We recently agreed to sponsor some prizes to the winners of the International Songwriting Competition. Before doing so, we asked a few questions to Candace Avery, a former drummer, publicist and events producer. She founded the ISC and she acts as its director. Here are her answers. Let us know in the comments if you've ever had good (or not so good) experiences with songwriting competitions and how you think they can help your career.
1) What is the International Songwriting Competition ? When was it established ?
Established in 2002, the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is one of the world's most prestigious and respected international songwriting competitions. Receiving entries from all over the world, ISC accepts entries from both amateur and professional musicians, providing the opportunity for songwriters and musicians to have their songs heard in a professional arena. ISC is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting. Renowned for its high-profile judges, ISC offers the opportunity to have your songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry. Winners receive over $150,00 in cash and prizes, as well as recognition, kudos, and exposure.
2) Other than winning prizes, how can ISC help artists ?
Over the past seven years, most of the ISC Grand Prize winners have gone on to sign recording contracts with major labels. Additionally, many other winners have signed publishing deals, licensing deals, and more. ISC gives a winning artist a leg up and a push forward. It is yet another accomplishment that can help to propel an artist's career forward.
3) Your list of judges is impressive. How do you get them involved ?
The judging committee is by invitation from ISC. The first year ISC was created, we got lucky in that I knew a lot of industry people, so I was able to get some very prestigious judges from the onset. Each year as ISC became better established, it got easier, and more artists wanted to participate. The quality of the judges is what ISC is known for and sets ISC apart from other songwriting competitions.
4) Any specific tips an artist should follow to get a better chance of winning ?
Just write and enter great songs (which isn't as easy as it seems, right?). The goal of ISC is to finds great songs, so that's how you have the best chance of winning.
5) Many industry observers often warn songwriters and musicians that some competitions can be scammy. How can an artist differentiate the legit contests and the frauds?
This is a great question. As a potential entrant, you should definitely do your research. I suggest choosing competitions that have a high level of transparency. For example, do they have a phone number on their website? Do they have a physical address? Do they tell you specifically who their judges are, how many entries they receive, and what their prizes are? If the answer is "no" to any of these questions, then you should look elsewhere. ISC takes pride in being fully transparent and, as a result, has a great reputation for being legitimate.
Thanks Candace. As an interesting side-note, our primary contact at ISC was the lovely Christina Reckard, who definitely has one of the most colourful Bandzoogle websites I've ever seen. Lovely!
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