Get ready to enter The Young Songwriter 2024 competition (SAYS24)

Not long until SAYS24 is open for entries on the 1st February until the 31st March 2024! If you’ve never written a song before we can help you write your 1st song, if you’re already writing your own songs we can help make them the best they can be! We are passionate about young people expressing themselves and getting their voices heard.

In its 14th year The Young Songwriter 2024 (SAYS24) competition is the world’s leading songwriting competition for young aspiring songwriters, aged 8-22 (under 23 years), to get their songs heard by leaders in the industry & connect to a talented community of young songwriters across the world – both aspiring young songwriters who already have some experience, and those writing their first song!

We are uplifting and empowering songwriters/creatives of the future.

What to write your first song?

Check out our songwriting for beginning short & fun video course.

Sign up to our holiday songwriting workshops at the end of December (online or in London)

Join our weekly songwriting clubs from January 2024

Want to make sure your songs are the best they can be to enter SAYS24?

Check out our insightful song feedback service

Sign up to our holiday songwriting workshops at the end of December (online or in London)

Join our weekly songwriting clubs from January 2024

Calling aspiring young songwriters aged 8-22 around the world!

SAYS24 has 6 categories for young people worldwide: UK/Ireland 8-12 year olds, UK/Ireland 13-15 year olds, UK/Ireland 16-18 year olds, UK/Ireland 19-22, International 8-12 year olds, International 13-18 year olds and International 19-22 year olds.

SAYS judges have included, Calum Scott, Tom Grennan, GRACEY, Janet Devlin, Grace Davies, Imelda May, Midge Ure, Tom Odell, Jamie Scott, Imogen Heap, Chris Difford, Conor Maynard , James Walsh, Jin Jin, Fraser T Smith (Adele, Stormzy, Dave, Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Aitch, Mabel, Lily Allen, Rag ‘n’Bone Man, Taio Cruz, Tinchy Stryder, James Morrison, Arlo Parks), Amy Wadge (Ed Sheeran, Janelle Monae, Keith Urban, Ella Henderson, Labrinth, Birdy, Jason Mraz, Jessie Ware, Sam Ryder), Miranda Cooper (Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Griff, Maisie Peters), Plested (Lewis Capaldi, Little Mix, Anne Marie, Niall Horan, Dermot Kennedy), Jimmy Napes (Sam Smith, Disclosure, Clean Bandit, Taylor Swift), Emily Phillips (Florence and the Machine, Rizzzle Kicks, SOAK, Connie Talbot), Hannah V (Stormzy, JP Cooper), Eg White (Adele, Sam Smith, Florence & The Machine, Dua Lipa, Pink, Olivia Dean, Sigrid, Nick Jonas, Stormzy), and Simon Aldred (Liam Gallagher, Rag’n’Bone Man, Celeste, Avicii, James Bay).

Outstanding UK/Ireland finalists perform at The Young Songwriter 2024 showcase

And importantly, for all aspiring young songwriters to feel creative & inspired

Check out our new merchandise…hoodies, t-shirts, notebooks etc to express yourself with ease!

Latest information on The Young Songwriter 2024 competition

Check out our Young Songwriter 2024 competition page and stay tuned to our social media platforms – Instagram (song_academy) and Facebook, Twitter (SongAcademyUK).

Songwriting programmes for beginners to advanced young songwriters

We run songwriting programmes tailored for every stage of the songwriting journey – from total beginners to songwriting (Vol.1), those who’ve just started (Vol.2) and those who’ve been writing songs for a while (Vol.3). Check our which programmes are best for you and read our songwriting resources to make your songs the best they can be!

Click here to check out all songwriting programmes and resources.

Residential songwriting summer camp 2024

An immersive & motivational experience for aspiring young songwriters aged 11-18

Following the huge success of this year’s songwriting camp we’ve booked dates to return next year and we’re now open for bookings! We only have 45 places available so please book soon. Click here to book your place.

Our residential songwriting camp is designed for aspiring young songwriters to develop their songwriting skills, connect & collaborate on exciting songwriting briefs over 4 days & immerse themselves in all parts of the songwriting process, from finding inspiration, lyric writing, melody improvisation and composition to producing and performing.  Our expert team of top songwriters and producers all share a passion for inspiring the next generation.

