THE ARTISTS FORUM MUSIC COMPETITION, part of our Juried Arts Festival programming, is open to musical artists of all genres seeking to gain exposure in the New York City and international music and media markets.

Its mission is to provide an accessible platform for songwriters and composers to present their best work for juried selection, increase artist communication and business contacts, provide career advancement opportunities, and publicly acknowledge talented artists in an industry-saturated arena.


Our 2023 Competition Theme: THE BODY POLITICAL

THE ARTISTS FORUM invites artists to showcase interpretations for the phrase: The Body Political.

The term "body politics" refers to the operations of power in topics ranging from issues about abortion, anatomy, anorexia, and opinions on tattoos, toxicology, and transsexuals, to facts about diseases, death, disciplines, and convictions about race, rationality and research.

Question: Are our voices heard as ways to transform the system or rather as entertainment for the political status quo?


Each submission, reviewed by a panel of industry professionals, will be rated upon its individual merits. Finalists in each category will be judged against one another and a winner declared. Please see Rules & Terms for eligibility.

A list of competition jurors is forthcoming on our website:

Award recognition for each category will be given at a live ceremony in New York City, alongside special presentations and performers. In the case of COVID-19 restrictions, our award ceremony will be conducted online and then televised on Manhattan cable stations shortly thereafter.

All finalists will be considered for a MEET THE ARTISTS video profile and promoted on our online platforms.

Winners will be considered for a formal studio or Zoom interview with host to be promoted via THE ARTISTS FORUM TELEVISION - a 20+ year arts based television program broadcasted from mid-town Manhattan in New York City.

Our Grand Prize winner will be presented with an opportunity for mentorship sessions with a prominent music industry professional.

Who is eligible: Anyone from any country is eligible to submit their work to The Artists Forum and its Juried Competitions, except for those listed below.

Who is ineligible: Any member of the Board of Directors, Advisory Board, any competition judge or mentor, and any employee of The Artists Forum and their family members* are ineligible to participate in our competitions.

*Family is defined as relationships to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity. Consanguinity (blood relations) include: spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, great grandparent, great grandchild, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, niece, and nephew; the listed relatives include whole and half blood relatives. Affinity relationships apply to step relatives and in-laws.


Depending on the category, submissions are judged on the following criteria:

• Creativity
• Originality
• Lyrics (if applicable)
• Melody
• Arrangement
• Theme Interpretation

Production value is not a strong component with our competition.
Demos are accepted.


Category winners are based on the quality and quantity of entries.
Therefore, THE ARTISTS FORUM does not guarantee a winner in each category if judges deem the entrees do not meet our standard criteria.


Audio submissions are being accepted only through

• High Bit Rate .mp3 audio files only (320 kbps at 16 bit).
• Only original songs accepted - no covers.
• Works-in-Progress will not be accepted.

• No hate speech, explicit lyrics, or lyrics that glorify violence, death or destruction.
• Info Sheet pdf: Lyric sheet ( with English translations), Writers credit, *Country of Origin (usually location of writer's cultural development), *Country of Creation (if different than Country of Origin). *Also list under FilmFreeway's "Specifications" area.


• 5.5 minutes or under for all categories except:
• JAZZ (10 minutes or less)
• CLASSICAL (i.e. Symphonic or Operatic excerpt - 10 minutes or less)
• FILM SCORE (8 minutes or less)


In order to submit to this category, high school students and college undergrads must provide documentation of active enrollment in an educational institution plus your student ID.

PLEASE NOTE: Grad Students and all others are not eligible for student rates.


Entrants may submit as many songs as they wish - in the same category or in multiple categories. Each submission must be accompanied by a separate online entry fee.



THE ARTISTS FORUM MUSIC COMPETITION does not pay performance fees. By submitting your work via you acknowledge that THE ARTISTS FORUM and its MUSIC COMPETITION will not pay to present your work.


The following information is required:

• Artist photographs and other promotional images in a .png or .jpg format
• Name, Mailing Address, Email Address, Phone Number
• Website (if any), social media handles
• Artist/Band bio, Artist's Country of Origin, Artist's Current Residency, Country of music production, lyric sheet
• Band or production listings, and social media handles for your main producers, musicians, talent, or band members in one pdf document.


By submitting your film to THE ARTISTS FORUM MUSIC COMPETITION you are hereby agree to the following terms & conditions:

I hereby state that I am legally authorized to enter this work into THE ARTISTS FORUM MUSIC COMPETITION.

