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[Although this page is about a contest that has ended by now (deadline November 2006), soon (maybe it's up already?) the ISC site will be giving info about next year's contest. If what you read here interests you, check there before it gets to be the last minute again.]

Everybody wants to have their song listened to by influential people, or artists that they admire. Okay, so put a little money where your mouth (or maybe just your mind) is: get your most promising song on disc or tape and submit it to the International Songwriting Competition (ISC).

Lots of songwriting contests nationally have some pretty dubious criteria for the selection of judges, but the ISC is a star-studded affair, both on the business and the artistic side. Consider these names, and picture them hearing your song: Jerry Lee Lewis, Robert Smith (The Cure), Brian Wilson, Tom Waits, Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse), Amy Ray (Indigo Girls), MercyMe, John Mayall, Macy Gray, Charlie Walk (President, Epic Records), and Monte Lipman (President, Universal Records). Those are just some of the judges this year.

(Hang on, did you say Brian Wilson and Tom Waits are gonna hear my song?)

The ISC competition is one of the largest in the world, they received more than 15,000 entries from 82 countries last year. In addition to the Rock category, ISC offers 17 other categories, including: Jazz, Americana, Dance/Electronica, Country, World Music, Pop, Folk/Singer-songwriter, etc. Over $150,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded to 56 winners.

The submission deadline for this year is November 17, 2006. You already have the song, that's plenty of time. (And if you're seeing this after the deadline, you might want to start thinking about next year's contest.) Find out more about it at songwritingcompetition.com.

                                                  --NY TIMES

Check out mp3s of last year's winners here.

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[The photographs on this page came to us from the online world of keyboardist/composer Dana Countryman. There isn't, as far as we know, any direct connection between the inimitable Mr. Countryman and the ISC--we just dug his photos and thought they could represent songwriters everywhere. Many unusual pleasures await you at his site, go see & hear for yourself. Dana's new CD is just out, a collaboration with Jean-Jacques Perrey called The Happy Electropop Music Machine, and it's available at iTunes & here.]

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