Competition rules

Quick Updates:

  • there are separate sections for Bush Ballad and Traditional Songs (see definitions below) 

  • the only restrictions on commercial release exist for NOVICE section.

  • there are time and qualification restrictions for APRA AMCOS TSA New Songwriter of the Year Award.

  • the ANZAC section has been changed to be a section called “Local Heroes”  (see definition below)                                    

 BEFORE ENTERING – Please follow conditions below: 

  1. A Song is defined as a combination of Lyrics and Melody (music) therefore this competition is NOT open to instrumental entries
  2. Songs must be oriented to Australian Country life, scenery, subject material and attitude. This can include romantic interest and city comparison but not songs with only a city setting/context.
  3. Multiple entries of songs only apply to LOCAL HEROES, YOUTH and APRA/AMCOS/TSA NEW SONGWRITER sections. IE IF you qualify as a Youth writer and you have a commercial release you can enter the New Songwriter with the same song as what you entered in Youth if, you also qualify as a New Songwriter. Songs entered in any category can be entered again in Local Heroes section (if applicable to the Local Heroes section). Songwriters that qualify as New Songwriters and enter songs in New Songwriter can enter those songs again in any section if applicable but NOT Novice and not Youth if the writer is over 18.
  4. Do not enter the lyrics of a song in the Lyrics Only section where those song lyrics belong to a song that has been entered in any other section. This applies to all and every section ie no double entries for Lyrics Only.
  5. All entries for any section must be written by an Australian and/or New Zealand resident. If there is a co-writer, the co-writer/s must also be Australian or New Zealand resident. Resident also means that each member of the songwriting team is alive at the date of entry.  
  6. Songs maybe recorded outside Australia and may include backing musicians/vocalists from outside Australia. The competitions are about songwriting not the production or recording.  
  7. There is no judges feedback for these Awards.
  8. The songs must be submitted by MP3 (128kbps) via the online entry platform www.tsa.songcentral.biz . All entries to this competition will be via online. TSA members ONLY may post entries by prior arrangement with TSA Song competition co-ordinator Judy Smith.0408601246.
  9. The judge’s decision is final and the TSA will not enter into any discussion regarding the results in any competition. In entering any TSA contest the entrant is deemed to have read and understood these conditions and agrees by entering the competition that the conditions of entry of the competition are acceptable.
  10. The TSA cannot be held responsible for any perceived digression or non-compliance in any matter.
  11. Offensive material, or songs containing language considered by the judges to be not in keeping with general acceptable language standards, i.e. containing swearing and foul language will not score well in the competition so don’t waste your entry fee.
  12. All winning songs except APRA AMCOS /TSA New Songwriters of the Year Award ($1000) will receive a cash payment of $200. The writers of the winning song will also receive a Trophy. Up to three trophies only will be presented for a winning song. Additional trophies may be ordered from TSA at cost. The awards will be presented in January at the TSA Concert and Awards show. Finalists will be notified and if not attending the awards, should pre-arrange for the transport of trophies from Tamworth of their Awards at their own cost, should they become winners, or arrange to have trophies received by their representatives at the Awards. Any Finalists who is not able to attend the awards must nominate a person to represent them at the Awards should they be successful. Email tamsongwriters@gmail.com  CC  tamworthsongwritersassociation@gmail.com.
  13. Cover versions of others work will NOT be accepted. Use of poems or lyrics written by others not of your nominated songwriting team, re-arrangements or re-working of songs written by others not of your songwriting team will NOT be accepted; this is a Songwriting Contest for original material only, both in lyrics and music. Note rule (5) also.
  14. Any song not accepted or declared ineligible will not generate a refund to the entrant.
  15. A previous winning song cannot be entered again in any section.

Additional rules:

Songs entered on behalf of others: Apart from Entries received from original writers, entries will be accepted from appointed agents/representatives of original writers and/or publishers of the original writer. Note that all conditions (a-p) are applicable in this case.

Judging: All entries will be judged by various panels selected by the TSA from the music industry. A panel of three judges shall be involved in the judging process.  Each member of the panel shall score the song on an overall basis. Semi-finalists will be judged again by a different panel to determine the finalists and the eventual winner.

