Aspiring Canadian Writers Contests Co-Partners with Songwriters Association of Canada to Launch the 2014 Singer-Songwriter Mentor Experience

By Juliette Jagger

Aspiring Canadian Writers Contests Inc., founders of the Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest, recently announced an opportunity for unsigned singer-songwriters across the country, through the creation of the 2014 Singer-Songwriter Mentor Experience.

With support from the Songwriters Association of Canada, the contest has been designed to provide the winning songwriters with mentoring sessions from an acclaimed singer-songwriter, in hopes of building a foundation for and nurturing the abilities of our homegrown talent. 

“Like our annual poetry contest, what I’m trying to do is offer aspiring artists, in this case, unsigned singer-songwriters, an experience and an opportunity to learn from industry professionals,” says Heidi Stock, founder of Aspiring Canadian Writers Contests Inc.

Heidi has modeled the 2014 Singer-Songwriter Mentor Experience after the Aspiring Canadian Poets Contest, which just completed its second year. The songwriting contest will run for one year only.

“The top three winners of our poetry contest won online mentoring sessions from a published poet,” says Heidi. “We got a great response from unpublished poets and the writing community in general. So, being that music has inspired a lot of my own poetry, I thought it would be rewarding to apply that same model to a singer-songwriters contest.”

The contest, which opens October 8 and runs until December 22, 2013, or until 300 eligible entries are received, will be judged by a panel of singer-songwriters including: Lesley Pike (Gibson’s featured artist at the 2013 Sundance London film and music festival), Luther Mallory (former frontman of Crush Luther), Katie Rox (former lead singer of Jakalope), Melanie Durrant (2013 Juno Award-nominated artist), and Theo Tams (Gemini Award-nominated artist and 2008 Canadian Idol champion).

The Top 3 Grand Prize Winners will receive private online songwriting mentoring sessions with multiple Juno Award-winning artist, Luba, personalized social media promotion on behalf of the judges and mentor, and annual memberships to the Songwriters Association of Canada (which will be awarded to all Top 25 finalists). The 1st place winner will also receive a one-hour one-on-one music industry mentoring session with semi-finalist judge Luther Mallory, who is a band coach and co-founder of independent record label, Daycare Records.

When asked about the importance of mentoring new talent, specifically in the digital age, Luther had this to say: “Every artist that comes online as soon as they record their first demo has intensified the signal to noise ratio problem our industry has always dealt with. A lot of bad, a tiny bit of great. Endless, non-stop noise and just a little bit of signal. But, that signal is the great, well-crafted, well-performed music out in the digital sea. Mentorship and instruction from someone knowledgeable about professional standards, is a way for an artist to fast track their progress and hopefully improve to the point where they can break through the noise.”

When asked about his hopes for both the contestants and the mentor experience alike, Luther expressed this sentiment: “Any initiative that works to help the creative community by encouraging artists to improve and progress belongs in the world. My hope for the contestants is that this contest brings them steps closer to understanding who they are as artists. Understanding that more fully will bring them closer to making important music. That’s all we want to make and that’s all we want to hear.”

To enter the 2014 Singer-Songwriter Mentor Experience, or for additional prize information and entry guidelines, visit www.songwritermentorexperience.org

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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