© WAM 2021


a. Organisation

The West Australian Music Industry Association Inc. (WAM) organises and produces WAM Song of the Year, an annual, original songwriting competition, promoting the talents of songwriters resident in Western Australia, inviting writers to submit recordings of original musical compositions. WAM Song of the Year aims to reveal, promote and support West Australian songwriters across many genres and facilitate career opportunities.

b. Independence

Judging of submissions, and selection of category nominees and winners, is undertaken by music industry professionals independent of WAM.

c. Acceptance

Participation in WAM Song of the Year implies complete acceptance of the present Terms and Conditions, the renunciation of any recourse concerning the conditions of organisation and the running of the event, its results and the attribution of prizes as well as the decision of the jury, which will be final and without appeal.

d. Entries – Submissions

i. WAM Song of the Year is exclusively open to residents of Western Australia (WA);

ii. All songwriters involved in writing the songs entered into WAM Song of the Year must have been based in WA for the majority of the previous 12 months, songs which include co-writers outside of WA who have not lived in WA for the majority of the past 12 months will not be eligible to receive nominations or win categories. Entrants who aren’t current residents of WA, or Australian citizens can enter songs or be co-writers for Song of the Year entries provided they have spent the majority of the past 12 months in WA. For electronic music, vocal parts can be recorded by performers outside of WA, however the vocal melody and lyrics must be composed entirely by the WA songwriter/s;

iii. The song must be the original work of the songwriter/s;

iv. The songwriters/entrants must have permission from all rights holders associated with their song entry/s including samples (including but not limited to; songwriters, labels, publishers etc.) and by entering the competition provide permission for WAM to use and/or reproduce these songs in any way WAM sees fit to implement and/or promote the 2021 WAM Song of the Year competition

v. Entries which compromise WAM’s obligations to its principal sponsors will not be considered;

vi. All copyrights remain the property of the songwriters/copyright owners. No contestant may infringe upon existing copyrights and in submitting their song the contestant agrees that The West Australian Music Industry Association Inc. (WAM) is not held responsible for any such infringement which may occur, and will indemnify WAM against any legal action which may arise as a result of such breaches of copyright;

vii. A song entry that was nominated in the previous year’s Song of the Year, can’t be nominated or be a prize-winner of the current edition;

viii. Instrumental music may be entered into all categories but must be clearly indicated by writing “Instrumental” in the lyrics section on the online form;

ix. All fees associated with WAM Song of the Year are non-refundable and non-transferable;

x. All entrants agree to have their work/s made available to third parties in order to carry out the project and satisfy program sponsors;

xi. All entries must be songs that have been written or released between January 1 – December 31, 2020.

e. Categories

12 Genre Categories:

Blues / Roots



Experimental – any song using unusual instrumentation, or traditional instrumentation in unusual or uncharacteristic ways and experimental in terms of its composition


Global – any song considerably influenced by traditional music of any culture, including reggae.

Hip Hop/New R&B– this category is for rap, R&B, funk, soul etc.






Two Schools Categories (all songwriters submitting for this category MUST be within the age range specified in the category title):

Schools (14 Years & Under)

Schools (15-18*)

*If the songwriter was 18 at the time of writing the submitted song/s, they must be enrolled in year 12 or would otherwise be turning 18 in year 12 (if they have left school prior to commencing their final year of high school).

Two Bonus Categories:

If applicable, your song/s will be automatically entered into these categories as a bonus entry:

  • Outstanding Indigenous – open to the artists who have identified themselves as Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander songwriters during the entry process. All Indigenous entries will be automatically entered into this category as a bonus entry. If any of the songwriters in an entrants’ application have answered “Y” to the Indigenous question under “Add Song” the song will be automatically added to this category. For acts with two or more members, at least 50% of the songwriters for each song entered must identify as indigenous to be eligible for this category.
  • Outstanding Regional – is open to all WA songwriters outside of the Perth metro. All regional songwriters will automatically be entered into this category as a bonus entry. Please ensure you provide your postcode so we can enter you into this category if you qualify.

Act-Belong-Commit Category: Invites songs relevant to the Act-Belong-Commit message, with entries costing an additional $10 per song. There’s further information below;

Mental health is one of the most topical issues facing the music industry today. The Act-Belong-Commit message reminds us to put our mental and physical health first while reflecting on our own wellbeing, and encourages us to engage with the community, build friendships, set goals for the future and in the process pursue our creative endeavours and live our lives to their fullest!

