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Last Chance: Win $25K in the International Songwriting Competition!

Kimbra and Gotye are both previous winners of the International Songwriting Competition. Could you be next? (via the Herald Sun)

The deadline is fast approaching for the International Songwriting Competition – and with over $150,000 in cash and prizes for 68 winners, this isn't a contest you're going to want to sit out of!

The President of Wind-up Records' Top 3 Nuggets of Songwriting Wisdom

Image via musicboxartistconsulting.com

At the center of being a musician is perhaps its most difficult component: songwriting. Beyond writing about what we like, we also want our music to be powerful, to convey a message, to create palpable emotion. And with so many people fighting for recognition, how to come up with something perfectly unique, impactful, and lasting is the $64,000 question.

Ed Vetri, the president and CEO of Wind-up Records (which represents acts such as The Griswolds and Strange Talk), is on the panel of judges for this year's International Songwriting Competition (ISC), a prestigious contest that gives away over $150,000 in cash and prizes and is renowned for its high caliber of both winners and judges.

"ISC's panel of judges is the best of the songwriter community and the industry," Vetri says. "The experiences and diversity of the panel, including major songwriters and industry executives from both the recorded music and publishing side, give ISC a very diverse, experienced professional and thoughtful collection of opinions. It's not every day an aspiring songwriter gets their music heard by such a renowned panel of experts."

Below, Vetri lets us in on how he reviews songs for ISC and distills his extensive knowledge of songwriting into three simple nuggets of wisdom.

Why You Should Enter the International Songwriting Competition

Did you know that Kimbra won the ISC grand prize through Sonicbids back in 2011? (Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Whether you’re an aspiring songwriter or an established one, the International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is known to be one of the most high-caliber competitions the music industry has to offer. Designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels and promote excellence in the art of songwriting, the ISC offers the opportunity to have your songs heard by some of the most influential decision-makers in the industry.

How to Persuade a Famous Ad Agency to Use Your Track for a National Campaign

Josh Rabinowitz. (Image via the Grey Agency)

"The best part of wakin' up..." We bet you can finish the line yourself. Few brands can boast a ubiquitous a tagline as Folgers coffee, and now, the Grey Agency, a major international advertising firm whose flagship office is in New York City, is offering big bucks (a low five-figure amount) to an independent band or artist who best reimagines the jingle in their own way. Not only that, but Grey is also seeking a killer, 60-second instrumental for LongHorn Steakhouse commercials (which can be something preexisting, as long as it's only a minute long). To find out more, we went right to the source.

How Does Winning an Independent Music Award Benefit Your Career?

Sophie Koh won first place in the Best Contemporary Song category of the 13th Annual Independent Music Awards. (Image via sophiekoh.com)

The Independent Music Awards is the only international program that actively supports independent artists, giving nominees and winners unprecedented advantages in scoring placements, gigs, and revenue, not to mention radio, print, online, and broadcast exposure. Now in its 15th year, the IMAs are an extremely exciting opportunity for songwriters of all genres, as the panel of judges always features a huge variety of internationally successful artists as well as established industry professionals. Past judges have included Ziggy Marley, Tom Waits, Pete Wentz, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and many more.

With submissions for 2015 now open, we wanted to get firsthand insight from a past winner to find out how winning an IMA really affects your music career. We got the inside scoop from Australian singer/songwriter Sophie Koh, whose song, "I Understand," received international attention when it won first place in the Best Contemporary Song category at the IMAs.