MLT Songwriting Award

Entry Information +

Overview / Entry Information

Sorry - the MLT Songwriting Award competition has been CANCELLED due to Omicron.

Entries for the 2023 Award open in January 2023.

Songwriters from all over New Zealand, Australia and the US enter their songs in this well established music industry event. Open to all songwriters - music and lyrics of all entries must be deemed original by the judges and all songs must not be commercially released prior to judging. Judged by a panel of four accomplished music industry representatives, Finalists are selected and these songs are performed live at the Awards evening. This event has been the catalyst in bolstering many songwriting careers. 

Winner - $2500
Runner up - $500



1. The MLT Songwriting Award is open to all songwriters. 


2. Music and lyrics of all entries must be deemed original by the judges and all songs entered must not be commercially released prior to judging. 


3. Songs will be judged on content: ie, lyrics, melody, musical movement and structure Entries are limited to 2 songs per songwriter. Please note this includes co-written songs.  


4. (a): All songs entered are to be a solo vocal performance, with the exception of songs written and arranged as a duet. 

4. (b): A duet is defined as a song that lyrically would only make sense if it were sung by two  people from two separate perspectives. 

4. (c): Accompaniment shall be with one instrument only. 

4. (d): If a multiple voice keyboard is used, only ONE voice or patch is allowable with no automatic multi-tracked accompaniment. 


5. (a): Songs may be submitted online, CD or USB. All songs entered can be on the one CD/USB.  

5. (b): CDs or USBs must only contain song/s entered. 


6. Each recording must be accompanied by lyrics. If posting your entry please include  five typed copies of the lyrics. To preserve anonymity, the songwriter’s name must not  appear on these typed copies. Contestants will be issued with a number, which will be  used until after judging is complete. 


7. Furnishing of performance royalty returns is the responsibility of the contestant. 


8. Prize money may be subject to withholding tax and an IRD number may be required. 


9. The MLT Songwriting Award is judged independently from the New Zealand Gold Guitar Awards. 


10. An entry fee per song entered is to accompany each entry. 


11. CDs/USBs can be returned, provided the entry is accompanied by a prepaid self-addressed  reply package. 


12. The New Zealand Songwriters Trust request permission of the songwriting contestants to use their submitted entries for airplay and social media.  


13. All finalists’ songs will be performed live at the NZ Country Music Awards. The songwriter(s)  will have the option of performing the song themselves or having it performed for them.  All finalists will be contacted soon after judging and arrangements discussed for the Awards evening .

14. A condition of entry is that all finalists must be prepared to attend the NZ Country Music Awards held on Thursday 2nd June 2022 in Gore. 

15. All attendees including finalists and performers at the Awards require a vaccination passport. 16. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 

16. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.