultimate Storyteller - The In Complete Studio Recordings 1992 -2007"
available from Edsel Records or download / online stores worldwide.

Charlie LandsboroughCharlie Landsborough

For a complete discography, tour dates and biography visit Charlie Landsborough's website


GUILD MEMBERS, BRAM STOKER 1960's / 70's progressive Rock Band Re-issue release.

Review / biog below




CHANGES FOR SONGWRITERS IN 2016 - Important updates

The UK Songwriting Contest has been supported by the Guild for the last 13 years

The UK Songwriting Contest 2016 contest is now open to songwriters from every country. Beginners and experienced writers are welcome and all are judged equally. The UK Songwriting Contest is an international contest with entries world-wide. All songwriters and composers have the same opportunity to showcase their work to top people in the music industry in London and have their work examined and judged in the UK, to appear in the Awards Show no matter where they live. All songwriter composers who are beginners and just entering into the music industry have as much chance to be succesful as everyone else who enters.

The UK Songwriting Contest always keep the UKSC fresh and this year they have introduced some new changes and features. There are three new song categories, a new online Live Entry Status system, quick fast-track Semi Finalist announcements, new prizes including musical instruments, regular prize draws for everyone who enters, every single week, and more.

Check your entries online and see what stage they are at in the judging. If you make the Semi Finals you will know quickly and positions are published as soon as we hear from the judges. This gives you the chance to enter more songs if you have not made the semis yet, or to publicise your news if you chosen as a Semi Finalist. It is always a good idea to seek coverage early while the contest is still running: local press and radio love this as they can make it an ongoing story and follow your progress to see if you make the finals or win a category later on. Details are on the contest are on the UKSC website.

There are many new prizes this year including Fender, Hofner and Gibson guitars, Yamaha keyboard, portable controller keyboards, Sennheiser headphones, Shure and Behringer microphones and music software. There are also the Mozart Awards, music books, free copyright registrations from prizes to the Guild of International Songwriters & Composers, music organisation memberships, personal one-on-one sessions with top world acclaimed award winning songwriters, valuable guaranteed gifts for everyone who enters and much more. See the Prizes Page on the official UKSC website for full details. In addition to the main prizes there are also prize draws every week, and again every month, where anyone who enters can be randomly picked to win a prize. There really is no other contest like this in the world with so many opportunities for prizes for entrants. Full details of all prizes are on the UKSC contest website

The three new song catregories this year are World Music, Retro and Indie. Other categories are Pop, Lyrics Only, Singer/Songwriter, Rock, Adult Contemporary, Love Songs, Acoustic & Folk, Under 18s, Music Videos, Jazz & Blues, Country, Christian/Faith, R&B/HipHop/Rap, Instrumental, Open/Other Category, Electronic/Dance/Ambient, Christmas Songs and Under 18s. Full details and descriptions of the song categories are on the UKSC contest website

The UK Songwriting Contest is supported by the biggest names in media and music and has been one of the world's most important international songwriting events since its launch back in 2002. The entry fee has, amazingly, still not been increased since that time. This means that as well as being regarded by many in the industry as the most prestigious, respected and well run event with the best prizes and top world-class judges, and the best support and administration, it is also has made sure it continues to support songwriters by having the lowest entry fee of all the major international songwriting events.

If you have not entered a song yet this year we hope to hear from you soon. If you have already entered we hope you are enjoying being part of this event and we welcome you to contact us at any time by email or follow us on Twitter and Facebook and post on our Facebook Community Group with any questions or suggestions.

Information - Questions Answered

If you have any questions they are probably answered here. If not please contact the contest organisers or the Guild of International Songwriters & Composers through your Guild membership.

Q: When can I enter?
A: The 2015 is now closed for entries. The deadline was midnight September 30th. To get updates on the next contest follow the contest on their Facebook and Twitter or sign up for their blog updates using the sign up box on the UK Songwriting Contest website.

Q: When are results announced?
A: The UK Songwriting contest will announce all Finalists and Winners and all results and scores in November. Everyone will be told the exact judges score for each song entered and will receive their UKSC Certificates at that time. We do not give an exact day as we do not know how many entries we will receive in total or how long the judges will need to do a complete and thorough job selecting the winners and finalists. We will not rush the judges by making them work to a set deadline.

Q: What is the entry fee?
A: The entry fee has not been raised since the contest started in 2002 and it is still only £15 per song entry - this is the lowest entry fee of all the world's major songwriting events. The contest was launched together with The BRIT Trust ( of BRIT Awards fame) and Music Aid International to discover and encourage songwriting talent and we have not increased the fee for this reason.

