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What is The Song Comp?

The Song Comp is a songwriting competition, open to songwriters from Australia.

The Song Comp is run by Songsalive! Australia, a not-for-profit organisation, inaugurated as Songsalive! in Sydney, NSW, Australia 1997, and became an independently run Australian organisation, run by volunteers, in 2011.

The Song Comp is the first songwriting competition to reinvest all its nett profits back into the prize pool.


What is the entry fee per song?

There is a sliding scale of entry fees:

For songs entered online via Song Central's website
 

Members of Songsalive! Australia entering online

Song entry per category: $25.00

Music and lyrics critique: $33.00

Lyrics only critique: $22.00

Non-members of Songsalive! Australia entering online

Song entry per category: $35.00

Music and lyrics critique: $44.00

Lyrics only critique: $33.00

Physical Mail Entry

$50 per entry

Your best value option is to become a Songsalive! Australia member during the song entry process.
Annual membership fee to Songsalive! Australia is $50, so consider the alternatives:

So, as a member, you're able to enter one more song for the same price, and you get the added bonus which members share of free entry to workshops, free page on the Songsalive! Australia website to promote your songwring, and access to the Members' area of the site.

How do I enter songs online?

Songs may be entered online via the following page at The Song Comp's partner website, http://www.songcentral.net/tsc/Home.aspx

There is a comprehensive walk-through of the upload process on that page, but we'll run through it here as well:

  • Firstly, you'll need to have your songs prepared in MP3 format. DO NOT UPLOAD WAV or AIFF files. Our servers won't accept them.
  • Only MP3 resolutions of 128kbps will be accepted 
  • The page on the Song Central site will ask you to browse for the file locally on your computer, then upload it to the category you wish to enter it into.
  • During the song entry process, you'll be asked if you are a member of Songsalive! Australia. Being a member, or becoming a member during the entry process will allow you a generous discount on your entry fees, so it may well be worth considering joining the organisation which best suits you, during the process. We at Songsalive! Australia would love to have you join our members, especially as we currently have a discounted membership fee of A$60/year. Depending on the amount of songs you are considering entering, membership may end up saving you a lot more than the membership fee.


What is the closing date of the competition?

The closing date is Feb 7th, 2017.

  • All mailed-in entries must be postmarked no later than this date.
  • All online-entered songs must be uploaded by midnight, Feb 7th, 2017.

Is there a discount for additional / multiple entries

No. There are set entry fees per song per category.

  1. Standard online entry fee per song: A$35.00
  2. Songsalive! Australia members' online entry fee per song: A$25.00
  3. Mail in entry fee: A$50.00

How do the songs get judged?

Each song entered will go through a number of judging rounds:

  • Round One - all songs entered into their respective categories will be screened and qualified by the Songsalive! Australia screening panel, with a view to producing a bank of XX songs.
  • Round Two - This bank of songs will be passed on to the judges of the respective categories who will, in turn, produce a list of XX songs.
  • Each song in each category will be listened to by at least two of the expert judging panelists, so your song has every chance of being heard by as many ears as time will allow before the final list of XX songs is produced for each category.
  • Round Three - Each category list will eventually be pared down to five, them three, until an eventual winning entry is agreed upon by all judges for that category.
  • Finally, each winning song from each category will be placed into the "Overall Winning Entry" category, from which one song will emerge as being the overall winning entry in The Song Comp 2016 competition.

How do I enter a song in Youth, Bare Bones or Unsigned categories?

  1. Youth - to qualify for entry into the "Youth" section, you will need to provide a valid age ID. Those entrants who successfully prove their age will automatically qualify for the Youth section, as well as the section they have entered their song into.
  2. Unsigned - to qualify for this section, you will need to let us know during the entry process that you are unsigned by a major label.If this qualification is met, your entry is automatically eligible for the Unsigned category.
  3. Bare Bones - to qualify for entry into this category, your recording needs to have no more than two instruments and one vocal. If this is the case with your entered song, it automatically qualifies for this category.

  4. Will the judges judge categories they are suited to?

    Yes, of course. 

    The Song Comp committee has chosen experts from all the different sub-genres of music, to judge the categories they are most suited to.

