Ivors Academy Songwriting Camp

Five opportunities for songwriters in March and April 2024

From the return of the Young Songwriter Competition to The Ivors Academy's newly launched Songwriting Camp.

Rhys Buchanan
  • By Rhys Buchanan
  • 4 Mar 2024
  • min read

As we hurtle into spring, the music industry is well and truly beginning to warm up for the year. With a busy festival season just around the corner and show announcements coming thick and fast, there's also a growing number of opportunities for songwriters of all levels to explore.

From the return of the Young Songwriter Competition to the next rounds of funding from PRS Foundation's Hitmaker and Composer funds, we’ve hand-picked five unmissable openings to help elevate your career and take your songwriting to the next level.

Enter the Young Songwriter Competition 2024

Aimed at songwriters who are at the very start of their creative journey — entries from aspiring writers and complete beginners alike are being encouraged — the competition, now in its fourteenth year, provides young creators with the opportunity to get their music heard by leading industry professionals and join an international pool of like-minded emerging songwriters.

Among the prizes which will be awarded to songwriters between the ages of 8 and 22 are top recording equipment (such as Focusrite and Shure) and broadcast opportunities with Amazing Radio. As the competition is for writers who are taking their first steps in music, judging criteria will be purely based on originality, lyrics, melody, composition and hit-making potential.

To enter, all you need to do is submit an MP3 audio recording of your song (it can be any genre) along with the lyrics. Entries will remain open until 31 March, and you can find the full application criteria here.

Explore PRS Foundation funding

As ever, PRS Foundation has a busy calendar of funding opportunities for songwriters of all levels lined up for 2024. Shining a light on behind-the-scenes talent, their Hitmaker Fund is a career development initiative for songwriters and producers working in popular music genres to help further develop their careers in songwriting and/or production. Grants of between £5,000–£10,000 will be available to apply for when the latest round of Hitmaker funding opens on 18 March.

Already accepting applications is the foundation's Composers’ Fund, which closes on 2 April. Aimed at composers with a strong track record 'who are already making a significant cultural contribution in the UK and have the potential for greater impact in the UK and overseas', grant funding of between £8,000-£15,000 is available to apply for. The Composers' Fund has already helped past recipients cover their promotional costs, international development residencies and even childcare expenses.

Be part of The Ivors Academy's first-ever Songwriting Camp

In partnership with YouTube Music, The Ivors Academy are inviting music creators to join their first ever exclusive songwriting camp from 9-10 April. Taking place at Qube East in London, this two-day event will be a forum for music-making, creative collaboration and networking among fellow music professionals. Industry veterans including Jin Jin and Fiona Bevan will also be in attendance to mentor and coach over the two-day period.

12 spots are up for grabs, and you can apply now until Friday (8 March). Applications are open to all songwriters, producers and artists who write their own music, and the shortlisting process will be driven by members of the Ivors Academy Songwriting Council.

Speaking about the opportunity, Ivors Academy Chair Tom Gray said: 'It’s a thrill to launch this new moment for songwriters to develop their craft, connect with their peers, learn from established names and write some incredible music.'

Apply for subsidised hearing protection from the Musicians' Union

As a musician, it's imperative you protect your hearing at every stage of your career. Musicians’ Hearing Services (MHS), who have worked with a host of well-known bands and DJs as well as The Royal Opera House, are keenly aware of this fact, having operated a number of clinics for musicians across the UK for the past 25 years.

MHS have now partnered with the Musicians' Union (MU) to launch the Musicians’ Hearing Health Scheme, offering cutting-edge hearing protection for the MU's student members. 50 spaces are available on this scheme, which will permit members access to an audiological assessment from a hearing specialist, a set of custom-made ACS Pro Series plugs worth £149, expert advice and aftercare for only £37.50.

Become a POWER UP Participant

POWER UP has rapidly become a vital resource for Black music creators, industry professionals and executives since its inception four years ago. A long-term initiative that unites various sectors of the music industry, the programme aims to tear down barriers within the music industry by addressing anti-Black racism and racial disparities.

With grants of up to £15,000 on offer as well as vital mentoring support, it’s no wonder that POWER UP is already brimming with success stories from its Participant Programme. Spanning a multitude of genres and writing styles, past participants include the Mercury Prize-nominated guitar superstars Nova Twins, rising rapper Bemz (who has gone on to grace stages at Reading & Leeds) and alt-soul singer August Charles, who has since received glowing critical acclaim.

Speaking about the importance of POWER UP, founder Ben Wynter explained: 'There’s a million stories, there’s so much that’s happening in this business, some of it is very subtle and then there’s in your face blatant things that happen and many different injustices. Now is the time to talk about these things and say, "Why is this happening? How do we fix it and how do we move forward in a positive way?"'

Applications for Year 4 of POWER UP's Participant Programme are open now, and you can find out more information here.