The 4 day programme includes engaging sessions on:

Creating song concepts and understanding song structure

Creative lyric writing

Chords, Melody and Harmony improvisation (with some music theory)

Ways to develop your sound and style

Recording and producing your songs

Choir & Band

How to engage your audience

How the Songwriting/Music industry works and latest trends

How to create your own brand & fanbase

Masterclasses where we give feedback on songs previously written and work in progress songs

Open songwriter/mic night

Quiz night

Special guest speaker nights with opportunity for Q&As

Performances at the end of camp showcase from 2-3:30/4pm on the last day.

Here are some highlights of the end of summer camp 2023 showcase.

Click here to book your place.

Songwriting video course for beginners

Our fun and easy to follow songwriting video course for beginners is a perfect way to write your first song.

Scarlet and Brendan from Song Academy will talk you through each stage of the songwriting process to write your own song – from start to finish – deciding on a concept for your song, writing lyrics, improvising melodies, creating chord progressions and recording your song.

You don’t need to be able to play an instrument to write your first song with our new video course as we’ve created backing tracks for each part of your song. If you do play an instrument we’ve shown you how to play the chords (on piano and guitar).

There are useful worksheets for each stage of the process to make it really easy to write your song.  For example worksheets on: suggested song structure, song map outline (blan and an example) piano chords chart, guitar chords chart, writing rhyming couplets and putting your song together.

“This is such a fun course!  Thank you!  My daughter Sara is 11 years old and loves singing, she wrote a fantastic song with your help and now spends most of her free time writing songs.  Watch out Taylor Swift!”  Paul, Father

Click here to get started!

Click here to get started!

Want to win The Young Songwriter 2024 competition?

Every year we get asked the questions “what type of song should I enter into The Young Songwriter competition?” and “do you have any songwriting tips?” so we thought we would put together some ideas and guidelines to help you write a winning song!

The main things that we listen out for when judging The Young Songwriter competition entries are captivating melodies, evocative lyrics, a coherent structure, a catchy chorus, emotive performances, clever use of rhyme, a sense of anticipation, and strong concepts.

It’s important to say at the outset that songs which break all the rules and defy any expectation can be the biggest hits of all! Therefore, in as much as there are so called ‘rules’, feel free to bend and break them if you feel inspired to!

The power of songwriting is that no matter what inspired the songwriter to write a song, the listener interprets the song in their own unique way, and finds strength from the message and connection.

Here are some elements of the songwriting process which we think are important:

Have a strong theme/concept

One of the key components, and biggest challenges, of songwriting is trying to express common, relatable feelings in an original and interesting way. The more inventive you can be when describing your feelings or experiences (for example, the pressures and joys of growing up and living in our society), the better. It’s a great way to express yourself by talking about issues you are passionate about in an engaging way.

Young Songwriter competition entries always cover a huge spectrum of topics, from personal experiences and feelings, to wider issues involving the writer’s communities, or even the entire world. Looking back on prior years, a popular theme was the state of the planet and awareness of environmental issues such as climate change. Another theme that came up a lot was mental health, with songs exploring anxieties, depression, drugs, death and high expectations. We also received many entires that explored the need be who you are, embrace your individuality and go for your dreams. Many songs took a stand for equality and freedom from barriers. Love and heartbreak always feature highly in Young Songwriter entries, with many different spins: we broke up, we’re breaking up, we’re about to break up, we’re not going to break up, I wish I could break up with you, we didn’t break up, I wish I had someone to break up with. Also, songs about the pain of toxic relationships and unrequited love.

But not all songs have to be dramatic and poignant – many people wrote songs about aspects of everyday life, like nature, sunlight, boredom, society, the stars, anything! Through lyrics and harmony the seemingly banal can sometimes be lifted onto another plain. It is great to be able to find inspiration in ordinary things, and it’s an amazing skill to be able to present those things in a way that people find exciting.

Plested, one of the fabulous Young Songwriter competition judges gave a great songwriting tip ‘Try to find a word or a phrase that a lot of people say in everyday life but not many people have sung about”, then write a song about it.

Come up with an interesting song title

A song title is almost like a book cover, so make it interesting! Compare a heartbeat to a flashing light or the feeling of losing fear by roaring it away – the more inventive the concept around the ordinary, the better. Think of recent hits Dark Horse, Wrecking Ball, Pompeii – interesting titles and concepts talking about everyday feelings to do with fear, love and empowerment. It can also be a good way to start a song, having a strong title that sets the theme of the song can inspire more lyrics around it!