Q: I do not live in the UK - can I enter the UK Songwriting Contest?
A: Yes. This is an international event and the contest is open to all songwriters regardless of nationality and country of residence. All songwriters and composers have the opportunity to showcase their work to the UK music industry in London and to the contest's music industry supporters worldwide with this event. The UKSC is popular throughout the world and receives entries from every continent. If you do not live in the UK this is a unique opportunity to showcase your songs to the music industry in one of the music capitals of the world. Many non UK entries have had great success in the contest - for example rock category winner Jaron Natoli from Australia was interviewed and featured on the hugely popular TV show Today Tonight and seen by millions on prime time TV when the results were announced. It is practical and important to officially register your work(s) for copyright protection to safeguard your claim to the copyright / intellectual property rights of your song(s) / instrumental theme(s), using the free copyright service that is available to guild members. Read more here: Songwriting Copyright Protection Service

Q: I can't sing well. Can I get other people to sing and play my song?
A: Yes. Many entrants use other singers and musicians to perform their song - especially if they are not confident about their own voice or playing abilities. The only category where you must sing your own song yourself is the singer/songwriter category. Vocals are not judged in all other categories (but of course if you do sing yourself on your entry it is important to be able to hold the melody at least reasonably well or the judges will not hear it as you intended). If you win a production prize and do not want to sing we will supply world class musicians and vocalists to perfom your song for you.

Q: I am not sure what category my song fits into - what should I do?
A: See the Song Categories page on the UK Songwriting contest webiste for details and descriptions of each category. Pick the category that most suits your entry. If you think your song could equally suit more than one category you could either choose the category that most closely describes your song or enter the song in more than one category. It is not possible to change the category after entry so be careful with your choice.

Q: How do I pay the entry fee?
A: You can use any debit or credit card. You can also use PayPal. The fee will appear in your card statement in your own currency.

Q: I cannot see my entry confirmation email? Where is it?
A: Confirmation emails are always sent, but sometimes they can take a while to arrive. Please wait before you contact us and if you still do not see it check the bulk/spam folder and also make sure your account is not over limit. The most common reason that people do not see a confirmation email is that the email was marked as spam by the entrant's email account. The second most common reason is that the entrant made a mistake typing their email address on the entry form - always make sure you have typed your email address correctly before submitting.

Q: Will someone really listen to my song? Or read my Lyrics entry?
A: Every song entered, at every stage of judging, is examined by at least one, and often many more, very experienced songwriters and talented musicians with extensive music production and music industry knowledge. Unlike other contests the UKSC never uses general office staff, friends or music students to listen to and screen songs. At the finals stages songs are "deconstructed" and examined very closely and in fine detail and are often played on keyboards and guitars to hear them without the distraction of production. Some of the world's top producers and composers are involved at this stage. Lyrics Only entries at this stage are examined to see how they would work with different musical approaches,

Q: Judging: Does the quality of my recording or production make a difference?
A: No. The recording quality, performance, vocals and production etc are not judged. (An exception is the Singer / Songwriter category where vocal performance, but not production, is also judged together with the songwriting as one package. Also sometimes in Electronic / Dance the production forms part of the composition and in these cases they must be included in the judging). Our judges are very experienced and they can immediatley hear the difference between a good song and a good production. Some succesful entries are well produced while others are very simple basic home recordings.

Many winners and finalists in the contest have been only a single voice singing over a simple piano or acoustic guitar backing. Acapella entries, just a vocal line with no music backing - have also won (for example most recently in 2011). In 2007 a Lyrics Only entry was awarded the Overall Winner of the contest for that year.

The winner of the 2012 Love Songs category "Together" is a beautiful and tender song that is so badly recorded it is difficult to hear. A good production will make your song sound better, but our judges always concentrate on the songwriting. UKSC judge Richard Niles has said that he likes to hear a basic demo with no more than a single voice and a single instrument and no effects because he can then easily imagine how he would produce it. And at the finals stage many songs are "deconstruced",, taken apart and played on a piano and sung, to examine the basics of the song in its simplest form. This is a practise that was introduced into the contest by BRIT Award winning UKSC judge Simon Ellis in 2010 and we have been doing this every year since then.

