THE GUILD OF INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITERS & COMPOSERS
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 4th quarter 2015 edition 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 2nd November 2015. This latest 35 page publication of Songwriting & Composing magazine is packed with songwriting information and tips, where and how to contact music publishing companies, record companies, artistes. The Unsigned Only Song Competition, The International Acoustic Music Awards Competition, Songwriting Concepts, Songwriting Tips, Three simple but powerful Songwriting Tips, Phonographic Performance Ltd, Soundcharts, The Song Lab, Member Profile: Bram Stoker, How to licence / sync your songwriting, composing and performances for release or into film, tv, audio-visual applications, member profiles, how to get your songs heard, pitching - plugging & promotiong your songs and performances, Topics - News & Songserach, Songwriting collaboration register, songwriting collaboration contract, etc, etc,etc.
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.
& COMPOSING COPYRIGHT PROTECTION
& REGISTER YOUR COPYRIGHTS
through the Guild's International Copyright / Intellectual Property Rights Registration
Members can register as many copyrights as they wish unrestricted through being a member of the Guild.
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.
We are 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 copyright registration 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.
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.
A SONGWRITER / COMPOSER, ARE YOU OWED SONGWRITING ROYALTIES?
(public performance, broadcasting, streaming, download, mechanical songwriting licensing royalties)
(performing artiste / singer songwriter royalties)
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.
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.
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. (www.songwriters-guild.co.uk) and the BRIT Trust (of BRIT Awards fame)
Guild of International Songwriters & Composers. The home of songwriting for songwriters
Publishers of Songwriting & Composing Magazine since 1986 - The songwriting magazine for songwriters.
|Songwriters Advisory Service|
|Songwriters Legal Contact Service|
|Songwriting & Composing Magazine|
|Demo Recording Service|
/ composers copyright registration protection service - Songwriters song assessment
service - Songwriters collaboration service - Songwriters advisory service - Songwriters
service - Songwriting & Composing Magazine -Songwriters legal contact service
- Songsearch - Songwriters demo recording service
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 NEWS - INFORMATION & UPDATES
Songwriting & Composing magazine
The 4th quarter 2015
edition 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 2nd
November 2015. This latest 35 page publication of Songwriting & Composing
magazine is packed with songwriting information and tips, where and how to contact
music publishing companies, record companies, artistes. The Unsigned Only Song
Competition, The International Acoustic Music Awards Competition, Songwriting
Concepts, Songwriting Tips, Three simple but powerful Songwriting Tips, Phonographic
Performance Ltd, Soundcharts, The Song Lab, Member Profile: Bram Stoker, How to
licence / sync your songwriting, composing and performances for release or into
film, tv, audio-visual applications, member profiles, how to get your songs heard,
pitching - plugging & promotiong your songs and performances, Topics - News
& Songserach, Songwriting collaboration register, songwriting collaboration
contract, etc, etc,etc.
JEREMY SPENCER - FLEETWOOD MAC GUITAR PLAYER, JOINS THE GUILD
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
UNSIGNED ONLY COMPETITION 2016 is NOW OPEN for entry
DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES WHICH MAY BE SUBMIITEDC BY MAIL OR ONLINE IS 16th MARCH 2016
Unsigned Only is a unique music competition designed for solo artists, bands, and singers all over the world who are not signed to a major label record company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, or imprints. The goal of Unsigned Only is to find an outstanding, talented performer: a band, singer, or solo artist...a newcomer or veteran...raw or polished - the “gem” that needs to be discovered. Unsigned Only is looking for the total package.
Conceived of and produced by the team who bring you the prestigious International Songwriting Competition (ISC), Unsigned Only is a fresh and novel approach to other music competitions. Yes, it offers great prizes, recognition, exposure, and the chance to be heard by a group of judges consisting of high-profile recording artists and industry professionals. But, Unsigned Only also takes it a step further and puts the Grand Prize winner in direct, personal contact with the influential record label executives who are the ultimate decision-makers. For the first time ever, a music competition offers the Grand Prize winner the unprecedented opportunity to be mentored by a group of record company presidents, A&R reps, and more. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to directly network with the top echelon of record company professionals and get guidance, advice, feedback, and networking opportunities.
