AFA Education
Song Writing Competition
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Rules, Entry & Judging

We want all young people to succeed no matter what their background, challenge or circumstances

Music Changing Lives

This competition is open to all 11-19 year olds permanently resident in the UK.

How it works

Competition Rules

You must be between the ages of 11-19 at time of competition entry and it must be your own work, not that of a parent, teacher, friend etc. We want to see original music composition and lyrics. The song may be written and performed by an individual or group of young people working together who all have different skills to produce the final result.

You may write the song and ask someone else to perform it for you. Please note that this competition is judging the song writing and music composition and it will be the person/s who write the song and music that are competitors not the singers! This is not a singing competition, although you will want to show your song off at its best by performing it well. The performance may be solo or in any number appropriate to the song; choirs are also welcome.

The song must not sample other musicians’ work, either musically or lyrically. Lyrics with swearing or obscenities will be disqualified, as will those inciting hate or violence; specific religious, spiritual or political views/ teachings may not be promoted to others. That does not mean songs may not have a moral or ethical message, but they must not encourage negative or dangerous behaviours.Moderators will judge this according to the values of the charity and their decision is final.

AFA Education

More about the rules

We welcome all genres of music and our judges will come from a diverse range of experience within the industry. Anything from opera to rap and beyond, we want it all and are excited to see the diversity and breadth of your imagination and talents.

Songs should be approximately 3 minutes in total duration and must be uploaded in an MP3 file along with a photo of participants. There is a short online form to complete when uploading your entry. You may enter as many different songs as you like. The entry fee for each song is £10 which will go directly to the charitable cause of child and teen mental health and wellbeing.

All applicants under the age of 18 will need the full consent of their parents or legal guardians to appear on any live events, promotions and to take part in the grand finale, which will be online. Consent forms will be sent and verified as and when required. This will only apply to the top 10 entries.

We reserve the right to make changes to the rules.

Enter Now

Step 1

All entries will be moderated by the moderation team to ensure they adhere to the rules of the competition. All valid entries go to judging.

NB: please be careful to follow the rules, we don’t want anyone to be disappointed; but in the interests of fairness we cannot put songs through to judging that have not complied with the competition rules.

Step 2

Initial judging will happen in batches of entries going to individual judges for marking; this will happen in stages so that we confirm the top 100 entries that will go through to the quarter finals. As we anticipate a lot of entries, we want to give each one the proper attention it deserves; this will take some weeks to complete.

Step 3

All 100 quarter finalists will be hosted on the website. We will then open votes to the public.The public will be able to text for their favourites. Alongside this the quarter final judging panel will also be agreeing ‘judges’ choices’ – they will be able to select 2 entries to go through to the semi-finals along with the 18 from public votes.

Step 4

Once the semi-finalists have been confirmed the voting page on the website will be updated ready for the next round of voting. At this stage you will only be able to see the top 20 semi-finalists. The next round of public voting begins. Semi-final judges will be agreeing ‘judges’ choices’ – they will be able to select 2 entries to go through to the final along with the top 8 voted for by the public.

Step 5

The top 10 finalists will be invited to attend a live stream results event. Details of the event will be confirmed nearer the time and with all finalists and their families/parents where appropriate. Details for spectators will appear on the website.

The final will be judged by our senior judges and we will announce the winner and two runners up live online!