Results 11-20 of 31 articles.

1st Aug 2014

The Gathering 2014 - Songwriting Competition

“Dumb Ways To Think” is a FREE to enter Songwriting Competition. The aim of the project is to highlight the similarities between different Christian faith communities by exposing discredited sectarian negative beliefs and myths. 

For further details and 'How To Enter' go to

A professional animation will be made based on the winning song. The project leader is professional songwriter Robert Maitland MA Songwriting, BA hons Music, Ad.Dip. Music for Film & TV and tutor for Burnsong Young Songwriters. The competition is organised through Burnsong (national body for developing the art of contemporary songwriting in all its many forms). With the support of the VAF, Scottish Government, S.W Scotland Sectarian Project, SCVS, SmartIndie and EM Records.

27th Sep 2013

‘The Gathering’ Alumni lead the way for the next generation of Burnsong Songwriters

Fresh from the UK Songwriting Festival, ‘The Gathering’ winner Robert Maitland alongside University of the West of Scotland’s Becci Wallace host Burnsongs Young Songwriters Workshops on Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th of October at The Stove in Dumfries.

Places for these workshops are limited and subject to availability so booking is required. Reservations can be made to Robert Maitland at

Participants will showcase their new material at a Fringe4 Event the following Saturday (19th of October) at Easterbrook Hall.


The Stove

100 High Street

Dumfries, DG1 2BJ 


Showcase Event:

Easterbrook Hall,

The Crichton, Bankend Road,

Dumfries, DG1 4TA

24th Jul 2013

The Gathering 2013 - Winners Announced!

Scotland’s songwriting promotion and development body Burnsong are delighted to announce the winners of The Gathering 2013. After much deliberation the panel of music industry experts have selected the following winners from the entries submitted:

'Cash for Gold' - Catherine Rudie
'Queen of Oz' - Robert Maitland
'52 Des' - Findlay Napier

Robert Maitland is studying for a Masters in Songwriting and Performance at the University of the West of Scotland. Robert's winning entry, the 'Queen of Oz' was inspired by L. Frank Baum 'Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it tells the previously untold story of Dorothy's mother called Queen Jennifer and her decision to send her baby to Kansas in a twister.

Findlay Napier from Strathspey moved to Glasgow to study Scottish Traditional Music at the RSAMD. He is recognised in the music scene as a performer with his post punk meets Scottish folk band 'Findlay Napier & The Bar Room Mountaineers'. In 2013 Creative Scotland awarded Findlay a mentoring grant to work with the critically acclaimed songwriter Boo Hewerdine.

As a teenager Catherine Rudie was a piper and Gaelic singer for the Mod. Whilst in Dundee she attained a Post-Grad in Fine Art and worked as a curator for Dundee Contempoary Arts. Now moving betwen London and Edinburgh as a freelance Art Director she has 'struck gold' with her first love- music.  

The three successful songwriters have now been invited to join the UK Songwriting Festival to hone their skills in a week of intensive support and tuition at Shennanton House, Wigtownshire in August 2013. In the rural setting of Dumfries and Galloway, they will concentrate solely on writing, rehearsing, recording and performing songs, developing their musicianship alongside industry experts.

Our winners will perform alongside musicians from the UK Songwriting Festival in two exclusive performances within Bladnoch DIstillery, Wigtown on Thursday 15th and Friday 16th August, 7.30pm (7pm DOORS) Tickets for this event are free but we do ask that you RSVP to   

Burnsong would like to offer their Congratulations to Catherine, Robert, Findlay and express our gratitude to everyone who has shared their music with us.

For more information on Burnsong:   
Twitter: @burnsong

For UK Songwriting Festival Showcase tickets:

8th Jun 2013




 Scotland’s songwriting promotion and development body Burnsong announces the opening of ​'The Gathering 2013,- the annual invitation to submit new Scottish songs, which will be assessed by an expert panel before the winning songwriters are invited to join the UK Songwriting Festival to hone their skills in a week of intensive support and tuition at Shennanton House, Wigtownshire during August 2013 (10-17th).

In the rural setting of Dumfries & Galloway songwriters will concentrate solely on writing, rehearsing, recording and performing songs, developing their musicianship alongside industry experts.

The competition opens on Monday the 10th of June and submissions will be accepted until midnight on Sunday the 30th June. The selection and judging process will take place between 1st July and 7th July with winners notified and announced thereafter.