Often a winning song is well produced but these songs would still have won with a very basic recording. Also please note that many of the winning songs on our websites and elsewhere on the web are not the original demo entries: for example Emma Fitzsimons winning song Follow The Rainbow was judged on a very simple one--take live acoustic recording and not the professional produced version you can hear on our websites; the version of Sempre Vicino (Open Category winner) on our websites is by The Canadian Tenors who wanted to cover the song when it won the contest and this is not the original demo entry; the winning pop song What Love Is was re-recorded by UKSC judge and top producer Stuart Epps who liked the song and wanted to work with the writer; the Olympic Theme winning song was covered, produced and promoted by top Juno Award winning producer Mel Shaw after it won the contest etc etc. The version you hear is not always the original entry.

Q: Some of the winning songs are well produced and my demo is very simple and basic. Does it really have a chance?
A: Yes it does have the same chance. We cannot stress this enough. Very basic and simple recordings are fine for this contest and we encourage these types of entry. Even if your song is recorded on an old cassette recorder in one take and it will have the same chance as every other entry and if it is a strong composition it will be noticed immediately by the judges. Listen for example to the Love Songs winner Together from 2012. It is very badly recorded on a simple old recorder but it won the category as it is a very well written song.

There are so many other examples of poorly recorded winning and finalist songs. It may sometimes seem when listening to past winners that many winners and finalist songs are well produced but we can assure you that the judges are not paying attention to this and they are only judging the actual song and songwriting. If you could hear all the finalists you would hear that many of them are poorly recorded. And many of the well produced songs have also been played live on a piano or guitar by senior judges during the judging stage to hear them without the distraction of the production. These winning songs would still have won with a very basic recording and a weak vocal. Also read the sections elswhere on this page about judging...

Q: I cannot sing. What happens if I win a studio production prize?
A: When studio production prizes are offered this includes world class musicians and vocalists who will record a professional production of the song at our partner studios. Many writer's who enter this contest cannot sing well or cannot sing at all so we will take care of this for you if you win this prize. Of course if you can sing you are welcome to sing on the track yourself.

Q: I have no backing track - only a vocal. What category would I submit this song in?
A: You should enter this in the same category that you would enter it if it had a musical backing. For example if it is a rock song enter it in Rock. If you see it as a Pop song enter it in Pop etc. We receive many entries without backing tracks (acappella) and one of the 2011 Winners was acapella with no musical backing - this was entered in the Christian / Faith category and you can hear this at The singer here has a good voice but this is not necessary or important as the judges do not judge the singing ability, they only judge the songwriting, so don't worry if your singing is not great. One of the finalists in the Acoustic Category last year was also accapella (For This Day) and there have been many very successful accapella entries over the years including some winners and many finalists.

Q: I write lyrics and not music. Does my Lyrics Only entry have the same chance as audio entries?
A: Yes. All Lyrics Only entries receive the same detailed judging as all other category entries and they have the same chance of winning the contest - the 2007 Overall Winner of the entire contest was a Lyrics Only entry for example. The Lyrics Only category winner in 2013 also received personal one-on-one mentoring and advice from award winning songwriter Mark Cawley who has had a number one hit single in the UK and has written for Tina Turner, The Spice Girls, Chaka Khan and many others with over 15 million song sales. We welcome and encourage Lyricists to enter this event. More details...

Q: Can songs have more than one writer?
A: Yes. If there is more than one writer all co writers should be listed on the entry form in the "Written By:" area, with each name separated by a space and a slash like this - Name One / Name Two / Name Three etc. An image search on the web will show many examples of co-writers certificates. Co-writers' names will appear on certificates and in results exactly as listed. See the Contest Rules for more details about co-writers.

Q: Is there a maximum length or time limit for each song?
A: No. Unlike other contests we do not impose a time limit on each song. Most songs entered are between 3 to 5 minutes long but songs may be of any length and we do not want to interfere with your creativity by setting a time limit.

Q: Do I need to add the lyrics when I enter a recording?
A: No. We do not require lyrics when you enter a recording of your song. If the judges have any trouble understanding the words when they listen to your song they will contact you directly and ask for a copy of the lyrics - they have all been instructed to do this.

Q: Should I register copyright in my song before I enter it in the UKSC?
A. We cannot speak for other contests, but you can be sure that your song is completely safe with us. We even officially register your song for you if you are a category winner before we promote it to others to be extra safe. Under international law you own the copyright in your song from the moment you write it down or record it. It is practical and important to officially register your work(s) for copyright protection to safeguard your claim to the copyright / intellectual property rights of your song(s) / instrumental theme(s), using the free copyright service that is available to guild members. Read more here: Songwriting Copyright Protection Service

Q: Can I change my song entry, or entry details, after submission?
No. It is not possible to change entries after submission - as stated in the contest rules. Songs are sent very soon after they arrive to the relevant judging panels. If a song is changed after submission all earlier judges opinions, notes and scores become invalid and useless to later judges and judging panels, as they will refer to a different version. Also changing songs, lyrics, recordings, titles etc after submission will cause administration and entry tracking problems that could potentially lead to mistakes or errors in the tracking, scoring and judging of songs.

