International Songwriting Competition

A Unique Opportunity For Aspiring Songwriters

[Editor's Note: The International Songwriting Competition has extended its deadline for submissions to October 30, 2004. This article was originally published with a deadline date of October 15.]

Do you think you have what it takes to go up against songwriters from throughout the world? Are you ready to be judged by a panel of top-notch music industry representatives and artists? Then hurry up and get your best tunes together, because the submission deadline for the 2004 International Songwriting Competition deadline is October 30.

"All of our finalists' songs are sent to industry professionals, so it gives the artists the opportunity to be heard by hard-to-reach industry professionals," said June Koh, one of ISC's contest organizers.

Artists this year can reach out to a judge's panel which includes: Sean "P. Diddy" Combs; Universal Records President Monte Lipman; Aaron Lewis of Staind; John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting; Bo Diddley; Clint Black; David Hidalgo of Los Lobos; Branford Marsalis; Darryl McDaniels of Run D.M.C.; Peter Furler of the Newsboys; Taj Mahal; Sully Erna of Godsmack; Macy Gray; Stacey Earle; Scott Kirkland of the Crystal Method; Michael Gudinski, Chairman of the Mushroom Group of Companies; Wind-Up Records CEO Alan Meltzer; Tara Griggs-Magee, executive vice-president of gospel/urban music at Sony Records; ATO Records President Michael McDonald; Tracy Gershon, senior director of A&R/Artist Development at Sony Records Nashville; Chris Parr, vice-president of Music Programming and Talent Relations at CMT; Sanctuary Artist Management Co-President Peter Asher; Lava Records Vice-President of A & R Kim Stephens; Barbara Sedun, vice-president of Creative, EMI Music Publishing Canada and Leib Ostrow, CEO of Music for Little People.

Over $100,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to 50 winners; including $10,000 in cash and $30,000 in merchandise and services to the contest's overall grand prize winner.

Winning submissions will appear on a compilation CD which will be distributed to industry reps.

"ISC also does a lot of promotion for our winners, including a compilation CD that is requested by A&R and publishers," Koh said. "Over the last two years, we've had about 500 requests for our comp CD from A&R, publishers, film and TV music supervisors. We also send out [over 5,000] press releases promoting our winners and finalists."

Even the losers benefit from the contest, because the songs of all 120 finalists are sent to the judges who participate, she said.

Entry forms can be downloaded at - where song submissions can also be uploaded. Entries are accepted either through the mail or on-line. Mailed entries must be postmarked on or before October 15 and online submissions must be made by 11:59 p.m. EST, October 15, 2004. Mailed submissions can be sent to: International Songwriting Competition, 211 Seventh Avenue North, Suite LL-20, Nashville, TN 37219.

ISC hopes to announce the winners in March or April of 2005, Koh said. When the results are available, all entrants will receive notification through e-mail. Results will also be posted on ISC's website.

"All entries are screened and listened to by the ISC staff," Koh said. "About 120 finalists are selected and their songs are sent on to the judges. The judges return the score sheets to us and we tally the scores up, to determine the winners for each category."

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Josh Davidson

Josh Davidson has written music feature articles for Jersey Style and served as the Jersey Shore rock columnist for Steppin' Out Magazine. Other music writing credits include Aquarian Weekly, Jersey Beat, Backstreets and He has written free-lance for the Asbury Park Press' Community Sports section and has written featured articles for its news section, as well as covering campus news and sports weekly for the Signal, the College of New Jersey's (formerly Trenton State College) student newspaper. He has worked as a staff writer for The Independent, and his work for Greater Media Newspapers has also been published in the News Transcript. He is a former beat reporter for the Ocean County Observer who presently is a news writer for Symbolic Systems Inc. supporting the US Army's Knowledge Center. His music writing covers a vast range of topics, from the current cover band craze, highs and lows of the original scene, to the early days of the Jersey Shore rock scene in Asbury Park. He is also a musician, having written hundreds of songs as a singer/songwriter, and playing them out as a solo/acoustic artist. He has also played with cover bands, including It Doesn't Matter, and several original bands, including as the guitarist for the solo project of singer/songwriter Dave Eric. He continues to work on solo material and is presently the guitar player for Jersey Breeze.