The UK Songwriting Contest is one of the world's longest running and most well known and successful international songwriting events. It was launched in London in 2002 in association with prestigious bodies including The BRIT Trust (of BRIT Awards fame), The BRIT Studio, The BRIT School, Music Aid International, The GISC, Roland UK and top British producers and industry professionals "to discover and encourage new songwriting talent and promote the craft of songwriting". It has been supported by BBC Radio since the very beginning with radio plays of song entries across the UK, and many finalist and winners have also been featured on BBC TV. It has grown into a truly international event with entries from over 80 countries, with UKSC winners and finalists appearing on major TV shows worldwide. In 2022 it celebrates its 21st Anniversary. Since its launch over 100,000 songs have taken part in the event and over £1,000,000 worth of prizes and gifts have been awarded to contestants. The UKSC is followed and watched closely by many top professionals in the music industry and many entrants have been signed to publishing and recording deals. The UKSC is well known as a launching pad for new songwriting talent, and it is widely respected as one of the world's best and most important songwriting events
PRESTIGE The UKSC was formed with highly respected organisations and this means that contestants are watched closely by the music industry’s leading producers and publishers. Many finalists and semi-finalists are spotted by them and go on to succesful music careers and deal offers. The UKSC judging panels have featured Grammy, Emmy, CMA and BRIT Award winning Gold and Platinum Album producers and artists. Judging panels also include successful past UKSC winners. Visit the Judges Page on this website to see more about the distinguished professionals who choose the winners.
Many entrants receive extensive press, TV and radio coverage, with royalty earning radio play for their entries. The BBC has supported the event from the beginning with many finalists and winners receiving BBC Radio plays. BBC Radio remains a very strong UKSC supporter and many entrants are featured and interviewed on BBC Radio every year. Semi Finalists, Finalists and Winners have been featured on many TV networks nationally and internationally and winners and finalists have gone on to launch careers writing for major recording artists - see below. For this reason we always recommend that Semi Finalists and Finalists should contact their local media with news of their results in the contest as this often leads to very good national and international media coverage and even more interest from people in the music industry.
PRIZES - REWARDS - ENTRY FEES This UKSC has helpful prizes and the lowest entry fee of all major international songwriting events and competitions. This is in line with its original launch aims and commitments. Prizes are designed to help songwriters in their careers and include record deals, publishing deals, and personal mentoring and recording with some of the world's top producers and writers. In the past, our winners have been personally mentored by Double Grammy winner Kipper Eldridge in his studio, worked and recorded with well known producer and contest judge Stuart Epps in his home studio, have been signed by Simon Cowell, signed by Paul McCartney, personally coached by hit writer Mark Cawley in Nashville, signed to publishing deals with major international publishers, received professional production packages with world-class musicians, international copyright registration packages, songwriting courses, promotion on the music industry's "Best of UKSC" albums, music software, books, GISC memberships and much more. Everyone who enters a song receives songwriting resource memberships worth many times the entry fee and the UKSC has awarded over £1,000,000 in such prizes since its launch. Everyone receives a personalised UKSC Certificate for each song entered with the position reached in the contest plus a judges´ Star Rating for every song so that they can see how each song was graded by top experienced music business professionals.
OPPORTUNITIES The UKSC is often described by the media as "prestigious" because it is the only songwriting contest that has had winning writers and finalists signed by top producers such as Simon Cowell and others, and it is the only songwriting event established in association with respected bodies like The BRIT Trust and others.
Many entrants have had success through the contest and have signed publishing and recording deals, have been asked to write for major artists and major TV shows, have been interviewed in the media and had their winning songs featured to millions on TV in Australia, the USA, the UK and other countries. Many have also received royalty earning radio play for their entries. Anyone who enters this contest can have similar success and could be noticed by the many top industry professionals worldwide who follow this event very closely every year looking for new songwriting talent. Below are just a very few of these many success stories..
Here is a very small selection from the many past success stories...
Andy Littlewood was the very first winner of the first UKSC. He was immediately signed to a publishing deal with UK Music Ltd as part of his UKSC prize and had releases through Warner, Universal, BMG, Ministry Of Sound, Edel, Gut Records, Nukleuz and Baroque. His songs are featured in films and TV shows including 'The Number One Girl' (movie starring Vinnie Jones), 'Medium' (American TV series), Telejournal' (CBC, Canada), 'Edit 5' (ITV1) and he has produced tracks for Nintendo Wii and PlayStation.
UKSC winner Neil Fitzpatrick was featured on national TV in a special songwriting series, signed by Justin Bieber´s publishing company, and his winning song made over $100,000 in sales.
