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The Songwriting Prize

Australia’s largest live performance songwriting competition, and first with a mental health focus. Now in its 9th year and bigger than ever!

Entries opened this year from the Friday 1st March to Friday 10th May 2024, the preliminary judging phase was completed on Sunday 26th May and the Top 100 phase has also now concluded.

The theme for this year is ‘Acceptance‘ and it is now time to turn our attention to the Semi Finals!

What is The Songwriting Prize?

For the past 9 years we have hosted The Songwriting Prize, Australia’s largest live music songwriting competition, and the first focused on positive mental health.

We invite songwriters, from all across Australia, to write an original song, or submit an existing one to match our annual theme. The song must have been written, or recorded, within the preceeding 12 months and can be a released or unreleased track. Recording and production quality are not taken into consideration as the judging is done solely on the songwriting.

The Songwriting Prize judges shortlist songs from set geographical groups, in order to find the Top 100 during the preliminary phase of the competition. Then the focus turns to reducing that number to our regional Semi Finalists, who will then perform their song at one of our seven regional Semi Finals.

We hold regional Semi Finals across the country during Jul-Sep, and this year that includes events in Sydney, Perth, Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Melbourne. The artists with the highest judging scores from our regional Semi Finals are then selected to take their place at the Grand Final, to perform their song once again, with one winner taking out the coveted spot of The Songwriting Prize Overall Winner.

Over the years, we have seen thousands of musicians come through The Songwriting Prize. Previous winners include: Tempus Sun (2016, VIC), Seb Mont (2017, VIC), Leonie Kingdom (2018, QLD), Velvet Bloom (2019, VIC), NEAV (2020, NSW), BOI (2021, NSW), Timothy Wolf (2022, VIC) and last year’s winner; Chloe Gill (2023, NSW)

“Pre-diagnosis ADHD me was so lucky you embraced my imposter syndrome that night.”

- Jamie Hall

"Amazing songwriters share amazing songs and where everyone belongs."

- Chole Gill (2023 TSP Winner)

"Amidst the gruelling 2021 lockdowns, the initiative and core values of Listen Up prompted me into an intentional space of healing, which eventually motivated me to write a full EP. The program doesn't rely on a competition focus but offers a beautiful space for community and professional networking. I'm extremely thankful."

- Timothy Wolf (2022 TSP Winner)

"I'd also like to mention how incredibly NOT competition-like these live shows are and how they have always felt like a welcoming opportunity to be vulnerable together when showcasing raw songs and experiences."

- Jaylien

“The Songwriting Prize was the first songwriting competition I ever entered. I got to talk to an incredible group of judges & mentors and establish connections. Seeing so many amazing artists with great songs was so inspiring, and made me want to write and produce more.”

- Chelsea Warner

The Prize Pool

This year’s prize pool is our BIGGEST to date and this is what’s up for grabs:

If you secure a Semi Final spot, you will win:
– Mental health music training, courtesy of Listen Up Music.

If you place 3rd, at any of the Semi Finals, you will win:
– S220BTs Wireless Headphones, courtesy of Audio Technica.
+ all prizes from the Semi Finalists stage.

If you secure a Grand Final spot, by placing 2nd at any Semi Final, you will win:
– a Creator Pack Pro, courtesy of Audio Technica.
– a MiniLab 3 25 note white keyboard, courtesy of ARTURIA.
– Individual website feature profile, courtesy of Noisegate.
– Mental health music training, courtesy of Listen Up Music.

If you secure a Grand Final spot, by placing 1st at any Semi Final, you will win:
– a pair of LIVE 770 headphones or Quantum Stream content mic, courtesy of JBL.
+ all prizes from the Grand Finalists (Semi Final Runners Up) stage.

If you place 3rd, at the Grand Final, you will win:
– a $200 online voucher, courtesy of DJ Warehouse.
– a $100 online voucher, courtesy of Mannys Music.
– a 12-month Vampr Pro subscription, courtesy of Vampr.
+ all prizes from the Grand Finalists (Semi Final Winner and Runners Up) stage.