I guarantee that I own the rights to this musical work in its entirety, or that I have secured in writing all proprietary rights as required by law the use of the following: music, audio samples, performances, and any other intellectual property used in the work and indicated on this form.

I have also acquired the necessary releases for all persons, talent, and/or crew, involved in producing the music submitted for this competition.

I will indemnify, safeguard, and hold harmless THE ARTISTS FORUM INC., THE ARTISTS FORUM MUSIC COMPETITION, and all of their sponsors, related parties and/or affiliates, from any claims, damages, costs, expenses, and liabilities arising from the creation, publication, use, or reproduction of the musical work at present or in the future, including, but not limited to, claims for negligence and other infringements, fraud, unauthorized exhibition, discrimination, defamation, and breach of contract.

I agree to give THE ARTISTS FORUM INC. and THE ARTISTS FORUM MUSIC COMPETITION a non-exclusive, perpetual right at no cost to duplicate or disperse the musical work in any media and in any manner it deems appropriate for promotional and educational purposes related to the festival.

I hereby have all the rights, power and authority necessary to grant the foregoing license, and all of my content does not infringe, violate, misappropriate or otherwise conflict with the rights of any third party, and complies with all applicable laws and regulations, foreign and domestic. I accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein.

I agree to allow THE ARTISTS FORUM INC. and THE ARTISTS FORUM MUSIC COMPETITION to use photographs, audio or visual interviews of myself, and other likenesses of me, as well as, my name, either actual or fictitious. I hold THE ARTISTS FORUM INC. and THE ARTISTS FORUM MUSIC COMPETITION harmless from the damage to, or the loss of, film media and/or any publicity materials that I supply.

My submission and all activities related to my submission will be in compliance with the FilmFreeway’s Terms of Service.

I have read and fully comprehended the guidelines. I have complied with the terms of submission stated above and my application and payment into the competition verifies my acceptance of all Rules, Terms, and Submission Conditions.

Overall Rating
  • I am so happy and uplifted by the two wins in the music competition with The Homecoming Ball and The Seeds of Change in New York under The Artists Forum platform 2022.

    I was on tenterhooks as I know the judges are well-known professionals in the field of music. This has given my art a terrific boost as I also know New York is no walkover either when it comes to writing music.

    The competition is run very well, I would like to thank all the volunteers, judges and staff including Amos White CEO for making it a worthwhile experience which I will never forget.
    I highly recommend entry to anyone.

    November 2022
  • Andrea Montalbano

    A great experience and great feedback!
    I am honored to have been part of the 2021 Music Competition Award, winning in the Category "Best Classical/Operatic Composition" with my piece for string orchestra titled "Horizon I". I had the opportunity to know great art made by great artists, being part of a community leaded by a wonderful organization.

    July 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hello Andrea. Thank you for your kind words on your experience with us and your well deserved award! We look forward to future opportunities to have you involved with us here at TAF!

  • Ajay Mathur

    I have only the highest praise for The Artists Forum and the International Music Competition that I was part of. It was a pleasure to be part of this community of phenomenal artists and a festival that values art in its diverse channels of expression - film, music, photography and spoken word. Bravo!!
    All the boxes ticked to the max.

    June 2022
    Response from festival:

    Hello Ajay! Thank you for your high praise! Congratulations on your award for Indie/Singer-Songwriter for your song “Stop the Shame." Its been a pleasure having you involve with The Forum over the past few years. Your level of participation is heartwarming. We look forward to working with you once again in the near future.

  • First Class ALL the way! I would HIGHLY recommend submitting your songs/music to The Artists Forum International Music Competition! EXCELLENT communication - took such good care of all of us who were Finalists and to those of us who won. The Executive Producer Amos White is also extremely helpful with submittals of work and is always available to assist when needed. If you've been a Finalist in as many festivals and competitions as I have, you know THAT is rare! Btw...if you've produced a music video to your songs/music, DEFINITELY submit it to The Artists Forum Film Festival. I was also a Finalist in that festival in 2019 and attended. I LOVED it! You will too! Submit your work!

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Hello Shondra! Thanks for your kind review. Congratulations on winning our 2021 Best Rock/Alternative Award for Greed Incorporated! It's an innovated take on the state on the current state of our world and fits our theme, (The) Politics of Emotion perfectly. Looking forward to hearing and seeing your upcoming projects.