We’ve had many interesting song titles in The Young Songwriter competition past entries, including; Biting Into Ice, Concrete Sheets, Sneaks & Geeks, Dead Plants, Like Lava, T-shirt, Packet Full Of Noodles, Armour, Paperclips, Shine in the Darkness, Blue Fingertips, Burnt Peaches, Lies In Makeup, Sungrazer, Hijacked By Parasites, Reset, Little Alchemy, Dopamine, Me Myself and I, Mrs Ocean, Keyboard Warrior, Battlecry, Muddy Clear, Growing Gills, Swim Against The Stream, Muddy Boots & Messy Hair, Ode To Ego, Painting With Colour, Helvetica, Puppeteer, Head Full Of Clouds, Same Blood, Mindless Town, Can’t Buy Forgiveness, Cat And Mouse, Fading Rainbow, The Taste Of Dust.

Make the first four lines agree with your title

The great songwriter Ralph Murphy says it very well in his books on the laws of songwriting – if the first four lines of your first verse can link back to your title then you’re onto a winner. Take for example Roar by Katy Perry:

I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath,
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess,
So I sat quietly,
Agreed politely,

Now you’re gonna hear me roar.

You create an expectation, and then you fulfil it. By doing this, you never lose sight of the message of your song, you keep in mind what you’re trying to say by always referring back to the title, thus never losing your listeners’ attention or the concept you’re expressing in your song. It also helps emphasise the message of the song and helps people remember it!

Have a good song structure

Here’s an example of a great song structure:

Introduction — An opening passage, either instrumental or vocals without lyrics

Verse I — Introduces the song’s message and sets the scene

Pre Chorus — Link between the verse and chorus
— Builds up both melodically and lyrically

Chorus — Main message of the song
— Catchiest part and most memorable part of the song (normally includes a ‘hook’)
— Most dynamic part of the song

Verse II — Continuing the explanation of the song

— Solidifying the message and introducing new imagery

— Lyrics change, melody stays broadly the same as verse 1, but you can tweak it a bit to keep it interesting!

Bridge or Middle Eight — A contrasting section that brings the song to a new level

— Rhythmically and melodically the song changes

— Looking at the message from a different view point
— Can build up tension leading up to the climax of the song

Chorus — Repeat (can add hooks to the outro of it)
Outro — The closing passage. It can be instrumental or vocal

Write engaging lyrics

Young Songwriter finalists write lyrics that show the listener a scene unfolding rather than simply telling the listener how they feel. American songwriter Jason Blume, who has had hits with Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys, says whilst there are no rules to songwriting, there are tools to help you craft that perfect hit. And all you need is a simple AID – action, imagery, detail.


Use verbs (action or doing words) to help illustrate what is going on in your song. For example, instead of saying ‘I miss you and I’m sad’, try and show what missing someone and being sad looks like :

  • ‘I wipe the tears falling from my eyes’
  • ‘I clutch a tear stained picture of you’
  • ‘I drove by where we first met’
  • ‘I couldn’t walk through the door where we said our last goodbye’

The action words are ‘wipe’ ‘clutch’ ‘drove’ ‘walk’.

And instead of saying ‘I love you’ or ‘I’m in love’, why not show what a person in love does?

  • ‘I wrote our names inside a heart, engraved upon a tree’
  • ‘I hand picked and carried home 100 flowers for you and put a vase in every room’
  • ‘I sing your name like a favourite song’

The action words are ‘wrote’ ‘picked’ ‘carried’ and ‘sing’.

Write a list of action words down before starting on your next song and try and use at least 5 of them in your next song to show what your feeling.


Blume says ‘whilst you cannot see heartbreak you can see the images and actions that convey that a person is heartbroken’:

  • ‘She fell to her knees, laying flowers on his grave’
  • ‘He kisses her photo’
  • ‘His tears hit the floor like a waterfall of pain’

The images are ‘knees’ ‘flowers’ ‘grave’ ‘photo’ ‘tears’ ‘floor’ ‘waterfall’. Blume also states that by including ‘tangible items’ and nouns in your lyrics like ‘furniture, clothing, a car, a house, a specific place, food’, you enable your audience to enter your song.

