2021 songwriting completion nature theme montage

2021 Songwriting Competition

WELCOME to our 6th annual songwriting competition, online again this year due to Covid-19.

Judges are music journalist Andy Fyfe (U16) and artist/musician Ed Boxall (U12).

Local artist and musician Ed Boxall knows all about the talent in Hastings, but Andy Fyfe is new to the area and couldn’t believe how much talent is around.

“Oh man this is difficult. I’m genuinely astonished by the quality of the entries and it’s been a very hard decision to make. So difficult, in fact, that I’ve roped in anyone I can over the past week and made them all listen and offer their opinions. In the end we found a majority on the eventual winner.”

Judges Andy Fyfe & Ed Boxall

Drum Roll Please!

The Winner of the U16 songwriting Competition 2021 is Sidewalk by Ruby Wunsche.
A song that takes you on a journey around the world and within yourself.” Judge Andy Fyfe
I decided to write a song that mentions animals because they are a big part of my life. I’ve travelled to exotic parts of the world but I always love coming back to Hastings.” Ruby

Runner Up

Butterflies by Twinkle Ansar

“Butterflies is a beautifully delicate song, dipping and soaring like the insects themselves.” Andy Fyfe

Drum Roll Please!

The Winner of the U12 songwriting Competition 2021 is
Nature’s Moment by Erin, Jesse, Adu, Freddie & Rylee at Christ Church Primary Academy.
“A really lovely memorable tune, sung with real passion and enthusiasm. The melody is so bright and uplifting and fits the evocative words so well.” Judge Ed Boxall

Runner Up

Devil’s Land by Jade Wunche

“I love this story song! Such a quirky and original composition and performance must be rewarded! It’s a great achievement to put a whole story into a song like this and communicate it so clearly. The voices, sound and production is really effective. Unique.” Ed Boxall


It’s the public vote. Thank you so much to everyone who took the trouble to vote. It’s a tie!
The Winners of the Public Vote 2021

with 170 votes each are:

Living in a Dream by Hastings Academy Yr 7 class.
Tumble to a Bound by Layla-Rose Rodriguez

Runner Up Weeping Willow by Marina Rolfe

A Song for Nature

Widowed penguins comfort each other © Tobias Baumgaertner

The theme for this year is Nature.

  • nature as shared space with the environment and wildlife
  • nature as force
  • the nature of things

We encourage you to regularly spend 10 minutes in nature, listening and observing to provide inspiration for your song. Nature can be your back garden, the local park or wildlife area, seafront, a wood or a row of trees on a street etc. Make sure to take a suitable adult with you for safety.

Things to consider are:

colourstexturelinesmovement weather soundseffectslightemotionsthoughtsresponses

Courses & Support

Contact us


Hairy Ghost Piperfish © John Magee

Winner Prize

Each category winner will have the opportunity to professionally record their song.

Runner Up Prize

The runner up in each category can choose from the following options:

£20 Voucher for Musics Not Dead record store at De La Warr Pavillion.

£20 Voucher for Wow and Flutter record and art store in Hastings

£20 Voucher for B&T Music shop in Hastings

Family ticket (1xadult/2xunder 16’s) to Kew Gardens


  • This competition is open to young people living in Hastings.
  • Where a school class submits a song, the school must be situated in Hastings, or have a significant number of pupils in the class from Hastings.
  • If entering as a band, over 50% of members must be from Hastings.
  • Collaboration buddies need to be in same age bracket entered.
  • Songs need to be written for the competition and not promoted elsewhere.
  • We cannot accept songs with explicit content (swearing, sex, drug promotion). If they are deemed unsuitable you will be given the opportunity to remove relevant sections.


Most songs are composed of

  • lyrics
  • vocals
  • melody
  • chord structure
  • instruments

The emphasis you give will create your style of song. For instance

  • Singer/songwriter – vocals and a single instrument often take centre stage
  • Acapella – purely vocals
  • Hip hop – vocals and beat are stronger
  • Jazz – the instruments are the focus
  • Rock’n’Roll – guitar and drums rule
  • Folk – the lyrics and story take precedent
  • Electronic music – the beat is best, with melody coming from chords or vocals

We encourage collaborative songwriting.

With nature as the theme this year, you may want to record and blend authentic sounds into your song!

Chechout this article about songwriter Max Martin


Thank you so much to all our sponsors.

The Foreshore Trust

Why Nature?

The aim of using the theme nature is to:

  • improve visual awareness, observation and listening skills through nature
  • engage fully in our environment and to draw on it for inspiration
  • increase a sense of connectedness and wellbeing
  • to increase complex thinking through a multi-faceted theme
  • to allow access to science through the arts
  • engage in local history through the life of Marianne North