How To Enter a Lyric Writing Competition

If you’re fond of writing music and you’re dreaming of becoming a famous musician someday, here’s a word of advice: invest your time and effort in joining song writing contests. Remember: your ticket to becoming a famous lyricist – or at least towards earning solid money from something you love to do – is to get yourself noticed. Here are some of the guidelines to remember if you want to enter a lyric writing competition, and increase your chances of winning too:

  • Have the right attitude. First of all, remember that you won’t win each and every contest you join. The thing about music is that everybody has their own tastes and opinions, including the judges of the contest, and that their decisions are quite subjective. Just think of every contest you join as an opportunity to further hone your craft and to give you pressure – good pressure – to excel.
  • Hunt for reputable competitions. Here’s a rule of thumb: if you ever win the competition, would you be proud to add this distinction to your resume? Be in the company of like-minded, aspiring musicians and find out which contests are the most reputable in your circles. Apart from the competition being reputable, there’s another criteria you should look for (see the next tip).
  • Choose small, local contests first. Simply put, the larger the scope of the contest, the harder it will be to cut it to the finals, let alone win the grand prize. Be on the lookout for local contests. And remember: not all contests are widely advertised, and that’s why it definitely pays to be with the right people so you’d get the inside info on the most worth-your-time contests.
  • Be very careful about following guidelines. It doesn’t matter how genius your composition is. The long and short of it is that if it doesn’t follow the guidelines of the contest, then the contest judges won’t even look at it at all. Make sure that you follow all rules to the letter: the length of your composition, the musical genre, the topic (if there is a particular one specified), etc, etc.
  • Collaborate. If you’re just starting out, you might want to collaborate with some more experienced lyricists first. This is working within the principle of scaffolding, where you’d get to up your own know-how by becoming the protégé of somebody you can truly learn from. Not only will you hone your talents in creating lyrics, you’d get to know the ins-and-outs of entering contests within your industry, as well.
  • Protect your work. Remember the tip about joining reputable contests only? Well, this is also to protect your work: there might be some seedy contests where you never hear from the coordinators, and then you just hear your lyrics being used without your permission! Avoid this by joining reputable, established contests, and by protecting your work through copyright ownership.

There you have it! These are just some of the most rockin’ tips to remember if you want to enter a lyric writing competition. Remember, when joining contests like this talent is just one part of the equation: know-how is another essential part of it. Good luck, and hope this helped!


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