Star Judges include Tom Odell, Imelda May, Chris Difford, Rumer,

Eg White, Emily Phillips, Dan Gillespie Sells, Miranda Cooper & Nigel Elderton.

Now in it’s 8th exciting year, the prestigious Song Academy Young Songwriter Competition 2019 is open for entries until 31st March 2019 from young people aged 8-18 across the UK & Ireland and internationally.

The Young Songwriter 2019 competition is a supportive and inspiring platform for young songwriters to get their original songs heard and connect to their peers & key players in the music industry. This unique competition focuses on songwriting rather than singing/performance. Songs will be judged on their originality, lyrics, melody, composition, and potential to be a smash hit!

We believe that it is more important than ever, in this fast-paced, competitive and technological world, for young people to believe in themselves and be inspired by their future. Songwriting is an antidote to the pressures on young minds and allows young people to express themselves creatively and gain clarity on what’s going on in their heads and the world outside. Each year, The Young Songwriter competition brings together young songwriters who listen to each other’s stories, feel a sense of togetherness and unite in a vibrant songwriting community.  Please help us reach young songwriters aged 8-18 across the world.

There are many reasons to enter The Young Songwriter 2019 competition:

  • Get noticed by some of the best songwriters & key players in the Music Industry
  • Have your songs heard and stand out from the crowd
  • Get connected to our vibrant community of young songwriters
  • Record your winning song with a top producer in London
  • Win prizes: a professional music video & photos from the recording session, a home studio setup from Focusrite , KRK & sE Electronics, a Casio Music CT-x5000 portable keyboard, a signed Tom Odell ‘Jubilee Road’ Album, a signed copy of songwriter Carole King‘s book ‘A Natural Woman’
  • Perform in The Young Songwriter 2019 showcase at The Tabernacle, London

This competition will be separately judged for UK & Ireland 8-12 year olds, UK & Ireland 13-18 year olds and international entries. Enter online at Include songs’ lyrics on your entry forms and an audio recording in MP3 format (or send your audio recording via SoundCloud).

Schools entering 20+ songs will have the opportunity of winning a Casio CT-x700 portable keyboard.

This year’s panel of award winning judges includes:

Singer songwriters/producers Tom Odell, Imelda May, Chris Difford, Rumer, Dan Gillespie Sells, Eg White (Adele, Duffy, Take That, Pink), Emily Philips (Rizzlekicks, John Newman, Maddison Beer, SOAK), Miranda Cooper (Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Pet Shop Boys, Alesha Dixon), James Walsh, Tim Laws (Gabrielle, Lighthouse Family), Jessica Sharman (Ward Thomas), Nicky Cox (editor, First News) and Nigel Elderton (Chairman, PRS for Music).

Get your songs ready!

Take advantage of our song feedback service where we provide insightful comments on the three areas of lyrics, melodies/composition and production.

Quotes from The Young Songwriter competition judges:

Tom Odell, Singer Songwriter, says “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 its something I wish had been around when I was starting out. I can’t wait to hear the songs!”

Imelda May, Singer Songwriter, says “I’m very glad to be part of The Song Academy Young Songwriter 2018 judging panel. Good songwriting is the foundation of all good music. This competition is also simply a great way for songwriters to meet other like minded people and I’m happy to encourage anyone to connect and excel in this beautifully expressive art form and cannot wait to hear the songs.”

Naughty Boy, producer & songwriter, says “Young songwriters are the future of music. A great song will always stand the test of time far beyond our years. I think this competition is important because every songwriter I’ve worked with was always waiting to be discovered.”

Guy Chambers, producer & songwriter, says “It was a great pleasure to judge The Young Songwriter 2018 competition this year.  I was incredibly impressed by the level of songwriting and musicianship among these young individuals”.

Myles Keller, PRS for Music, says “PRS for Music is delighted to be supporting the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition once again.  This wonderful competition empowers young songwriters, enabling them to showcase their talent and offering them a ‘one of a kind’ opportunity to gain crucial feedback from some of the very best songwriters.  In the early stages of a career, this kind of help is like gold dust and really enables industry newcomers to build strong, sustainable careers.”

Simon Barber & Brian O’Connor, founders of Sodajerker says “Judging the 2018 Young Songwriter competition was a fascinating experience, not only because of the wonderful breadth of talented writers who submitted work, but also because of the incredible range of responses that the songs elicited from the judges. It was heartening to see each judge devote such a great deal of time and attention to thinking about the qualities of each song, and whatever the outcome, all finalists should be proud to have reached that stage of the competition. We are delighted to play a small role in such a fantastic scheme led by such a generous organisation. The opportunity that it offers young songwriters to be heard by leading figures in the music industries is second to none.”

Rowena Atkins, Founder of Song Academy, says: “Song Academy inspires young people to express themselves, celebrate their individuality & get heard.   By connecting them to a vibrant community of their peers who all love writing songs, as well as exposing their songs to key players in the Music Industry, we help to build young people’s confidence, self-belief and drive to achieve their potential.”

Azi Eftekhari, Head of Music Partnerships in the UK, YouTube, says: “It’s so important to nurture young songwriters, helping them harness their creative energy, express themselves, and be part of a community. YouTube Music is proud to support the Song Academy Young Songwriter competition and we can’t wait to see how these talented songwriters grow through this truly impactful programme.”

Quotes from past The Young Songwriter finalists:

Laura, Young Songwriter Finalist, says “Being a self confessed bedroom musician the Young Songwriter competition has given me the opportunity to take my songs into the real world.”

Roman, Young Songwriter Finalist, says “It encourages young people to believe in themselves.”

Sam, Young Songwriter Finalist, says “I like how it is focused on songwriting and not particularly vocal or instrumental talent, especially in this day and age, where that’s a critical factor for success. But if you can write a hit, it’s arguably more impressive than if you can sing one, and I think this competition shows that.”


Who are we? A Song Academy overview

Founded 10 years ago, Song Academy inspires and nurtures the next generation of songwriters & creative leaders.   We are a unique platform for young people (aged 8-18) to express themselves, be heard and be part of an exciting community.

Our uniqueness is that we focus on the creative process of songwriting – writing powerful lyrics and composing interesting melodies & instrumental parts. We develop songwriters’ skills to write a song that touches, moves and inspires people – either hit songs with mass appeal or for a niche audience. In young people’s demanding, fast-paced and technological lives, Song Academy offers a refreshing space where they can express their thoughts, fears, excitements, disappointments, and opinions in a safe, encouraging environment.  A space where they feel listened to and can contribute to others, enabling them to build a strong mental health and create their own future.

Song Academy runs after-school clubs, holiday workshops, school workshops, birthday parties and an annual international Young Songwriter competition. As a result of our programmes, we have seen a direct correlation in the increase and advancement of confidence, self-esteem, creativity, motivation, well-being and technical songwriting ability of our members.