Q: Can I enter another, newer version of a song I that have already entered this year?
A: Yes. You can enter a newer version of the same song in the same year, but please title it as Version 2, or V2 or even give it a completely different title so that the admin system does not get confused. And remember, if the composition itself has not changed very much between versions or you have only changed the recording quality or production etc it is very possible that you will get the same score for both versions so please be aware of this.

Q: What file types are accepted?
A: We only accept MP3 audio files (maximum size 10MB).

Q: What is an MP3?
A: An MP3 is an audio file. MP3s are encoded to reduce their file size without sacrificing quality. A 3 minute song in MP3 format is typically around 3mb in size and has nearly the same sound quality as an uncompressed CD track which would require a 30mb file. The fact that the song is 1/10th the file size without drastic reduction in quality is what makes MP3s so popular for downloading on the internet and sending by email. It is the industry standard.

Q: How large should the MP3 file be?
A: Typically, one minute of song equals about 1mb. So a 3 minute song should be roughly 3 mb.

Q: Can I just use a song from one of my CDs?
A: Yes. But you must first import the song from your CD into your computer (a process called "Ripping") and then convert it to MP3 format. This is very simple and you probably have everything you need on your computer so it shouldn't require the purchase of any new hardware or software - see below...

Q: How do I convert my CDs or WMA files to MP3 files for the contest?
A: You can do this with your built in Windows Media Player - see here for details. Or you can do in iTunes. It is also very easy to convert using RealPlayer in Windows - to use RealPlayer follow this simple Step By Step Guide. Please read this first and then email us if you have any difficulties. If you want to use iTunes follow these directions: Open iTunes and go into the "Preferences" menu. Click on the 'Importing" tab. To the right of "Import Using:" select "MP3 Encoder". To the right of "Setting:" select "Good Quality (128kbs)". Select "OK" to exit the "Preferences" menu. Now insert the CD that contains your song. In the "Source" pane on the left side of the iTunes screen you'll see the CD appear. Select the track you want to convert and click the "Import" button in the upper-right corner of the iTunes screen. The song will be ripped and converted to MP3 and will appear in your iTunes library.

Q: I have a video version of my song. Can I enter this?
A: Yes. You can enter this in the Music Video Category where the video itself will be judged Or you can add a link to the video in the website box on the entry form when you enter your MP3 or Lyrics. For more information see the How To Enter page.

Q: Is there a minimum age restriction?
A: No, there is no minimum age restriction.

Q: I write lyrics and do not compose music, can I enter my lyric?
A: Yes you can. There is a "Lyrics Only" category for this. See Song Categories.

Q: How do I enter the Lyrics Only Category?
A: There is a special entry form for lyricists and Lyrics Only entries - just cut and paste your lyrics into the Lyrics Form and submit. It is very quick and easy. Lyrics must be in the english language.

Q: I only write instrumentals, can I still enter?
A: Yes you can. There is an "Instrumental" category for this. See Song Categories.

Q: Is there any censorship? I am worried that my lyrics contain a swear word.
A: No. There is no censorship and no restrictions on the type of language used.

Q: There is a musical or lyrical reference or sample in my entry. Can I still enter it?
A: We ask for original work. However, if your song contains a musical reference or an element of another musical work, or a sample from another song, or a lyric from an out of copyright traditional poem etc AND this is made clear to us on entry, we will accept the entry - but the unoriginal part will not be judged. Only the original part of the composition, the part that you wrote yourself, will be judged. You must not attempt to pass off anyone elses work as your own work. If in doubt contact us before entry.

Q: Who are the judges?
A: All UKSC judges, including the preliminary stages judges, are experienced and dedicated musicians and songwriters. Over the years the contest has worked with judges from some of the most respected names and organisations in the music industry such as The BRIT Trust, The BRIT School, The BRIT Studio, The Guild of International Songwriters and Composers, the BBC, Music Aid International and others as well as top producers, musical directors and music industry executives, experienced and successful songwriters, engineers, music journalists and authors. Each year we call on our large pool of experts and professionals to help with the judging.

