Judges for the Hollywood Songwriting Contest are all music industry professionals with years of experience in the industry. Each individual judge brings their own unique expertise in music evaluation and critique. Above all, they are each committed to finding new talent and helping deserving songwriters get their shot at being recognized and discovered.


All entries are judged anonymously through a system that hides all contestant names and identities during the judging process. No judge is able identify any song or lyrics with any individual contestant during the competition. Based on their genre of expertise, judges will be placed into one or more genre categories. All genres are considered equal in terms of potential of quality and all are given equal weight in terms of artistry and talent.


The Hollywood Songwriting Contest is a multi-round contest. Each round is judged by a panel of expert judges particular to that genre. In addition to individual genre category competitions, there will be an award for the best overall song from all entries.


Contestants must pass two (2) qualifying rounds judged by an industry panel of expert song evaluators. First Qualifying Round - Songs that score in the top quarter (25%) of the first qualifying round will advance to the second qualifying round.

Second Qualifying Round - Songs that score in the top 10% of the second qualifying round will move on to the Quarter Final Round.


This stage of the judging is by a panel of credited songwriters and current and former music industry professionals. This round will send the top twenty-five (25) songs from each genre category on to the Semi-Final Round.


The Semi-Final Round is judged by active music industry professionals. This round will progress the top ten (10) songs in each genre category to the Final Round where the winners will finally be decided.


A panel of active producers, music industry profesisonals, and professional songwriters will be the final judges and determine the category winners as well as the overall Grand Prize Winner.

Judging Criteria

Judges will evaluate submissions based on a broad list of criteria. Some categories (such as the Novelty/Comedy genre) have added or altered judging criteria. Each judge is entitled to interpret, judge or evaluate as they see fit based on the following broad criteria:

  • Emotional Impact: Music stirs the heart or mind. Judges are looking for something that makes them feel and think.
  • Individuality: Uniqueness is a strong factor in the competition. Judges are looking for something different and new. Something exciting they have never heard before.
  • Creativity: Judges are looking for songs that add depth and dimension to their genres. This criteria is interested in making the old, new again.
  • Meaningful Lyrics: For submissions that have lyrics only. Judges will look for inspiration in the words or images the lyrics paint in the mind. In particular, judges will look at how words and music combine to create something amazing.
  • Melody: Judges look for continuity and coherence in melody, as well as pitch, tone, tension and style.
  • Commercial Potential: Judges will also consider how universally appealing a song is. It does not need to be a pop song in order to be embraced by music lovers but at the same time music should have some elements that make it interesting on a commercial level.
Call for Entries


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