Nashville Songwriting Scholarship

for young songwriters of country music

The Nashville Songwriting Scholarship is an annual, nationwide competition open to student songwriters of country music and related genres, including Americana, blues, bluegrass, contemporary Christian, folk, pop, rock, and roots. The award was established in 2015 by BMI to celebrate the company’s 75th Anniversary year, and pays homage to musical epicenter and “Songwriting Capital of the World,” Nashville, Tennessee.

Since opening its doors in 1940, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) has played a pivotal role in the rise of country music from humble beginnings to mass-market appeal. The BMI Foundation’s Nashville Songwriting Scholarship charts the next iteration of this legacy, with a platform that recognizes country music’s songwriting talent of tomorrow. A $5,000 scholarship is awarded for the best original song entry. GRAMMY-winning recording artist and BMI songwriter Kacey Musgraves has endorsed the competition. “I was lucky to have BMI on my side early on in my songwriting career,” said Musgraves. “They opened many doors for me, as they do for many aspiring songwriters, and as a BMI writer I’m very proud to play a part in extending that legacy.”


Eligibility requirements:

  • Current student at a U.S. college or university
  • Between the ages of 17 and 24 as of the submission deadline
  • No rights to the submitted work may have been assigned to a major music publisher or to a major record label
  • Is not a prior BMI Foundation Nashville Songwriting Scholarship winner (excluding Honorable Mentions)

Note: Nashville Songwriting Scholarship entrants who are also applying to the John Lennon Scholarships must submit different songs for each contest. Dual applicants may NOT submit the same original work to both competitions.

Learn More & Begin Application