These UKSC judges include Multi Platinum #1 hit songwriter Shelly Peiken (Christina Aguileira, Miley Cyrus, Ronan Keating, Backstreet Boys, Meat Loaf and many more), well known producer, musical director, author and Doctor of Music Richard Niles (Take That, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue and many others), the internationally renowned british producer Stuart Epps (Elton John, Oasis, Robbie Williams and many others), the chart topping songwriter and songwriting coach Mark Cawley, Sting's producer and Grammy and Emmy Award winner Kipper Eldridge, top BRIT Award winning producer and songwriter Simon Ellis (also Britney Spears' musical director), the international award winning singer/songwriter and successful country artist and CMA award winner Lucie Diamond, and UKSC winner Natalie Chua (who was signed by Simon Cowell and received a Platinum Album Award after her success in the UKSC). See The Judges Page for more details. These and other respected judges of this very high calibre help to select the winners from among the finalists.

Q: Can I enter the same song in more than one category?
A: Yes you can. If you think that your song has a chance of winning or being selected as a finalist in more than one category you may also enter it in those categories. For example you might enter a song in the Pop category and also enter the lyric separately in the Lyrics Only category. You might decide to enter it in a another third category, for example Love Songs or Adult Contemporary or Rock, where you feel it has a good chance of doing well. But please note that each of these different category entries will be charged a separate entry fee, and each will be treated and judged independently and separately in each category by different judges and panels and will be competing with different songs in each category.

Q: I would like to submit 6 songs for the contest. How much does it cost?
A: The cost is still only £15 per entry. So six entries will cost £90. NOTE: If the same song is entered in more than one category each different category entry is charged and treated and judged as a separate song entry.

Q: I did not get a reply to my email or contact form enquiry. Why?
A: We reply to every email and every contact form enquiry. If you did not see our reply it is almost always because it is in your spam/junk/bulk folder or it was blocked by your email account provider OR you made a mistake typing your email address on the contact form - our reply cannot be delivered to you if you gave us an incorrect address.

Q: How does the judging work?
A: All songs that reach a high enough mark in the preliminary stages take part in the finals. These finalist songs are carefully examined on many occasions to select the winners. We have real respect for the dedication and talent of the people who enter this contest and we devote a lot of time and effort to ensure each and every contestant has a fair and equal chance. Often songs at the finals stage are "deconstructed" and played on piano or guitar and sung to hear them in their most basic form without the distraction of production (this is a practise introduced into the contest by BRIT Award winning judge Simon Ellis back in 2010). Our judges are looking for songwriting talent, ability and potential for improvement and growth.

Q: Will I still own all the rights to my song after I have entered it in the contest?
A: Yes. You will continue to own ALL the rights in your song. Entering the contest will have no effect on your copyright ownership. It is practical and important howver to officially register your work(s) for copyright protection to safeguard your claim to the copyright / intellectual property rights of your song(s) / instrumental theme(s), using the free copyright service that is available to guild members. Read more here: Songwriting Copyright Protection Service

Q: Can I enter a song that is already in another contest? Or already published?
A: Yes. You can enter your song if it has already been entered in this or a different contest or has been published.

Q: How do I get my results and certificates?
A: All results will be on the contest website. You will be able to view and print your certificate directly from the website when the results are published.

Q: When do I get my guaranteed SongU and Broadjam prizes?
A: Everyone who enters will be emailed with special links and codes to claim the SongU songwriting courses and the Broadjam memberships after the close of the contest using the contact email address supplied on the entry form. The prize will not be available if you are already a current SongU member at that time. If are are already a Broadjam member at that time you will need to open a new broadjam account for this prize - you cannot add this prize to an existing Broadjam account. IMPORTANT: At that time check your spam folder in case they go there. You must notify us as soon as possible if you do not see this email after the contest closes as there is usually a deadline for claiming these prizes.

Q: Can I get a copy of the annual promotional album?
A: We send out an industry only promotional album every year to our many music industry contacts, producers, radio stations, publishers, journalists etc and this has often resulted in media coverage in the press and on radio and TV and has led to deals. These albums contain all the winning songs (and the winning printed lyrics) and also some selected finalists. These albums are not publicly available and are not for sale as there would be too many potential complicated copyright issues. A winners album for streaming is publicly available every year (minus the selected finalists that are on the private industry promo version) as an annual UKSC compilation album and playlist on Soundcloud at

Q: I did not receive a prizes email or results announcement email. Why?
A: We have no control over emails after they are sent. These emails may have been blocked, or sent to a spam folder and have now been automatically deleted, or your account was over briefly over its limit and our email was rejected, or you have a spam filter system in place that requires a response from the sender (we do not respond to such requests), or they were simply missed by you and deleted by accident. Please also ensure that your email accounts are set to accept mail from us. If you are still sure that there is an error please email us or use the contact form and we will look into this.