Along with your list of action words, try and write down a list of images and every day nouns to try and include in your next song.


This is the third part of AID that will help you to show your listener what is going on in your song. This time we’re searching for adjectives and adverbs to help the listener visualise your song more clearly. For example, if we were to go one step further with some of our examples from the Imagery section above and add a bit more detail to the floor, or the grave, you have something like this…

  • ‘She falls to her knees on the cold, muddy ground and lays white lilies on his grave’
  • ‘He tenderly kisses the photo of their wedding day in his old rocking chair
  • ‘His bitter tears slowly hit the wooden floor of his kitchen, like a cascading waterfall of pain’

Even with a few additional adjectives and adverbs, the scenes are much clearer to visualise; you can hear the creak of the old rocking chair, you can taste the bitter tears that fall onto the floor and see him in the kitchen, you can feel the cold muddy ground that she falls to – instantly you have transported your listener directly into the scene of your song, as if they are there with the singer, watching over what is happening.

So next time you’re stuck for lyrics, all you need is a little AID to help you on your way!

Play around with new melodies and chord sequences

Play around with different combinations until your find the melody you’re looking for. Choose a key for your song and then try out the I, IV and V primary chords as well as the  II III, VI and VII chords.


It has been said that the most successful ABBA songs have 5 hooks in each of their songs. A hook is a musical idea, melodic instrumental part, rhythmic phrase or a vowel/consonant sound or word repeated, that catches the ear of the listener to draw them into the song and helps to create its ‘catchiness’. According to popular commercial music today, the more hooks you can introduce throughout the song, the catchier it will be, because it’s constantly enticing the listener and, most importantly, keeping them interested. Listen to the start of Dancing Queen and the vocal ‘ahh’s and piano part before the hooky first line of the chorus, or Jessie J’s Price Tag (It’s all about the money, money, money/We don’t need your money, money, money). Other songs with simple but strong hooks include One Kiss by Calvin Harris featuring Dua Lipa, or Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

A lot of hooks are incredibly simple and may even be made by manipulating vocal parts, cutting them up or re-pitching them in an interesting way, songs that do this include Latch by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith, or Stay High (the Hippie Sabotage remix of Habits) by Tove Lo. Try and think about hooks for your own song, either lyrically, melodically or instrumentally. They can be incredibly simple and consist of a couple of notes, or a bit more interesting, just make sure they stick in your head!


Rhythm is an important part of many songs, it’s what makes people dance, or makes them nod their head and tap their feet. A solid rhythm can be a hook in itself, and it will lay the foundation on which to base the rest of your song around. It will also determine what kind of song it is, is it a fun, dancey song that makes you want to dance, like Get Lucky by Daft Punk? Or is it a slow, wistful song that people will sway along to, like Imagine by John Lennon? It could even be a fast, uptempo song that sounds exciting and triumphant, like Feel The Love by Rudimental ft John Newman.  If the aim is to make the listener dance, try writing a song to the BPM of 120. If you’re writing a romantic acoustic song, experiment with different time signatures like 6/8 as this will get people swaying along to your song!

Another thing to experiment with is using triplets, it can open up a whole new world of melodic and rhythmic possibilities! A good example that we mentioned in the previous section about hooks is Latch by Disclosure featuring Sam Smith, you’ll hear the hi hat doing triplet rhythms where traditionally for that genre you would expect an even number of hi hats (either quarter notes, eighth notes or sixteenth notes).

Beats and rhythms also don’t have to be perfectly on beat, and often a beat that makes you want to dance will be a ‘swing’ or ‘shuffle’ rhythm, this is a technique that changes the length of notes to create a more uneven but interesting rhythm. An example of a swung rhythm is Ex’s and Oh’s by Elle King, hear how some of the hits are slightly late which gives a driving feel to the song.


The Young Songwriter competition entries are mainly judged on the song itself rather than the production, but there are some entries that use the production to help present their song in a stronger way. For example, a more pop/electronic entry might rely on solid drum sounds and more bass than an acoustic entry. Both are totally acceptable approaches and it’s important to note that you do not need incredible production skills and a top mix in order to submit a successful song, many of the best songs ever written would still be just as good whether they were produced fully or just played on one instrument!