After winning the UKSC Pop Category Belle Humble wrote for Paloma Faith, Alexandra Burke, Sony Cybershot, Orange Mobile, the Hilary Duff movie ‘Beauty and the Briefcase’ and the hit US TV show ‘In the Deep End’. Her releases include the global Freestylers #1 ‘Cracks’ and the K-Pop hit Russian Roulette which was Top 3 on three continents. Her songs have many hundreds of millions 100,000,000s of YouTube views and she has joined the UKSC as a contest judge.
UKSC Winner "When You Ride A Dream" was released worldwide as an Olympic Games theme by the well-known Canadian producer Mel Shaw. Mel is a Gold and Platinum album award winning producer and Founding President of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He is one of many top music industry figures who follow the UKSC closely each year looking for talent.
Leigh Haggerwood´s Christmas song entry was signed by a major TV network, had over 40 Million (40,000,000) YouTube views and was playlisted in 140,000 stores worldwide over Christmas!
Natalie Chua was signed by Simon Cowell after her UK Songwriting Contest win. Simon had spotted her as our youngest winner. She released an album with him and received a Platinum Disc Award for sales of over 500,000.
Christmas song "Bloody Good Xmas" was rush released when UKSC results were announced and quickly hit #2 in the Christmas Charts.This song was a favourite of top producer, musical director and UKSC judge Richard Niles who described it as "bloody brilliant!".
Oz songwriter Jaron Natoli was featured and heard by millions on the prime time Today Tonight Show in Australia when he won the UKSC. Jaron's father Chris said "Thanks heaps UKSC! Thanks to your competition Jaron's getting the recognition he deserves."
Emma Fitzsimons was invited by Sting's producer and Double Grammy Award winning UKSC judge Marc "Kipper" Eldridge to his studio. She received a professional recording and production studio package and a professional music video shoot as part of her UKSC contest prizes and was tweeted about Perez Hilton and Calvin Harris! Her YouTube video had over one million views.
Finalist songwriter Sally James from the UK was interviewed about her success in the contest on national prime time BBC TELEVISION and had her finalist song played to millions of television viewers.
UKSC Pop Category winning track "I've Already Won", by US songwriter Debra Gussin, was featured in the NBC Network Prime Time TV Drama "The Event" after its success in the contest.
"Sempre Vicino" was the Open Category Winner in the very first UK Songwriting Contest held back in 2002. After it won a stunning cover version of this song was released in Canada by the well known classical crossover group "The Canadian Tenors".
Australian winner Alison Hams appeared live on Australian National Television on the popular show "Good Morning Australia" and performed her UK Songwriting Contest winning song "Second Fiddle" to millions of prime time TV viewers when the contest results were announced.
Pop Winner Ken Brown teamed up with Elton John's producer and UKSC contest judge Stuart Epps who worked with him to produce a remix of his winning song "What Love Is". Stuart Epps was so impressed with this song when he heard it in his official capacity as a judge in the contest that he immediately contacted the writer after the results were published to collaborate on a new version.
Rock Category winning song "Danger Deep Water" by Jason Flinter was chosen to open and launch LABEL EXPO, the International Awards Show in Brussels. Jason was also asked to write more music for the Capetown, Mexico and Chicago LBEL EXPO shows. "All thanks to the UKSC", says Jason.
Katie Kittermaster was signed to a worldwide publishing deal with BMG and her winning song was nominated for, and won, The Commonwealth Song Contest representing the UK. Soon after her UKSC win she was touring nationwide with BoyzLife and she is now headlining her own sell-out concerts and is a UKSC judge.
That was just a very small selection of stories - we have many many more! If any past entrants have stories to tell us please contact us and let us know.
JUDGES The UKSC judges have included top Grammy, Emmy, CMA and BRIT Award winning Gold and Platinum Album producers and artists. These include Sting's producer and musical director Kipper Eldridge, top UK producer Stuart Epps (well known for his work with Elton John, Robbie Williams, Led Zeppelin, Bill Wyman, Paul Weller, George Harrison, Oasis), BRIT Award winning producer, songwriter and top musical director Simon Ellis (S Club 7, Britney Spears), CMA Award winning international country star and songwriter Lucie Diamond; producer, musical director and arranger Richard Niles (Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, Boy Zone, Mariah Carey, Take That, Cliff Richard) and the UKSC's own past winner Natalie Chua (signed by Simon Cowell after the contest and a Platinum Album recipient). Judging panels also include industry executives, publishers, managers, music organisations, experienced songwriters, past UKSC winners, UKSC directors, broadcasters, music journalists, authors and others from the UK and international music industry. Read more about the judges here
Aims and Mission The UK Songwriting Contest was launched with The BRIT Trust to encourage and promote the art of songwriting and to discover and showcase new talent and new songs. For this reason, the entry fee has not been increased since the launch in 2002 and it has one of the lowest entry fees of all the world's major songwriting events. Every songwriter who enters, whether they are experienced or a complete beginner, has the same chance to be discovered and noticed and to have their work judged by top names in the music industry.