To make sure you don't miss anything we strongly recommend that you Like and follow them at Facebook or join their Community Group there and set to "Get Notifications" , and follow them on Twitter or Google Plus and regularly check their website for updates. You can also add your email to their news updates on the News Page to receive news items and important announcements about dates and prizes etc.

Remember: It is practical and important to officially register your work(s) for copyright protection to safeguard your claim to the copyright / intellectual property rights of your song(s) / instrumental theme(s), using the free copyright service that is available to guild members.
Read more here: Songwriting Copyright Protection Service


SONG EXPO 2016 - Benelux International Song & Culture Songwriting Festival entries now open

Details of the 2016 are included in the next publication of the Guild's Songwriting & Composing Magazine


PRS for Music and SoundCloud reach a multi-territory licensing agreement ending legal proceedings

PRS for Music and SoundCloud announce that they have reached an agreement for a multi-territory licence to cover the service.

The licence covers the use of PRS for Music repertoire since SoundCloud’s launch and further supports SoundCloud in its plans to introduce subscription and advertising across Europe in 2016, meaning that creators can start to make money from their tracks.

Both PRS for Music and SoundCloud have been clear in their preference for a negotiated agreement over extended litigation, and their shared interest in supporting creators.

The agreement will allow PRS for Music’s members to receive royalties when their works are used by SoundCloud and accelerate SoundCloud’s development for the benefit of all creators who use the service, by: Ensuring fair value for the use of PRS for Music repertoire on SoundCloud. Paving the way for new SoundCloud services and functionality across Europe in 2016. Bringing both organisations together to work on ways to further increase the value of SoundCloud to creators, and improving metadata and the identification of repertoire for royalty distribution. Bringing to an end the legal proceedings brought by PRS for Music in August.

Robert Ashcroft, Chief Executive of PRS for Music said: "On behalf of our members, I am pleased that we have been able to reach a settlement with SoundCloud without extended legal proceedings. This ends over five years of discussions on the licensing requirements for the platform, resulting in a licence under which our members are fairly rewarded for the use of their music. The safe harbours in current legislation still present ambiguity, and obstruct the efficient licensing of online services, but our agreement with SoundCloud is a step in the right direction towards a more level playing field for the online marketplace." He adds: "Many of our members love the SoundCloud service and I greatly appreciate their management’s willingness to work with us in the way they have".

Alexander Ljung, founder and CEO of SoundCloud, said: "SoundCloud is a platform by creators, for creators; we’re working hard to create a platform where all creators can be paid for their work, and already have deals in place with thousands of copyright owners. PRS for Music is also fully committed to creators, and we’re pleased to have reached an agreement that will expand revenue opportunities, improve the accuracy of royalty distributions, and launch new services for our 175 million monthly active listeners on SoundCloud in 2016."

About PRS for Music: PRS for Music represents the rights of over 115,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK. As a membership organisation it ensures creators are paid whenever their music is played, performed or reproduced, championing the importance of copyright to protect and support the UK music industry. The UK has a proud tradition of creating wonderful music that is enjoyed the world over and PRS for Music has been supporting the creators of that music since 1914.

PRS for Music provides business and community groups with easy access to over 10m songs through its music licences. In an industry worth over £4.1bn PRS for Music is uniquely placed to be a voice for music and music creators. Collecting £664.3m in 2014, PRS for Music is one of the world’s most efficient combined rights organisations. With over 100 representation agreements in place globally, PRS for Music's network represents over two million music creators.

About SoundCloud: SoundCloud, launched in 2008 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, is the leading audio platform that gives users unprecedented access to the world’s largest community of music & audio creators. With its continued ambition to unmute the web, SoundCloud allows everyone to discover original music & audio, connect with each other and share the sounds they hear. In addition, sound creators can use the platform to instantly record, upload and share sounds across the internet, as well as receive detailed stats and feedback from the SoundCloud community.

Source acknowledgements: PRS for Music


Collective Right Management (CRM) Directive

PRS for Music has announced its support for the Collective Right Management (CRM) Directive which came into force this weekend.

The CRM Directive is intended to provide long term legislative solutions to ensure all collective management organisations operating in Europe meet minimum standards of transparency, governance and customer service generally and also in respect of multi-territorial online licensing.

In welcoming the new UK regulations, PRS for Music believes the CRM Directive will improve the way collective management organisations operate across the EU, which will be in the best interests of rights-holders and users.