We receive many different styles of recordings, many people record themselves at home, even in their bedroom with a phone! We understand that not everyone has access to recording studios or fancy equipment, and much like the production, if your song is strong it will shine even without an expensive or time consuming recording process. The most important thing is that the recording is clear enough for our judges to hear the individual parts, try to avoid recording in noisy environments that may make your recording difficult to hear, or distract from the song itself. You can record elements separately and combine them in a DAW (SoundTrap, Logic, Pro Tools, Reaper, Ableton or any other suitable software) or record with one microphone in one go, whichever you feel most comfortable with!  If recording onto voice memos be sure to sing as clearly as possible as the judges don’t want to miss out on hearing your amazing lyrics. That goes for all recordings.


Check out our insightful song feedback service to make sure your songs are the best they can be before entering The Young Songwriter 2024 competition!

More information on The Young Songwriter 2024 competition.

The Young Songwriter 2023 Live Showcase

The Song Academy’s nurturing community cultivates a supportive environment for budding young creatives navigating the demands of growing up in today’s world. The Young Songwriter 2023 showcase brought together a special community of young songwriters, all saying how important the competition is to them – important in building their confidence, levelling up their songwriting, giving them a platform to express themselves, building friendships with peers and a support network for their musical journey.

The sound of instruments. The golden glow of stage lights. The distant echoes of vocalists warming up, and the hustle and bustle of young creatives as one by one they climb the stage to sound check. 30 young songwriters (the top 10 young songwriters in each age category) of The Young Songwriter 2023 UK section (8-12, 13-15 and 16-18 year olds) are getting ready to perform their original songs.

There’s an extraordinary energy that fills the Tabernacle, Notting Hill, that only can be described as electric. Months of creating, producing, writing, fine tuning and rehearsing has led to this pivotal moment for the young performers.

Having made it into the final of The Young Songwriter competition 2023, a mixture of nerves, excitement and anticipation seem to be the overarching emotions felt by the finalists.

When asked how they wrote their songs, the answers seemed to reflect so accurately the spontaneous minds of budding creatives. Some wrote their songs in their bedroom on a whim at three in the morning! Others had been working away at lyrics and melodies they’d had stuck in their head for months.

However, regardless of how these songs were written, what was incredible was to see the final versions performed with such conviction. Especially for some of the younger finalists, where it was their first ever performance in front of a live audience. The confidence that they found, as they navigated each note, was inspiring and evoked a similar response from the audience who overflowed the auditorium as showtime drew closer.

A big thank you to The Young Songwriter 2023 sponsors, Yamaha, Focusrite, YouTube Music, ICMP, Soundtrap and PRS for Music for supporting us to inspire and nurture the next generation of songwriters/artists/producers/young creatives.

Despite the fact that they were technically each other’s competition, the supportiveness found within the conversation of the contestants was a true testament to the encouraging nature of the community that Song Academy has created. Having built strong connections within the music industry now for 14 years, Song Academy has its own identity which is all about nurturing the creative, and you can see that expressed in spades at this event.

This support system seems to be ever more important and relevant as the way art and information are now being digitally consumed is changing so rapidly, and the environment seems to be edging further and further away from protecting the quality of art itself.

With the age of performers ranging from 8-18 years old, the level of maturity across all age groups and subject matters discussed in each song, was a true testament to each writer. A particular stand out was a song written by Kacia aged 16 who created a track delving into the complexities and culture surrounding knife crime. ‘Doing it for clout’ was a mature and lyrically strong perceptive on a challenging topic. To hear young writers express and explore these heavy subject matters at such a young age, was an insight into a generation clearly aware and conscious of current affairs and their repercussions within a wider context of society.

The Young Songwriter 2023 winners are:

16-18 year old category: Matt Jones – ‘Beauty’

13-15 year old category: Macy O – ‘Love Rampage’

8-12 year old category: Agnes Bull – ‘Cat Laws’

As young creatives enter the industry, Song Academy looks to lay strong roots at the beginning of their musical journey. Nurturing and encouraging each creative, whether they develop into a writer, artist, musician or producer. We can’t wait to see what 2024 brings for Song Academy, as well as the young songwriters it supports.

Finnian Feez, designer/songwriter and graduate of Central Saint Martins said at The Young Songwriter 2023 showcase “Each trophy has a different graphic inside them, all similar – signifying your shared goal and love of music, but each is unique, because, you’re all unique, and that is something that needs to be celebrated and encouraged to filter into your songwriting.