This year’s submissions will be accepted digitally through


Competition Rules
  • Applicants must be 18+ , Scottish or based in Scotland.
  • There are no restrictions on style, genre or instrumentation
  • Songs must be original, written by the submitting artist in 2013
  • Submitted songs must be previously unreleased (in any format)
  • Songwriters may submit up to 2 songs for consideration.
  • Winner must be available to attend the songwriting week in August 2013
  • The deadline for submissions is the 30th of June, submissions received without the relevant information or after the deadline will not be considered.
  • The winner will be announced in July 2013


 To submit your song(s):

  1. Attach your song(s), in mp3 format to an email addressed to
  2. While the file uploads, please add your name, (real name and stage name), song title, a short biography including where you are from and also any relevant web addresses (Facebook/Soundcloud/Website)
  3. Finally, provide an e-mail address so that we can contact you.


For more information, contact: Suzanne McLellan

14th May 2013

UK Songwriting Festival 2013

For the second time, the UK Songwriting Festival is to be held in Scotland.  From 11-17 August, songwriters will work intensively in the rural retreat that is Shennanton House.  BURNSONG is delighted to be working with partners University of Bath Spa to offer this opportunity, and the Festival is lead by Joe Bennett, and a team of established writers.  If you take a moment to read the blog from 2012, you'll get the flavour of the week .....

Follow this link for further information, and make an early booking -

15th Aug 2012

UK Songwriting Festival - Daily Blog

The UK Songwriting Festival is underway and participants are hard at work crafting new songs together.

You can keep track of their daily progress by checking out the SWF Blog, which is updated daily with articles and videos posted from the site at Shennanton House.

You can access the blog at:

There are still tickets available for the Showcase events on Thursday and Friday nights - e-mail with all enquiries!

7th Jun 2012

The Gerry Rafferty Songwriting Prize

Photo © Eddie Mallin
Burnsong, in association with Renfrewshire Council and The Year of Creative Scotland, is delighted to announce a song writing competition in memory of the talented and widely-respected Renfrewshire songwriter, Gerry Rafferty, who died last year.

The competition, open to Renfrewshire songwriters of all genres, will offer the winner a place at The UK Songwriting Festival 2012.

The UK Songwriting Festival is an annual five-day residential intensive song-writing bootcamp, now in its 9th year, but held in Scotland for the first time in 2012.

From the 12-17th August, the winner will meet and work with other songwriters from around the UK at Shennaton House and receive mentoring from the distinguished tutors of Bath Spa University’s Songwriting Masters degree, as well as Ivor Novello-nominated Snow Patrol collaborator Iain Archer.

The winner will also be offered the opportunity to perform at two special shows on 16th & 17th August.

Burnsong Chair of Trustees, Ronald Gurr says: “It is a fitting legacy and will ensure that a new generation of local songwriters will get the best possible start to their professional creative career.”

The competition will be judged by Jim Gellatly (Clyde 1), Douglas T. Stewart (BMX Bandits) and Emma Gillespie (Emma's Imagination). Each judge will pick their favourite track and then all three will vote on the final three songs, with the winner being the song with at least two votes out of three. The judging panel will be chaired by Ronald Gurr (Burnsong) and Martha Rafferty (daughter of Gerry Rafferty).

New music mogul, DJ and judge for the competition Jim Gellatly says: “It’s an honour to be asked to judge such a prestigious competition, especially in the name of a legendary figure like the late Gerry Rafferty. I’m looking forward to hearing the submissions, which I’m sure will prove that we continue to punch above our weight as a nation when it comes to the creative arts.”

Detailed competition rules as well as submission requirements are listed below.

Competition Rules

  • Applicants must be 18+ and from the Renfrewshire area.
  • Applicants may submit up to 2 songs of any genre.
  • Each individual song must be no more than 4 mins in length.
  • Songs must be original, written by the submitting artist and contain no explicit lyrics.
  • Submitted songs must be currently unreleased*
  • Winner must be available to attend the songwriting week and the two performances.
  • The deadline is the 6th July at 11pm
  • The winner will be announced on the last week of July.

Submission Requirements

Songs should be submitted to the Burnsong SoundCloud account (
Send me your sounds
A contact name, phone number and postal address must be included in the
description section of the submitted song or it will be invalid

For the purposes of this competition ‘unreleased’ will mean not commercially released by a
record label.

About Gerry Rafferty

Born in Paisley and raised on a diet of Irish and Scottish folk songs, he was later influenced by songwriters such as Lennon and Mccartney, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. With an exceptional talent for melody and harmony coupled with a beautifully soulful voice he went on to achieve International success with solo hits 'Baker Street', 'Right Down the Line' and with the band 'Stealers Wheel' the hit song 'Stuck In The Middle With You'.

Rafferty’s musical legacy spans over several decades and its endurance is a testament to the timeless quality of the man and his music. With the Gerry Rafferty Songwriting Prize this legacy now extends beyond his own musical contributions, allowing other talented artists the opportunity to further their career with support from his daughter Martha Rafferty. It is with great appreciation that the competition can be run in his name.