2015 Judges included: Aimee Mann; alt-J; Robert Smith (The Cure); Sinead O'Connor; Kem; Aaron Shust; Rosanne Cash; The Killers; Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Dustin Lynch; Rapsody; Jason Gray; Ray Wylie Hubbard; David Crowder; Lucero; Colt Ford; Frank Foster; Kool & The Gang; Kelly Price; Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly); Shirley Halperin (Music Editor, Billboard and Hollywood Reporter); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Lucy Jones (Deputy Editor, NME); Hardeep Phull (Music Critic, The New York Post); Michael Hann (Music Editor, The Guardian); and Chris Richards (Pop Music Critic, The Washington Post)
Mentors include: Pete Ganberg (Executive Vice President/Head of A&R, Atlantic Records); Mike Elizondo (Senior Vice President of A&R, Warner Bros. Records); Kim Stephens (President, Forward Entertainment and A&R, Capitol Music Group); Lenny Santiago (Vice President of A&R, Roc Nation); Taylor Lindsey (Director of A&R, Sony Music Nashville); Dino Paredes (Senior Vice President of A&R/GM, American Recordings); Katie Welle (Senior Vice President of A&R, RCA Records); Gary Paczosa (Vice President of A&R, Sugar Hill Records / Vanguard Records); and Allison Jones (Senior Vice President, Big Machine)
Screen Shot Mentors include: Michelle Bayer (Shelly Bay Music); Michelle Silverman (Modern Planet); Evan Stei (Experience Music Group); Velma Barkwell (East End Music Productions); Jen Taunton (Level Two Music); James Kempner (JMK Connections); Randy Powell (Kicksta Music Group); Carlos Muhammad (Egyptian Man Entertainment Group); Richard Kirstein (Resilient Music LLP); and Jessica Cole (Lyric House Publishing)
The Grand Prize Winner will be awarded $10,000 in cash (plus additional prizes) and one-on-one mentoring by an elite group of record company executives. First Place and Second Place winners will also be selected in each category. First Place winners in each category will receive $1,000 in addition to other prizes. Second Place winners will also receive prizes. The First Place winner in the Screen Shot category will also be mentored by a group of music execs who place songs in film, tv, ads, and video games. All prizes are listed on the Prize page.
The 2016 Categories include:
AAA (Adult Album Alternative)
AC (Adult Contemporary)
EDM (Electronic Dance Music)
Screen Shot (original songs in all genres suited for placement in Film/TV/Advertising/Gaming)
Teen (for artists 18 years old and younger)
Benelux International Song & Culture Festival
Entries for the Benelux International Song & Culture Festival are now open and will be accepted until the 1st December 2015. The Guild is pleased to continue to support Song Expo which it has done for many years now.
Song Expo is a unique opportunity for Guild members to promote their songs and/or performances not only in the Ntherelands but also in many other countries, as Song Expo as an organisation has stong links with international festivals, radio, televison, press and the music industry in general.
Since 1997, Song Expo has served as a launce pad for songwriters, composers, lyricists and performing artistes. Many songs entered into the Song Expo competition have gone on to win at other international events.
Full details and an entry form will be available to all Guild members in the May publication of Songwriting& Composing magazine.
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.
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 blood. Bram Stoker re-formed in 2004.
UK SONGWRITING CONTEST 2015
The 2015 UK Songwriting Contest supported by The Guild for the last 12 years is now closed for entries
The UK Songwriting Contest contest is 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.
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 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 us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
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 http://soundcloud.com/uksc/my-sanctuary. 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.
I write lyrics and not music. Does my Lyrics Only entry have the same chance as
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...
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 SongU.com 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
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 http://soundcloud.com/uksc
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 us at Facebook or join our Community Group there and set to "Get Notifications" , and follow us on Twitter or Google Plus and regularly check the website for updates. You can also add your email to our news updates on the News Page to receive news items and important announcements about dates and prizes etc.
Alysha Brilla, pictured below, was announced as winner of last years UK Songwriting Contest for her 2014 song entry Never Gonna Get Me Back. This song won both the Pop and the Singer-Songwriter categories and was an outstanding favourite with all the contest judges. Alysha Brilla will co-write a song together with the #1 hit-writing songwriter and contest judge Mark Cawley.
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
21st Annual USA Songwriting Competition is now open for songwriting entries
Closing date for entries was November 16, 2015. Entry now closed for this year
THE 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. The top two winners of 2011: Nenna Yvonne and Alexander Cardinale were signed to Interscope Records after their win. The 2007 winner hit Top 10 on the Billboard charts with his winning song. The 2005 Winner of the Country category had his winning song cut by Country Superstar Faith Hill. The 2005 winner of the Pop category was signed by Interscope Records; she went on to hit Top 10 on the Billboard 200 Album charts. Our 2008 winner appeared on David Letterman TV show and was signed to a record label.
