Five opportunities for songwriters in May and June 2024

From The Oram Awards 2024 to a new hub for young creatives at the Roundhouse, don't miss out on these transformative openings.

Rhys Buchanan
  • By Rhys Buchanan
  • 30 Apr 2024
  • min read

It’s no secret that the UK music industry truly comes alive in the summer. With warmer weather (in theory, anyway) and festival season right around the corner, music creators can be forgiven for having an extra spring in their step at this time of year. Even more so when you consider that, alongside an action-packed calendar to get excited about, there’s a wealth of new opportunities on the horizon for songwriters of all levels to elevate their game.

From the latest PRS Foundation funding to a number of talent development initiatives, there’s no shortage of openings in the coming months that could help take your songwriting to the next level. We’ve selected five key songwriting opportunities in May and June that are well worth investigating.

Join the Roundhouse’s Creative Studios membership scheme

Gaining access to a nurturing creative space can be a vital launchpad for an emerging songwriter. Camden’s acclaimed music and arts venue the Roundhouse, an institution that’s long championed young creatives, are now offering just that: a chance to use their state-of-the-art creative studios on a membership basis for just £25 per year.

This opportunity is open to music creators aged between 13-25, providing full access to facilities including DJ rooms, rehearsal rooms, studio spaces and media labs. Roundhouse say they’re encouraging their members to use these spaces to finesse their sounds, styles and techniques to help the next generation of writers blaze their own trail.

The space will also act as a hub for interaction and collaboration with other studio members, providing networking opportunities in a diverse, energetic and talented community. Rooms are also available to book on an ad-hoc basis for just £1 per hour. You can find out more and book a space here.

Apply for The Oram Awards 2024

Celebrating the legacy of the pioneering British composer Daphne Oram, The Oram Awards has established itself in the past decade as a platform for championing innovation in sound, music and related technologies while also elevating the work and voices of women, trans, non-binary and gender expansive music creators.

Applications for the UK Category at The Oram Awards 2024 are now open until 4 June. Interested individual music creators who meet the above criteria must also have a proven track record of creating high-quality original new music and sound, and be able to showcase an ability to innovate in sound, music and associated technologies.

Award winners will receive a development bursary and gain access to The Oram Awards Mentoring Program. Full guidelines can be found here along with the application details.

Attend IMSTA FESTA London

Given the ever-changing landscape of the music industry, it’s crucial for songwriters to keep up to speed with all of the latest developments in the sector. Supporting writers and artists across the board, IMSTA (International Music Software Trade Association) will be hosting an action-packed celebration of music technology in London on 1 June. 

The all-day event is free to attend and includes educational panels (including sessions on rights, income streams and technical skills), workshops, masterclasses, song critiques, demonstrations and much more. It will also provide a platform for music-makers and like-minded creatives to network, interact and learn with each other face-to-face.

There will also be a keynote speech from multi-platinum-selling, GRAMMY-nominated producer Jake Gosling, who is best known for his work with Ed Sheeran and Paloma Faith. The event is open to all in the music-making community, and you can register to attend here. 

Apply for the latest PRS Foundation funding

As ever, there’s a wide array of PRS Foundation funding opportunities on offer that are designed to help songwriters from all backgrounds get ahead of the game. Some key dates for the diary in the coming months include the returning Resonate fund, which opens on 13 May, and the latest round of the Momentum Music Fund which closes on 20 May.

Resonate encourages professional orchestras to programme the best pieces of British music from the past 25 years into their repertoire. Grants of up to £10,000 will be made available to orchestras who are committed to exploring contemporary UK repertoire as part of a season, tour or longer-term programme. In addition to this, national broadcasting opportunities will also be on offer thanks to PRSF's partnership with BBC Radio 3.

The PPL Momentum Music Fund, meanwhile, is currently offering a range of financial grants (between £5,000-£15,000) to UK-based artists. The funding can be used for a multitude of next career steps, including recording, touring and marketing costs, and could well prove to be a crucial career tipping point. The star-studded list of former Momentum recipients include Little Simz, Sam Fender and Shygirl.

Apply for the Saffron Records x Downtown Bursary Scheme

Armed with a mission statement of advancing gender equality in the music tech sector via safe spaces for women, non-binary people and other minorities, Saffron is a community-driven organisation that strives to inhabit traditionally male-dominated spaces.

In partnership with Downtown Music Holdings, 50 funded subscriptions to their digital community, the Saffron Members Club, are currently available to apply for. Centring around an online community platform and a series of monthly workshops, the club currently comprises more than 300 members worldwide and offers year-round tools and opportunities for members to connect, learn and grow in music tech.

Applications are open to all women, trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming people, though you must be over the age of 18 and come from a position of financial hardship to apply. Further information and the application portal can be found here.