Around 60% of PRS for Music’s international revenues are derived from the EU.

Robert Ashcroft, chief executive, PRS for Music, commented: “From its inception we have supported the overarching principles and objectives of the CRM Directive and the intention to create a framework that promotes transparency, efficiency and accountability by collecting societies in Europe. These characteristics are vital to effective rights management, not just for digital online markets but for national licensing.

“The Directive also provides the essential legal framework to support competition among collective rights management organisations for rightholders' mandates rather than for licensees, further encouraging the competitive market for online rights by setting high standards for the delivery of multi-territory licensing.”

Source acknowledgements: PRS for Music


GUILD MEMBERS, BRAM STOKER 1960's / 70's progressive Rock Band Re-issue release


Talking Elephant Records a re issue record label based in Bexleheath Kent, England have just released Guild members, Bram Stoker Prog Rock band's "Heavy Rock Spectacular" on compact disc and digital downloads. "Heavy Rock Spectacular" was originally released in 1972 on vinyl only and contained eight tracks. This re issue contains the original eight track along with four bonus tracks recovered from lost recordings of the same period. If you wish to purchase this limited edition release then contact Talking Elephant Records on 0208 301 2828.

The "Heavy Rock Spectacular" release with different rear tray artwork is also available also from Marquee Inc, Japan on the Belle Antique label and both labels releases can be purchased on Amazon and other stores. Only Talking Elephant Records and Marque Inc / Belle Antique are genuine licensed recordings for worldwide sales. All other recordings of "Heavy Rock Spectacular" which may appear on Amazon and other sites are bootleg copies where action is being taken against the pirates.

The original recordings over the years have suffered from bootleg copies being marketed, but those involved in that practice have mostly now been shut down with further action being taken against two others.

It is very important to get your copyrights registered to protect your song copyrights and any recording rights and performers rights.

See: Songwriting Copyright Protection Service for further information.

Bram Stoker was formed in the summer of 1969 by Hammond organist Anthony Bronsdon, guitarist Pete Ballam and drummer Rob Haines who, as the founding members of Bram Stoker, then recruited bass guitarist John Bavin, all of whom were based in their south coast home town of Bournemouth, England, UK.

Bram Stoker 1969 Guitarist Pete Ballam and drummer Rob Haines had previously been working together in their own local band for two years prior to Bram Stoker being formed and had already formed a tight bond, and in meeting Hammond organist Anthony Bronsdon they found a kindred spirit - young, enthusiastic and inspired by the progressive trend of the time.

Bass guitarist John Bavin (who has worked as a recording engineer on projects with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics fame, Kiki Dee, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Darryl Hall (of Hall & Oates), Rita Coolidge, Sam Moore (of Sam & Dave fame)) brought not only his unique vocals and guitar playing to Bram Stoker but also his abilities at songwriting and composing original material, which complimented the songwriting and composing talents of the other members of Bram Stoker's classically trained Hammond organist, Tony Bronsdon, and guitarist Peter Ballam. Combined with this chemistry the Bram Stoker line up was complete and history was in the making.

In songwriting and composing their own material and experimenting with new musical styles, Bram Soker were choosing their own musical direction, although the band was influenced by the Gothic image, its music varied, and inevitably the band acquired the "progressive classical Rock - Gothic Rock" label tag it is so famously identified by.

Before setting out on the road they rehearsed throughout that summer in a dis-used nightclub in Poole. It was to be the start of a busy schedule. One of the early gigs was as support act for the Who at Bournemouth Pavilion. Roger Daltry front man of the Who, asked for details of the band and invited them to record a demo album at his home in Berkshire. A few months later Bram Stoker was signed up to an independent label owned by Rolling Stones manager Tony Calder. From the vast circuit of clubs, colleges, universities and festivals (booked to play at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970 with Jimi Hendrix and others) throughout the UK the band developed the loyal following as cult artistes they are today.

Although Bram Stoker was influenced by the Gothic image, its music varied. inevitably the band acquired the "progressive classical Rock" label but strived and succeeded in creating its own identity. Tony Bronsdon's classical training is augmented by a formidable technique; his Hammond organ sound is majestic, biting and haunting. His stirring ability to integrate his classical interpretation into musical compositions written by himself and jointly with Pete and John, with drummer Rob Haines' driving rhythms, resulted in a wide variety of unique performances of Bram Stoker songs and instrumentals. Guitarist Pete Ballam encouraged an original approach and his antics on stage were spontaneous and unpredictable, his legendary "Doppler" (a spinning speaker cabinet) had to be seen - and heard - to be believed.