If you place 2nd, at the Grand Final, you will win:
– a $300 online voucher, courtesy of DJ Warehouse.

– a $200 online voucher, courtesy of Mannys Music.
– music lesson vouchers, courtesy of Stormer Music.
– a prize from their new range, courtesy of JBL.
– a paid Spotlight Series gig, courtesy of Listen Up Music.
– an interview on the Pick-Me-Up Podcast, courtesy of Listen Up Music.
+ all prizes from the Third Place and Grand Finalists stages.
* NB does not include lower denomination Mannys Music/DJ Warehouse vouchers.


If you place 1st, at the Grand Final, you will win:
– a top-of-the-range guitar, or digital piano, courtesy of Stormer Music.
– a $500 online voucher, courtesy of Mannys Music.
– a $500 online voucher, courtesy of DJ Warehouse.
– a Soundburger portable Bluetooth turntable, courtesy of Audio Technica.

– BTS video recording, courtesy of Dreamscape Creative Agency.
– a photoshoot package, courtesy of Spaghetti Wolf Studios.
– custom t-shirts + free shipping, courtesy of The Soundhive / Silk + Squeeg.
– an Accelerator package, courtesy of RSOM.
+ all prizes from the Runner Up, Third Place and Grand Finalists stages.
* NB does not include lower denomination Mannys Music voucher, DJ Warehouse voucher and Stormer Music music lesson vouchers.

The Songwriting Prize 2024
Semi Finalists

The Top 100 judging has taken place and The Songwriting Prize 2024 Semi Finalists can now be revealed!
Your 2024 Semi Finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Alana Wilkinson – Square One
Alanna Vullo – I Met A Girl Once
Alexia Parenzee – Blue
Alice Benfer – Widgee Widgee Station
Alicia Verso – Lola
Angela Rose – Late Bloomer
Angus Robb – Love Wins
Anya Alchemy – Big Girls
Arion Fickel – Heart In Your Teeth
Ash Morse – Night of the Darkest
Asha – Lying When I Said
Athena Joy – My Way
Austin Mackay – The Way Life Goes
Ava Charlotte – Hellfire
Ava Martina – Admit It To Myself
Axe & the Ivory – When I Was A Shelter
Brandon Poletti – Move Away
Brittanie Shipway – Lose It All
Brook St – Chase The Night
Buttered – Lucid
Caysi – dirt
Cooper Lower – The Bar
Danella – Somedays
Dave Wells – Wandering Boy
Dela Cruz – Indestructible
Demi Casha – The River
Eliza Dickson – Life is Not a Breeze
Ella Hartwig – Backup
ELSKA – Flashback
Emerauld – My Worth
Emma Whybrow – Maybe Sometimes
Ezy Konbini – Fair Fight (feat. Artifice, the Visionary)
Georgia Renee – I Can Fly
Georgie Winchester – bird bones
GOLDHEIST – Love Doesn’t Care
Human Dinosaur Machine – Paradise
Isy Cappo – No More
Jade Steg – Almost Touching
January Choir – Never Coming Home
JESA – Fighting With A Mirror

Jessica Luxx – Alone
Jofi – Growing Up
JT Brolin – Fool
Kate Neville – Cupid’s A Myth
Kiera Jas – Thoughts
Lazuline – Sheet Ghost
Li Laurent – Fragile Glass
Lili-Violet – Charlotte
Lily Jones – Dear Little Me
Lisa Jane Spencer – Saying Goodbye
Maddison Kate – Used To Be
Mama K Music – Tailor Made
Mareya – Ugly
Martha Chess Phelps – Run With It
Matilda Duncan – 10 Seconds
MAY’D – Erased
Neish – Bury Me
Olivia Coggan – Days Go By
Ollie Howlett – Flowers
Paige Barnard – Warrior Queen
Parallax, Jamie Hall – Expectation
Parker – Sofa Bed
Phoebe Purtill – What If It Rains?
Prudns – Rectify
Rae Leigh – Living for Today
Rob Edwards – Searching
Safety First – That’s What You’re Like
Sandy Louise – Take It As It Comes
Saralyn – Far From Perfect
Sgt. Hulka – Feelin’ Fine
Sidney Rex – Homeward Bound
Simon O’Hagan – Oh Well
Stacey Ann – Daughter
Sun Affair – Weekend’s Promise (feat. Liam Gray)
Taylah – No Rainbows
THENEAR – Masquerade
Tig – Arrival
Tom Harrison – Buffalo
Younique – Conscience
Your Embrace – Irreversible Damage