Last Year's Winners.: Two teenage songwriting sister team Justine Dorsey and Kerris Dorsey won Overall Grand Prize at the 19th Annual USA Songwriting Competition
Sisters Justine Dorsey, 19 years old and Kerris Dorsey, 16 years old wrote their song “Best Worst Day Ever”. Kerris Dorsey breaks the previous record of the Youngest Overall Grand Prize winner at just 16 years old. The previous record was held by Sarah Lonsert, 17 years old at that time in 2010. The song has just been signed to Walt Disney Music and appeared in the box office hit movie "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. This is the second year in the row that the top winner has a song placed in a box office hit movie. Last year’s winner American Authors’ song was placed in the hit movie "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", starring Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine and Sean Penn. American Authors is a rock group from New York City. They hit #1 on the Billboard Charts after they win at the 2013 USA Songwriting Competition. The song has been certified double platinum. They have performed in the prestigious Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade with Pop stars such as Meghan Trainor, Taylor Swift and Nick Jones.
The 11th annual International Acoustic Music Awards (IAMA) competition is now open for entries
Closing dates for the competition was 6th November 2015 - Entry now closed for this year
The 11th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) promotes excellence in Acoustic Music Performance and Artistry. Acoustic artists in various genres can gain exciting radio and web exposure through this competition.
PRSforMusic begins legal action against SoundCloud
After careful consideration, and following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, PRSforMusic now find themselves in a situation where they have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against the online music service SoundCloud.
When a songwriter, composer or music publisher becomes a member of the Performing Right Society, they assign certain rights to their works over for PRSforMusic to administer, so it’s their job to ensure they collect and distribute royalties due to their songwriter, composer and publisher members. SoundCloud actively promotes and shares music. Launched in 2008, the service now has more than 175m unique listeners per month. Unfortunately, the organisation continues to deny it needs a PRSforMusic licence for its existing service available in the UK and Europe, meaning it is not remunerating PRSforMusic members' when their music is streamed by the SoundCloud platform.
PRSforMusic aim is always to license services when they use songwriter, composer and music publisher members’ music. It has been a difficult decision to begin legal action against SoundCloud but one PRSforMusic firmly believe is in the best, long-term interests of their membership. This is because it is important PRSforMusic establish the principle that a licence is required when services make available music to users. PRSforMusic have asked SoundCloud numerous times to recognise their responsibilities to take a licence to stop the infringement of their members’ copyrights but so far their requests have not been met. Therefore PRSforMusic now have no choice but to pursue the issue through the courts.
PRSforMusic understand SoundCloud has taken down some of their songwriter, composer and music publisher members’ works from their service. With PRSforMusic's letter of claim, PRSforMusic sent SoundCloud a list of 4,500 musical works which are being made available on their service, as a sample ofPRSforMusic repertoire being used, so that they understood the scale of PRSforMusic members’ repertoire and its use on the service. PRSforMusic asked them to take a licence to cover the use of all PRSforMusic members’ repertoire or otherwise stop infringing.
SoundCloud decided to respond to PRSforMusic's claim by informing them that it had removed 250 posts. Unfortunately, PRSforMusic have no visibility or clarity on SoundCloud’s approach to removing works, so it is not currently clear why these particular posts have been selected by them given the wider issue of infringement that is occurring. Ultimately, it is SoundCloud’s decision as to whether it starts paying for the ongoing use of PRSforMusic members’ music or stops using these works entirely.
If the streaming market is to reach its true potential and offer a fair return for PRSforMusic members, organisations such as SoundCloud must pay for their use of PRSforMusic members’ music. PRSforMusic launched their Streamfair campaign in June to raise awareness of this issue and highlight how music creators need to be properly remunerated from streaming. PRSforMusic believe that all digital services should obtain a licence which grants them permission to use PRSforMusic members’ music and repertoire, in this case the works of songwriters, composers and music publishers
The streaming market cannot fairly develop unless this happens. PRSforMusic have always been pro-licensing and pro-actively work with organisations in order to propose an appropriate licensing solution for the use of PRSforMusicmembers’ works.
PRSforMusic remain hopeful that this matter can be resolved without the need for extended litigation. PRSforMusic members will appreciate that this is now a legal matter and our ability to communicate around it is therefore limited by the legal process. However, PRSforMusic will try to share information and updates to members whenever they can.
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
SONGWRITING & COMPOSING - THE GUILD OF INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITERS & COMPOSERS
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.
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.
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,
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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