These empty boxes are a metaphor. They stand for the fact that no physical object will be the reason for you creating a song. Whether a guitar, piano, drum, synthesiser, whichever instrument it is, they’re just empty boxes – it’s what you have within you that leads to the creation of a song. So these trophies are a token of that message.

The trophies are made from recyclable or compostable materials and can be dismantled and rebuilt to clean or replace parts if needed.”

“It feels incredible. I honestly can’t believe I’m here, and to think my song made it into the final just feels surreal. Thank you for putting this event on and giving young creatives the chance to express themselves.” Isla

Songwriting workshops this Autumn half-term

We’re calling all young people who love music, singing & writing lyrics!  Join our songwriting workshops this Autumn half-term.  It’s a perfect opportunity, in a condensed time frame, to write an original song with professional songwriters.  Some groups for beginner to advanced young songwriters aged 8-18.  Get creative, express yourself and find your voice! Songwriting workshops are both in London and online.

Our holiday songwriting workshops are a perfect opportunity, in a condensed time frame, to write an original song with professional songwriters. Participants will develop their lyrical & musical skills with new ideas and techniques.  They will develop their confidence and ability to express themselves…as well as meeting other like-minded young creatives and having a lot of fun!

Small groups for beginners and those already writing their own songs and wanting some inspiration/guidance.

Here are some of the reasons why parents love their children taking part in our songwriting workshops.

  • My child already loves writing her own songs in her bedroom and really benefits from the guidance and inspiration from Song Academy to make her songs the best they can be.
  • My child loves singing and loved the challenge to develop her skills and write her own songs to sing.
  • My child has been a fantastic singer, but his voice is starting to break and writing his own songs filled the void of not singing as much.
  • My child is learning a musical instrument but isn’t that motivated to practice her grade pieces. Writing her own songs and accompanying herself brings her instrument to life and it’s played a lot more.
  • My child loves music and really enjoyed the freedom of writing her own lyrics and making up melodies.  She now writes songs the whole time.
  • My child was super shy and writing her own songs in a supportive & nurturing environment has given her a boost of confidence and she’s proud of what she has to say through her songs.

Check out all details including dates and prices.

The Young Songwriter 2023 Trophies

The Young Songwriter trophy is revealed at The Young Songwriter 2023 showcase at The Tabernacle, Notting Hill. Designed by Finnian Feez, designer, musician & songwriter and graduate of Central Saint Martins. It’s stylish, original, creative and has a powerful message.

We are thrilled with our iconic trophies for The Young Songwriter competitions! After an introduction from the head of product design, Paul De’Ath at Central Saint Martins, Finnian Feez was given the brief of designing and building a trophy for The Young Songwriter competition which would symbolise the power of songwriting, fit the brand values of Song Academy and connect with the thoughts, wants and desires of our worldwide community of young songwriters.

The design is perhaps not what you’d expect from a trophy, and just in case you’re thinking why are we giving an empty box to the winners, here’s some insight into the design!

Finnian said at The Young Songwriter 2023 showcase “Each trophy has a different graphic inside them, all similar – signifying your shared goal and love of music, but each is unique, because, you’re all unique, and that is something that needs to be celebrated and encouraged to filter into your songwriting.
These empty boxes are a metaphor. They stand for the fact that no physical object will be the reason for you creating a song. Whether a guitar, piano, drum, synthesiser, whichever instrument it is, they’re just empty boxes – it’s what you have within you that leads to the creation of a song. So these trophies are a token of that message.
The trophies are made from recyclable or compostable materials and can be dismantled and rebuilt to clean or replace parts if needed.
Songwriting isn’t easy. Creation in general is difficult, sometimes it can even seem impossible. Sometimes we can lose sight of why we even create in the first place or doubt that we have the ability. If we’re able to remind ourselves that it’s something that lives within us, and we’re true to ourselves, then we can overcome any creative challenges that might arise. We hope that in some way the message behind this trophy will help all of you as you grow and develop as songwriters and music makers.”

We think that Finnian has designed the perfect trophy for The Young Songwriter competition.

We’re looking forward to The Young Songwriter 2024 competition. Get your songs ready to enter between the 1st February and 31st March 2024!