The Songwriting Prize 2024
Semi Finals

This year’s regional Semi Finals, taking place in Sydney, Perth, Newcastle, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Melbourne take place between 26th Jul-13th Sep. This year’s Semi Finalists will take to the stage to perform their entry, and tell the story behind the song, responding to this year’s theme of “Acceptance”.

Tickets are available, for all shows, in the following four categories:

  • MEMBERSHIP – All current Listen Up Music members will be sent a code that entitles them to $15 tickets (a saving of 40% on door prices). Valid until the day of each Semi Final event. If you are not currently a member of Listen Up Music, but become one, you will also be entitled to tickets at this price as well as a range of other benefits.
  • EARLY BIRD – From 17th Jun, up until two weeks before each event takes place, you can get early bird tickets for $17.50 + bf (a saving of 30%). Use the code EARLYBIRD175 to access discounted tickets.
  • GENERAL ADMISSION – For the final two weeks of online sales, General Admission prices apply, with all tickets available for $20.
  • DOOR – Finally, for any events that are not sold out, tickets will be available on the door for $25.

Ticket links are below for seven incredible events that will showcase some of Australia’s best songwriters.

Perth Semi Final – Fri 2nd Aug
Clancy’s Fish Pub

Alexia Parenzee
Ava Charlotte
Brandon Poletti
Kiera Jas
Mama K Music
Sgt. Hulka
Stacey Ann

Newcastle Semi Final – Fri 9th Aug
The Stag & Hunter Hotel

Angela Rose
Austin Mackay
Dave Wells
Georgie Winchester
January Choir
Li Laurent
Sandy Louise

Brisbane Semi Final – Fri 16th Aug
It’s Still A Secret

Alice Benfer
Athena Joy
Brook St
Demi Casha
Georgia Renee
Maddison Kate
Phoebe Purtill
Tom Harrison
Your Embrace

Gold Coast Semi Final – Wed 21st Aug
Mo’s Desert Clubhouse

Arion Fickel
Ella Hartwig
Human Dinosaur Machine
Lisa Jane Spencer
Matilda Duncan
Rae Leigh

Sydney Semi Final – Fri 23rd Aug
The Burdekin Hotel

Alanna Vullo
Ash Morse
Ava Martina
Brittanie Shipway
Isy Cappo
Jade Steg
JT Brolin
Martha Chess Phelps
Olivia Coggan
Safety First
Simon O’Hagan
Sun Affair

Adelaide Semi Final – Sat 31st Aug
Rhino Room

Alana Wilkinson
Axe & the Ivory
Eliza Dickson
Emma Whybrow
Jessica Luxx
Kate Neville
Rob Edwards
Sidney Rex



Melbourne Semi Final – Fri 13th Sep
The Toff

Alicia Verso
Angus Robb
Anya Alchemy
Cooper Lower
Dela Cruz
Ezy Konbini
Lily Jones
Ollie Howlett
Paige Barnard

For Music Fans

After the preliminary round is completed each year, we invite you to attend one of our regional Semi Finals across various locations in Australia, and also to our Grand Final, to show your support for emerging artists performing at their most vulnerable.

The events will feature each shortlisted song, being performed live by the songwriter or another musician. Our events have been described as “supportive”, “spell-binding” and “healing”. Be prepared for a night of community building, togetherness and incredible music.

Where words fail, music speaks. -Hans Christian Andersen