5th Annual Williamsburg Live Songwriter Competition

Posted by:  JezebelMusic.com  | 


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The 5th Annual Williamsburg Live Songwriter Competition (WLSC2008) is both a songwriting and live event competition that began in 2003. The first prize is $4,000 and all finalists will be featured in a compilation CD to be released by JezebelMusic.com, a New York-based music talent and promotion company.

150 contestants will be chosen to play in the Live Competition that will occur in New York City during eight consecutive nights of music at eight different venues: (TBA).

Past winners and contestants include Jaymay, who is signed to Heavenly/Blue Note and Ingrid Michaelson, one of the best-selling unsigned artists ever!

Past judges at the live competition have come from BMI, Atlantic, Columbia, and other notable and independent record labels, journalists, and musicians. This year's judges include:

Van Wilson, 5 Points Records

Marc Emert-Hutner, ASCAP

Jay Levine, Atlantic Records

Ross duPre', BrickWall Management

Jennifer Sellers, Creative Entertainment Group

Peto Gerth, Ryko Music Group (Atlantic)

Jamie Dominguez, SESAC

Ken Rich, Grand Street Recording

Sara Beesley, Joe's Pub at the Public Theater

Jenni Dykeman, Putumayo World Music

Mark Christensen, Engine Room Audio

Paolo De Gregorio, The Deli Magazine

Over 1,000 people will attend the live performances.

Besides all the exposure and potential industry contacts, WLSC awards the following cash prizes:

  • 1st prize: $4,000
  • 2nd prize: $750
  • 3rd prize $250.

The WLSC2008 is open to amateur and professional songwriters who have sold less than 250,000 CD units over the past five years. Entrants must submit one original song, five minutes in length or less. Entrants must be the singer of their own original song both on the submitted recording and for the live competition.

You don't need a professional recording. Entries will be judged on originality, music and melody, composition and lyrics (when applicable).

How it Works

First Round

All recorded entries will be heard by screening juries, 150 entries will be selected to participate in the second round, requiring live performance of the song. Live performances will take place from November 15-22, 2008.

Second Round

The 150 entries making it to the second round will be invited to perform their song at one of a series of music nights at several venues in or near Williamsburg - Sound Fix, Lucky Cat, Spike Hill, Rose Live Music, Matchless and Royal Oak. These will take place November 15-20. You will get three weeks notice of the date and place of your performance. Jezebel Music will try to accommodate requests to reschedule your performance, but cannot guarantee it. Contestants must check in at 7:00pm to their assigned performance venue on the date they are assigned to attend. All contestants must wait until they are called up to play, which could be as little as a 10-minute notice. Contestants who are over 30 minutes late for check-in may be disqualified. From the second round, 18 contestants will be selected to compete in the third round.

Third Round

The 18 entries making it to the third round will be invited to perform their song at Public Assembly in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Friday, November 21. Nine finalists will be selected from the third round to play in the finals.


  • The nine finalists will perform their entered songs and one additional original song at Public Assembly in Brooklyn, NY scheduled for November 22. Finalists who cannot make the final round will receive a finalist certificate but will not be eligible for cash prizes.

  • Winners will be chosen by judging committees comprised of music industry professionals and other qualified persons whose decisions will be final. Songs are judged on originality, lyrics, melody, vocals, composition, and for those who qualify for the second and subsequent rounds, performance. The winners release sponsors from all liability regarding prizes won. Taxes are winnersÂ’ responsibility. Contestants will retain full rights to all work submitted for the competition. Except if you participate in the second, third, or final rounds (live performances), you give Jezebel Music LLC the rights to make video and audio recordings of your performance for its own promotional and commercial purposes, including in a documentary film of the competition and a compilation CD, podcast, or other compilation format, but you keep all publishing and other rights to the song.