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Who can Participate?

  • High School Students from all 50 States, Washington D.C. and U.S. territories are eligible.


Entry Requirements

  • 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.


General Guidelines

  • 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.



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

Receive Feedback

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

Competitive Evaluation

This time, our entire panel of NAMT Members, Educators, Alumni Artists and more will evaluate your song’s potential, originality and overall quality.

Winners Weekend

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.


We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.