The Act-Belong-Commit songwriting category welcomes songs which touch on any aspect of this message from talking about the importance of community and connectedness; mental wellbeing; the journey of striving for these things or enjoyment of attaining them, with songs that celebrate these aspect/s in a positive light being more favoured in the judging process.

f. Judging

The judging panels are made up of music industry professionals from across Australia and overseas, the only exception being the Act-Belong-Commit category where the sponsoring partner may choose to select the winner and nominees from an industry-selected shortlist. All WAM Song of the Year entries are judged anonymously by the judging panel. All songs submitted will be given a unique identification number and any personal identifiers (ie. band or songwriter name) removed from materials and media prior to the songs being offered to judging panels.

i. Six nominees and a winner from this group will be chosen in each category;

ii. The Grand Prize and Second & Third Runners-up winners are selected from the finalists of each category by an independent judging panel. The Grand Prize winner is the overall highest rated song from the Grand Prize judging round, with the Second Runner-Up the second highest and Third Runner-Up the third highest;

iii. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcomes of judging decisions.


a. Category Nominees & Winners

i. Reasonable efforts will be taken to inform entrants that they have been nominated by email by 31 May 2021;

ii. Cash prizes will be paid after the WAM Song of the Year Awards Night held on June 30 2021, with WAM providing further instructions via email closer to the time;

iii. Studio recording time and other prizes where applicable will be available upon arrangement with WAM and WAM’s studio partners (contact WAM for details). All prizes must be claimed before June 30, 2022, unless otherwise arranged with both WAM and the respective prize sponsor;

iv. All category nominees agree to have their winning song included on a WAM Song of the Year CD compilation, should one be produced and have the right and authority to provide permission for this use. Inclusion will be subject to audio quality and suitability and is solely at WAM’s discretion;

v. All category nominees agree to have their nominated entry included on various websites, and have the authority to permit this. WAM Song of the Year creates huge promotional opportunities for finalists and winners. WAM will notify you of these opportunities as they arise;

vi. All category nominees agree to (and are authorised to) grant WAM the non-exclusive right, free of charge, to make entered songs available for streaming, together with nominee’s name and approved images, by members of the public on a non-commercial basis for the purpose of promoting WAM Song of the Year;

vii. Entrant’s song/s may be made available for download for promotional purposes to media outlets only, in which case WAM will notify the entrants with entrants not willing to provide permission able to opt out following this communication. Entrants who do not opt out will have their work available for private downloads for media promotion purposes only (including but not limited to radio airplay, song reviews etc);

viii. All category nominees will be asked to provide a photo and bio for promotional use and will be considered for media opportunities relating to the event.

ix. WAM Song of the Year is a songwriting competition. Therefore, the songwriters will be credited as the finalists/winners. In the case of all members of a band being the songwriters, the band name will be credited as the finalists/winners. Please list all songwriters accurately and in full and make sure the Act Name is correct in your application form;

x. Prize-winners will be announced at the Awards Night;

xi. The Grand Prize Winner will be introduced to the appropriate executive of Perfect Pitch Publishing for the purpose of negotiating a publishing deal. This negotiation is on a no-obligation basis for both parties, and WAM will take no responsibility or bear any liability for the outcome of that negotiation;

xii. WAM will ensure the Grand Prize Winner and the Runners-Up winners will benefit from all other Grand Prizes;

xiii. The Grand Prize recording opportunity does not include travel expenses.


a. How To Enter

Entries are open from 9am, Thursday 14 January, 2021 and close 5pm, Thursday 11 February, 2021 (unless extended). Online entries only via www.songoftheyear.com.au

i. Lyrics must be submitted for each song, but if the track is instrumental, please list “instrumental” in the Lyrics section of the form.

ii. Songs sung in languages other than English must have an English translation (where possible).

iii. Ensure all songwriters of each song entered are listed on the online entry form.

iv. Song/s must be in MP3 format.

v. An individual song may be entered into multiple categories but it will incur an entry fee for each category.

vi. Do not include featured artist names in the title of your tracks as all songs are intended to be judged anonymously.

b. Pricing *All prices are in AUD and inc gst

WAM Members: WAM members receive a 3-for-1 price for their first three entries, meaning it’s $35* for the first three songs, then an additional $35* per song thereafter. Please note you will need to add your current member number to the online form to unlock the member discount.

Non-WAM Members: $45* per song. You can join WAM via the WAM website to receive your membership number prior to submitting in order to receive the special 3-for-1 entry price.

Schools Entries: $15* per song. This price is for the School Age categories only.

Act-Belong-Commit: $10* per song.

Evaluations: fees listed on the entry form.