    We have award-winning country writers and producers judging the songs which are aimed at their area of the industry. Likewise with hip-hop, electronica, singer-songwriter etc.

    The one category where all judges opinions will be taken into account is that of the overall winning entry, producing the winner of The Song Comp 2016 competition, which will be judged from the winning entries of all sub categories.


    How many songs am I allowed to enter per category?

    As many as you'd like.

    Try and think smart about your entries. If you have what you believe to be a killer song, and it adheres to the parameters of multiple categories, enter that one song in those categories, rather than entering other songs that only maim instead of kill, just because they seems to fit the category...(apologies for the metaphor)


    Is the production quality judged along with the song?

    During all rounds of the judging process, judges know that they are judging songs in a song WRITING competition, not an audiophile, production, mastering techniques, best loops etc. competition.

    We want the best songs to win their categories. 

    If you enter a song with guitar and vocal, it will still be judged on the quality of the writing, even if it's up against a studio mega-production. It's in everyone's interests to ensure the quality writing is rewarded, and each song will be heard multiple times by multiple judges.

    We believe we have the mechanism in place to allow any song, regardless of its production quality, the chance of winning its category and possibly the overall winning song choice.


    Can I enter a co-written song?

    Yes, with the proviso that all co-writers be aware and in agreement with the song(s) being entered.


    Is there length requirement on songs?

    Within reason, there is no length requirement on songs.

    We leave that to your sense of reason. If you think your country song has a better chance with a 14 minute solo section, that's your call.


    Will my song be listened to from beginning to fade/end?

    Yes. We guarantee that all entries will be played, and listened to, from beginning to fade/end.

    All songs. All the way through..


    Do I need to include lyrics with my song entry?

    Yes, all entries should be accompanied by lyrics.

    • Online entries: there is a facility to upload your lyrics as you go through the mp3 upload at Song Central
    • Mail entries: Please include a printed set of lyrics with your CD

    What real chance do my song(s) have of winning?

    Believe it or not, this is a frequently asked question of song competitions in general. After all, quite a few of the main prizes seem to be taken out by high profile names, which leads one to wonder whether it's the song that's being judged, or the person singing it, especially if they posses a unique and identifiable voice.

    There are a couple of things to consider here. One of them is that Songsalive! Australia is an organisation, run by songwriters, with one goal in mind, and that is to help songwriters improve their craft and their chances of success in the industry. We hold well-written songs in high regard, regardless of the singer, and we'll be trying our best to ensure that the best song(s) will win the categories they are entered into.

    Okay, it's also worth considering that those singer-songwriters who have achieved fame, profile and the associated largesse, have earned that position by virtue of their talent, so there's a good chance that, if a well-known songwriter enters a song in a category, it's going to be a contender, not because of the sound of the voice, but because of the standard of the song.

    This is what we're aiming to achieve: Best song wins.


    I've entered a song. What happens if I contact one of the judges about it?

    Your song(s) will be automatically disqualified if you make contact with any of the judging panel in relation to your entries.

    One of the elements of The Song Comp which sets it apart from other song writing competitions is that the names of the members of the judging panel are accessible to the public. The Song Comp committee believes this gives greater credibility to the judging process, especially given the calibre of judges who have agreed to be associated with the competition.

    Obviously, The Song Comp doesn't expect a blanket ban on communication between friends and acquaintances, but we would warn against using any established relationship to aid, in a coercive manner, the views of a judge toward a particular entry.


    What are "song critiques"?

    You can have your song critiqued by an industry professional, who will analyse your song's standard of writing from a number of different perspectives.

    This area of The Song Comp is quite separate from the judging of the songs, and has no bearing on how well your song may do in its respective category.

    Many songwriters have already enjoyed the in depth reviews they have received, and have responded that the feedback they have recieved via the critique of their song, has enabled them to approach their songwriting with renewed vigour and understanding of the form.


    What steps does The Song Comp and Songsalive! Australia take to protect my privacy

    The Song Comp and Songsalive! Australia take your privacy onl;ine very seriously, and endeavour to protect your rights to privacy, within the parameters of this competition.

    Please check our privacy statement for a complete rundown of how we protect your rights, as an entrant of The Song Comp.


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