Our inaugural residential songwriting camp was a big hit!

The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2023 live showcase

A must see event to inspire musical & creative young people! The top 10 finalists of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2023 competition and special VIP guests will perform their original songs at the iconic Tabernacle in Notting Hill, UK. The winners will be announced on the night. Don’t miss out, book your tickets soon!

The inspirational Song Academy Young Songwriter 2023 live showcase will be held on Saturday 23rd September 6:45 – 9:45pm at The Tabernacle, 34-35 Powis Square, Notting Hill, London W11 2AY. The Young Songwriter 2023 competition top 10 finalists, Song Academy alumni making waves in the music industry plus VIP guests will be performing their original songs live.

The showcase celebrates the inventiveness & creativity of young people and the power of songwriting to help young people find their voice and find their tribe. The future is bright and diverse!

We are delighted that the showcase will be compered by TV/Radio star Abbie McCarthy and Song Academy ambassador Zara Musoni. Abbie McCarthy is an award-winning TV/Radio presenter & DJ, you’ll find her hosting BBC Music Introducing in Kent on the airwaves every Saturday night and also bringing great new music & fun interviews to your TV screens on E4 Extra & The Box Network with Fresh This Month. Abbie has been highlighted by the Radio Academy as one of the brightest young stars in radio, recently featuring in their esteemed 30 under 30 list and winning Silver for Best Music Presenter at the ARIAs 2020.

The list of Young Songwriter 2023 young songwriters performing on the 23rd September is shown below.

How to book your tickets

To book your seats at this unique event send an email to Seats in the tiered seating cost £22.50 and for seats in the gallery are £17.50. All seats have an excellent view of the stage. There is limited availability so we suggest you book soon. E-tickets will be sent out the week before.

About The Young Songwriter 2023 competition

The Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is the leading international songwriting competition for young people aged 8-18. This year attracted around 1,000 high quality entries. Song Academy gives the unheard youth a voice and platform to express themselves and be heard. The standard of finalist songs entered this year was exceptionally high. To select the top 10 songs we listened for inventiveness, creativity & bravery with lyrics & melodies illuminating our imaginations. Young people have a unique way of expressing themselves, they are a new generation experiencing life in the most vivid and visceral way.

SAYS23 Star Judges include Fraser T Smith, Amy Wadge, Miranda Cooper, Eg White, Jimmy Napes, Emily Phillips, Plested, Hannah V, Sodajerker, Sacha Skarbek and Dan Gillespie Sells.

Official sponsors of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2023 competition are YouTube Music, Yamaha, Soundtrap, Focusrite, PRS for Music and ICMP.

Fraser T Smith (songwriter, producer and SAYS23 judge) said “With so much going on in the world, it’s never been more vital for young people to be able to channel their energy and emotions into something positive, which is what The Young Songwriter competition encourages and facilitates through songwriting. Every young person has something to say, a story to tell, or a message to share – that’s why Song Academy is so important to our community.”

Tom Odell (singer songwriter and Young Songwriter judge) said “When I was 13 years old I started writing songs, and over the following years I became more and more obsessed with it. But the thing that always kept me awake at night was how to get them out there for people to hear them. This is why I think the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition is a great way to inspire and help through this process, and it’s something I wish had been around when I was starting out.”

Many of our past finalists are now making waves in the industry, including Gayle, Matilda Mann, Oscar Lang, Lexie Carroll, Cassa Jackson, Oscar Welsh, Natalie Shay, Joshua Shea, Tabitha Jade, Tom A. Smith, Gabriel Dryss, Katie Kittermaster, Gilska, Andrea Turk, Cathy Jain, Sebastian Croft, Daniel McCarthy, Eliza Mai, Miriam Nyarko, Wasia Project, Sophie Griffiths, Rosie Sullivan, Melanie Baker, Alien Blaze, Sweet Mylo, James Bakian, Hetta Falzon, Harry Hatcher, Conor Marcus, Clari Freeman-Taylor, Alex Spencer, Sophie DeMasi & Mullally.    

Past Young Songwriter Live Showcase Performers

Young Songwriter 2023 Performers Line-Up


To book your seats at this unique event send an email to

The Young Songwriter 2024 competition is open for entries from the 1st February until the 31st March 2024. Get your songs ready!

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