ELIGIBILITY & GUIDELINES
Who can Participate?
- High School Students from all 50 States, Washington D.C. and U.S. territories are eligible.
- Each Participant can submit one original composition tailored for a musical theater production. The full musical does not need to be written, but the student will be asked to justify the song’s storytelling moment in the larger hypothetical work
- Collaborative entries (duos) are accepted, but both members of the team must meet the age and schooling requirements.
- Entries must be the wholly original work of the entrant(s) and should not infringe on any copyrights or any other rights of third parties.
- The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) advocate for creativity, originality and artistic expression. Any form of plagiarism will lead to disqualification.
- Submissions will undergo a rigorous review process. Feedback will be provided to all participants to foster growth and development.
SUBMISSION PROCESS & TIMELINE
The Songwriting Challenge has a two-part submission process. Draft 1 submissions will acquire feedback only. After receiving responses from industry professionals, students may then revise their submission for the Draft 2 competitive round. Students must submit a Draft 1 entry and incorporate that feedback in Draft 2 in order to be eligible for the Winners Weekend in NYC.
Draft 1 Submission
Key Dates: Open September 07, 2023 | Close January 31, 2023
Once submitted, experts from the musical theatre industry will listen to your song and provide constructive feedback. All songs will be reviewed 4-5x.
Draft 2 Submission
Key Dates: Open February 29, 2024 | Close April 5, 2024
This time, our entire panel of NAMT Members, Educators, Alumni Artists and more will evaluate your song’s potential, originality and overall quality.
Key Dates: June 15-17 for selected Songwriting Challenge winners.
- Draft 1 submissions will receive feedback only. Draft 1 submissions will be eligible to submit a second Draft incorporating feedback.
- Draft 2 submissions will be entered into the competitive round and will be considered for the NYC Winners Weekend & Mentorship prize.
- Students are not required to submit for the Draft 2 Round, but only songs that have been submitted to Draft 1, incorporated feedback, and resubmitted to Draft 2 will be considered for the Winners Weekend.
- Students must have submitted Draft 1 by the posted due dates in order to be eligible to participate in Draft 2.
What’s Not Allowed
- Remixes or covers of existing work.
- New works that sample or include stems/tracks from existing work.
- Songs promoting hate, discrimination or any form of offensive content.