Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition

Entry Forms online now. Closing date is Friday 28th July
Enter OnlineEnter by Post (downloadable PDF)


From Kimbra to Graham Candy.  Annah Mac to Georgia Nott.  Louis Baker to Jesse Sheehan.. and many more. The Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition has seen thousands of young songwriters submitting songs that they have written. And the quality continues to flourish.

This competition is open to all Year 9 to 13 students. Songs are entered online or by post with: 

- an MP3 or video recording of the song 
- a Lyric sheet 
- a completed entry form. 

The judges choose forty songs (from all entries) that are then recorded professionally at a studio of the writer’s choice.

Play It Strange covers the cost of the recording session. The writer(s) take total ownership of the studio recording and Play It Strange has the rights to both manufacture CDs and post the tracks online for streaming and download.

The writer(s) may promote and distribute their recording in any manner they like.


Our judging panel does not take the entry’s recording or performance quality into account. Each song is judged equally 50% lyrics and 50% music. 

It is not necessary for the songwriter to perform on the entry recording. Professional vocalists  are not permitted to perform the entry recordings.

- You are not required to perform your own song for the entry recording 
- The song can be entered by a group or by an individual 
- Only one song per person/group may be entered

Your song entry must be authorised by your school’s principal or other teacher (see entry form).


Junior Maioha Award – best song in Te Reo Māori

David Richwhite Lyric Award – best lyrics

PwC School of the Year Award – to the school with the most songs on the annual album from the Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition.

The 2016 Lion Foundation Songwriting finalists

Below are the finalist songs available to stream and download free from our BandCamp.

2016 Results

Daniel Blakelock (Papatoetoe High School) took first place in our Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition with his cool song “Grateful”

He received:
-a $1,000 NZ Rockshop voucher. 
-  an NZ On Air New Music Single grant of up to $8,000 for recording the track professionally and making a music video.
- Daniel has finished recording his song at Roundhead Studios.

David Richwhite Lyric Award

The David Richwhite Lyric Award winners in the 2016 Lion Foundation Songwriting Competition were the members of MCB: Izzy Bloxham, Katie Ryan, Olivia Mitchell, Olivia Altenburg-Carey and Zora Rodricks with their song 'What Are You Tryna Say?’. They were year 11 at Marian College’ Christchurch. The judge was Justin Brown who said “I loved the personality of it; the slang, the punch, the Jordan Luck-esque Ra de Ra de Ra!”

Read Lyrics Here

Junior Maioha Award

The Junior Maioha Award for best song in te reo Maori in the Lion Foundation Song Competition went to Rua Mahue for his song ‘Hipokina’.

Rua attends TKKM Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti in Hicks Bay.

Rua and his band Kurawaka were also Pacifica Beats National finalists in 2016.

Read Lyrics Here

All past Lion Foundation Songwriting Competiton finalists

Result archives