How to enter and Fees: Entrants are responsible for the allocation of a song to a particular section. There will be no re-allocations of songs after entries have closed. Each song is judged as applicable to the section entered. Entry fees are $15/song for members of the TSA and $25/song for non -members of the TSA.  Do not add for GST. You MUST join the TSA before you enter songs if you wish to enter as a member. Go to www.tsaonline.com.au to join and allow 3 days for your membership to be processed, please pay by credit card. You cannot join and enter songs at the same time on the Songcentral entry platform.

SECTIONS: note, “open section” means that the song can be either recorded, released published or not.

  • NOVICE – restricted section, only unreleased material from a writer/team of which all the members have never won a songwriting contest and are not released/published writers.
  • YOUTH – John P Toomey Commemorative Award- restricted section, for under 18 U18 as at close of competition date.
  • LYRICS ONLY- restricted section, lyrics cannot be lifted from a completed song, whether released or not.
  • BUSH BALLAD – Bev Daniel Commemorative Award- open section
  • TRADITIONAL COUNTRY SONG- open section
  • BLUEGRASS – open section
  • GOSPEL/SPIRITUAL – open section
  • COUNTRY ROCK – open section
  • COUNTRY BALLAD – open section
  • COUNTRY BLUES –open section
  • ALT COUNTRY – open section
  • COMEDY /NOVELTY- The Geoff Mack Commemorative Award-open section
  • LOCAL HEROES – open section (see definition below). 
  • APRA AMCOS/ TSA NEW SONGWRITER of the YEAR- date restricted section AND song MUST be commercially available/released. Eligible entrants and each member of the songwriting team, if a team is involved, MUST have had their first commercial release within 5 years before the close of this competition IE Not before 1st October 2015 and no member of the team has won a songwriting contest with a commercially released song. Any Song entered MUST have been commercially released after 1st October 2019. The new Songwriter of The Year Award for a song writer (team or individual) is to recognise and promote new talent in Australian Country Music. There is a cash prize of $1000.00 for the song.  This award is for original material being both Lyric and Melody.                        

Some Definitions

Bush Ballad: A song with simple chord pattern or musical arrangement sometimes with no chorus or bridge. There must be a story, rural/outback based. The lyric is foremost to the music.  Instruments are usually acoustic, think “campfire”. Examples Slim Dusty “Leave him in the Longyard”  “Laughter in the Hills”, “Fire of Gidgee Coals”

Traditional Country Song:  A Traditional Country Song has lyrics which tells a story, the arrangement complimenting the delivery and more musically developed than Bush Ballad. The story again rural based and possibly with a more modern setting. Examples, Sara Storer “Beautiful Circle, Adam Harvey “A Shake of the Hand” John Williamson “Chandelier of Stars”

Local Heroes:  this new section is for writers whose subject is either an individual, or a group ie stockman, doctor, paramedic, police, fire fighter/s, soldier/s,Lifesaver/s, volunteer or citizen who the writer feels could be honoured with a song. This section replaces the previous ANZAC section. The TSA will continue to support Legacy by donating half the entry fees for this section to Legacy.

Commercially Released: means that the song is recorded and a copy of that recording is available for purchase through any medium including private sale.  Entrants may be asked to provide information to this effect.

 

Additional Notes

Country Song of The Year: There is an award for Country Song of the Year. The song will be selected from the winners of all the sections and will be selected by a special panel based. The award will be a separate presentation on the night.

Songs entered on behalf of others: Apart from Entries received from original writers, entries will be accepted from appointed agents/representatives of original writers and/or publishers of the original writer. Note that all conditions (1-17) are applicable in this case.

Judging

All entries will be judged by various panels selected by the TSA from the music industry. A panel of three judges shall be involved in the judging process. Each member of the panel shall score the song on an overall basis. Semi finalists will be judged again by a different panel to determine the finalists and the eventual winners.

Prizes

All winning songs (except LOCAL HEROES – $200 and APRA AMCOS /TSA New Songwriters of the Year Award – $1000) will receive a cash payment of $200. The writers of the winning song will also receive a Trophy (see rule 14 above).