National Songwriting Competition Entry Form

Entry guidelines – summary

The 2021 National Songwriting Competition is now closed for entries!

– Entry to the ACMF National Songwriting Competition is Free. However, we strongly urge you to consider donating to the ACMF to enable us to continue our work bringing music education programs to disadvantaged children throughout Australia. Donate Here.

– All entries to be submitted no later than 5pm, Thursday October 7th.

– All musical works entered must have been solely written by school age children (aged 17 or under at 16 September 2021) between Kinder and Grade 12.

– You can enter multiple songs, but an entry form must be completed for each song entered.

– You must have permission from a parent or guardian to enter.

– Recordings must be submitted in MP3 or M4a formats only

– If you enter as a School, your teacher will be the contact person for the entry. 

– If you enter Independently, your parent or guardian will be the contact person for the entry. You can enter as a individual or a group/band in this category.

Full terms and conditions of the competition can be found at

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the National Songwriting Competition (NSC)?

A: The Australian Children’s Music Foundation’s (ACMF) National Songwriting Competition is an initiative to encourage creativity and self-expression through songwriting.

APRA/AMCOS, FGX and Warner Music Australia proudly sponsor this year’s NSC. This is an annual competition for every Primary, Secondary and Specific Purpose School, across Australia. This is the only ACMF initiative that is open to all children and youth throughout Australia.

There are no geographic or socio-economic boundaries.  Now in its 16th year, the competition is divided into grades to provide opportunities for children of all ages, from kindergarten through to Year 12.  Many children enter the competition in consecutive years, with a number of students entering multiple songs and improving their results each year.

Each year high profile songwriters, artists and publishers are involved with the NSC, to endorse and judge the competition.

Q: Who is the Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF)?

A: The Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF) was founded in 2002 by Don Spencer OAM with the vision to use the power of music to inspire and enrich the lives of all Australian children and youth particularly the less advantaged and Indigenous. More than 75% of public schools in Australia do not have the funds to provide a specialised music teacher, therefore, many children and youth are unable to enjoy the many benefits of a music education.

The ACMF passionately believes that no child should be deprived of access to a music education. We believe that this should be a right, not a privilege.

Music is food for the soul and inspires imagination, creativity and brings joy and hope along with other significant social and intellectual benefits. Through music, children and youth can find a way to express their emotions and channel their energies and abilities into something positive and creative. Research has proven that playing a musical instrument has mental health benefits, reduces recidivism, improves engagement with learning, improves literacy and numeracy as well as behaviour and self-esteem.

The ACMF has been working providing free, weekly, long term and sustainable music programs to Indigenous and disadvantaged schools and communities, multi-cultural and isolated schools and Juvenile Justice Centres across Australia. A customised flexible music program is developed in partnership with the schools and juvenile justice centres, based on the specific needs of, and desired outcomes for, the students and includes the permanent donation of instruments to the school or centre.

The ACMF has programs operating in every state.

Q:  What are the important dates to remember… when does the competition open and close?

A:  Entries close: 5pm, Monday September 16th 2021Judging October 2021. Winners Announced:  November 2021. 

Q:  How do I enter the ACMF National Songwriting Competition?

A:  Simply complete and submit the entry form online along with your entry material at

Q:  What are the categories and prizes?

Prizes awarded are in the form of musical equipment or tuition for the winning students. Media and live performance opportunities may exist for the winners too. 

Q:  What is the reason behind the ACMF National Songwriting Competition?  What does it hope to achieve?

A:  All prizes awarded are in the form of musical equipment or tuition for the winning students, strengthening musical ability and giving the tools to continue their musical journey.

The Song Competition encourages Creativity and imagination – Positive self expression – Engagement with learning – Improve literacy levels – Opportunities for talented students

“The process of writing a song takes children on an amazing journey, helping them discover and understand their emotions, to share and express these emotions with clarity to others. Songwriting gives our children the opportunity to share ideas and opinions and makes them stop and contemplate life and their surroundings, cause and effect, find a deeper sense of empathy. Their lyrics give parents and teachers a window into a child’s mind, heart and soul.” ~ Matt Stone, Teacher at Mt Evelyn and Montrose Primary Schools, VIC.]