Bram Stoker drummer Rob Haines and bassist John Bavin also embrace fresh ideas, providing an individual and creative approach to their role as rhythm section. While John's melodic themes and ethereal vocals are integral to Bram Stoker, his musical and dextrous bass lines breathe life and weave unity through every arrangement. Rob Haines applies his own ideas to Bram Stoker's symphonic style, his inimitable spinning cymbal emphasises the mood of the song Poltergeist.

Bram Stoker enjoyed a wonderful period of interest in the music industry during the period from 1969 through to 1972 and this is shown in the wake of the Heavy Rock Spectacular album and its original 12" vinyl release on the Windmill Records label in 1972 with the new re issue releases on Talking Elephant Records and Marque Inc / Belle Antique Japan for worldwide sales

The fan following on the Internet grows daily with fresh interest. Bram Stoker re-formed in 2004. Historical and complete information on the Digimix Records website.


The Music Publishers Association (MPA )has moved to new premises

As of Monday 17 November you will find the Music Publishers Association (MPA) at 6th Floor, 2 Pancras Square, London, N1C 4AG, just a wand's throw from platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross station


The 21st Annual USA Songwriting Competition
The USA Songwriting Competition has a long history of having winners getting recording and publishing contracts, have their songs placed on the charts as well as having their songs placed on film and television is now closed for songwriting entries





Songwriting, Composing & Musical Performances

The Performing Right Society (PRSforMusic) are connected to a network of similar overseas international organisations, which collect royalties for the use of songwriters, composers songs and performances, and transfer those royalties to rights holders i.e music publishers, songwriters and composers. Through this network, their members’ works are represented in most countries worldide for royalty collection. If you are unfamiliar with the workings of The Performing Right Society (PRSforMusic) or songwriters, composes and music publishers right to receive royalties for your songwriting, composing and performances of your songs in PRS licensed venuse then as a Guild member we can help with your enquiries.


A successful period for songwriters', composer's and music publishing royalties

The Performing Right Society's (PRSforMusic) 2015 financial results, reveal a record high royalty income of £537.4m. This figure represents an increase of 7% on 2014 when measured on a constant currency basis, with year on year growth across all revenue streams.

MCPS/PRS (PRSforMusic) who represents 85,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK saw royalty collections rise after a surge in revenues from overseas and digital services. As part of this uplift money from services including itunes , Spotify, Amazon and we7 and others. The licensing of new digital services enabled PRSforMusic to pay additional royalties to their songwriting, composing and music publishing members last year.

The licensed digital market is now delivering a significant income stream for MCPS/PRS (PRSforMusic's) songwriting, composing and music publisher members.

Songwriting, composing and music publishing royalties are a substantial source of royalty income for songwriters, composers and music publishers


Production Music - Songwriting & Composing

Production Music (also known as library music) is high quality and cost-effective music specifically written for synchronisation or dubbing into audio and audio-visual productions, from TV to radio adverts to films, multimedia, websites and even viral marketing campaigns. The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) (part of the PRSforMusic group) represents 600,000+ tracks and sound effects from over 200 libraries spanning all genres of music. If you are unfamiliar with the workings of The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) or your right to receive royalties from your songwriting, composing or you wish to make contact with production music library companies, then as a Guild member we can help.


EMI Records Nashville - Capitol Records Nashville, U.S.A, has founded a new label imprint, EMI Records, Nashville, U.S.A, to source new artiste / songwriting talent and to be a creative hub of developing new country songwriter / performing artistes. EMI Records, Nashville, U.S.A, will operate side by side with Capitol Records, Nashville, U.S.A


Berklee College of Music - The Guild of International Songwriters & Composers partners up with the Berklee College of Music which is the world's largest independent music college and the premier institution for the study of contemporary music. The college's 4,000 students and 480 faculty members interact in an environment designed to provide the most complete learning experience possible, including all of the opportunities and challenges presented by a career in the contemporary music industry.

Earn a Songwriting Degree Online with Berklee

Berklee Online is the only fully accredited school in the world that offers an online Bachelor's degree in Songwriting. Learn how to enhance your craft and write fearlessly with esteemed Berklee instructors who have taught Grammy Award winners such as John Mayer and Gillian Welch.

Unleash your creativity and master the techniques that have helped Berklee-trained songwriters succeed for nearly 30 years. Learn more and download Berklee Online’s free songwriting handbook, featuring lessons from the new Songwriting degree major.


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