Says Martha, "I'm delighted that the legacy my Father created can go on to inspire and enable another songwriter to be given a platform for their voice to be heard. It's a long and difficult road to choose and opportunities to breakthrough are few and far between. I'll be listening for conviction, heart and originality - Good Luck!"

Photo © Eddie Mallin

15th May 2012

The Gathering 2012: Submissions Closed!

The response to The Gathering 2012 has been fantastic. Now that the submission window has closed, we'd like to express our gratitude to everyone who has shared their music with us.

The tracks will now go before our panel of judges who will provide us with a shortlist by the beginning of June.

Good luck to all applicants. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for more news and opportunities coming soon!

19th Mar 2012


Scots songwriters offered the chance of joining the UK Songwriting Festival — to be held for the first time in Galloway in August 2012.
Scotland’s songwriting promotion and development body Burnsong today (March 19th) announces the opening of The Gathering 2012 — the annual invitation to submit new Scottish songs, which will be assessed by an expert panel before the winning songwriters are invited to join the UK Songwriting Festival to hone their skills in a week of intensive support and tuition.
Bath Spa University, the home of Europe’s only Masters degree in songwriting, will bring their distinguished tutors including Joe Bennett, Boo Hewerdine, Jez Ashurst, Andy White and Ivor Novello-nominated Snow Patrol collaborator Iain Archer, to Scotland for the first time for a five-day intensive songwriting boot camp which will take place at Shennanton House in rural Galloway between August 12th and August 17th 2012. All participants will then, over two gigs in Bladnoch Distillery, showcase what has been achieved with their fresh new songs premiered to an invited audience.
The competition opens on Monday March 19th and submissions will be accepted until 12 Noon on Saturday May 12th. The selection and judging process will take place between May 14th and 18th with winners notified and announced thereafter.
This year, Burnsong seeks brand new songs of quality, with a distinctly Scottish flavour, inspired by the content, subject matter, interests and concerns expressed in the work of Robert Burns. These may be performed by the songwriter or by a group but the places at the UK Songwriting Festival are for individual songwriters.
Competition rules and instructions on how to submit can be found here.

16th Jan 2012

Burnsong Songwriters Feature In Olympic Commission

The BIG Breakthrough!

a celebration of Olympic and Paralympic values through song

Wednesday 21st March 2012

The Usher Hall, Edinburgh

1.15 pm

Tickets £5 adults, £3 children

Box Office: 0131 228 1155


Several songwriters connected to Burnsong are performing a brand new commission, Breakthroughwritten by Burnsong Gathering Winner Kim Edgar, at The Usher Hall, Edinburgh, on 21st March 2012, after its debut at Celtic Connections 2012. 

Karine Polwart, Mairi Campbell, Mattie Foulds and Kim Edgar herself are performing in this  celebration of Olympic and Paralympic values, which features children and young people from The BIG Project, Broomhouse (in the south west of Edinburgh), alongside Inverness Gaelic Choir, Sangstream, Cappella Nova, and 10 leading professional musicians. 

The newly-commissioned work features all performers en masse, with a series of overlapping themes representing the Olympic rings. Audience members have the unique opportunity to participate in the premier performance of the brand new commission, Breakthrough, and can learn singalong parts by visiting YouTube and searching “BIG Broomhouse Breakthrough”. 
Kim explained: 

“The commission was inspired by children in Broomhouse; footage of their thoughtful responses to the values is integral to this uplifting concert, which features pop/rock, Gaelic, folk, classical and Scots songs, plus a Glee style mash-up! Audiences will have fun taking part - singing’s great for our physical and emotional health. It’s an ambitious undertaking for The BIG Project kids, but I’m confident they’ll rise to the challenge: recently, they’ve taken Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall by storm, worked with Gareth Malone, and some members performed live on BBC Children in Need. As you can imagine, they’re extremely excited about their Celtic Connections debut!” 

Breakthrough was commissioned by Celtic Connections and The Usher Hall, Edinburgh, and its performance is central to a year-long singing project which Kim Edgar is leading at The BIG Project, Broomhouse, funded by Creative Scotland. David McDonald, Youth Arts Manager, Creative Scotland commented: 

“Creativity plays a vital role in children and young people’s development; it builds confidence and communication skills. The Youth Music Initiative has given thousands of young people the opportunity to learn about and enjoy making music. The BIG Breakthrough will be an amazing experience for the young people – to play live with some of Scotland’s most talented musicians will be a night to remember and something to inspire their music making for years to come.”  

Suitable for children, young people and the young at heart!