Get your music in front of an audience that cares about music!
Get the Recognition
Your Music Deserves!
A Songwriting Contest Designed to
Advance your Career!
A Contest for Minneapolis Musicians designed by a Minneapolis Musician
Watch This Video To See Why You Need This Right Now...
A Song Writing Contest Built
to Help You Build Your Music Career!
Local Press to promote your career to the next stage!
Submission Processdesigned to build and engage your social media audience
No Production Required!
Songs are judged on the song structure, melody, lyrics, and primary instrument only!
Limited Participants to increase your odds of winning!
Prizes for multiple winnerschosen to help you get your songs to new audiences
Networking Opportunities with other local singer songwriters
Access to a Future Conference, apply your entry fee to a future event to take your career even further!
A Premium Contest to Shine a Spotlight
on the Best Songs in the Twin Cities
My name is Ry Edwards and in case you don’t know me…
…HERE’S A QUICK INTRO
Minneapolis Based Singer Songwriter
Community Building Renaissance Man
Creator of the
Un-Sung Heroes Songwriter Festival
Creator of the FIND YOUR STAGE Singer Songwriter Conference
Most Song Writing Contests put up a few big prizes and let tens of thousands of song writers battle it out. Not here! We ONLY want the singer songwriters in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN.
This contest rewards song writers who are confident in their abilities and can quickly take decisive action! But unlike most songwriting contests, it cannot be tens of thousands. In fact, it can't even be thousands. Or even hundreds.
We are limiting the number of participants to EXACTLY 100 songwriters. Limiting the number of participants drastically increases your odds of winning the biggest prizes--including a 1-in-10 chance of winning a chance to perform at the Varsity Theater!
Premium Quality Song Writers
We are looking for the best unknown songs in the Twin Cities. This contest is only open to amatuer song writers who make less than $10,000 on their music annually, but if you have only written 5 songs in your life, this is NOT the contest for you.
We are looking for seasoned song writers who have put the time into honing their craft. We're looking for songs that have all of the elements of a timeless classic, fan favorite, or a song so epic that it stuns and inspires.
Several elements make a great song. Of course, one huge element is a great melody. Can your song be sung a capella (with no accompanying instrument) and still sound compelling? Then that's a good candidate.
Let's look at a list of iconic songs and think about the different elements that make them grab our attention and stay memorable.
Stand By Me - Ben E King One of the best Bass lines of all time with a passionate vocal delivery. Thematically, it's watching the world end, but being okay as long as his love is standing with him. Powerful.
Sweet Child O'Mine - Guns N' Roses Beautiful riff with rich nostalgic imagery that makes this song like no other.
Hurt - nine inch nails Dynamics from near gasps to near screams whimper through soul-searching lyrics over a simple and uniquiely dischordant riff. When Rick Rubin suggested Johnny Cash record this industrial fringe, the powerful song became a mainstream hit.
Your Song - Elton John Incredible music. The lyrics are a little clunky at times, but the humility of the lyrics becomes endearing with this simple love note.
Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin Begins with a delicate whisper of a guitar riff and builds into an epic howling masterpiece. The musicianship of the guitarist is undeniable and the passion of the singer's performance engages the listen in a trip to musical Heaven.
Don't Stop Believing - Journey Non-traditional song structure. Riff-Driven. Positive message in the chorus. Incredible range of notes.
Respect - Aretha Franklin You can tell why we call it rhythm and blues. The rhythm in this song is everything. That and Aretha's sultry, powerful singing. Thematically powerful statement at the time.
Yesterday - The Beatles Brilliant melody over the universal theme of love lost over a moving guitar chord progression.
Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison An unmistakeable song within the first 5 notes. Riff-Driven. Tells a story. Fun dynamics. Great chord progression. Powerful singing.
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys One of the most complex melodies in pop music. Most pop songs have 3 or 4 chords. This one has 23. Ultimately a love song
Johnny B. Goode - Chuck BerryIncredible guitar voicing and tells a story.
Hallelujah - Leonard Cohen Artistic lyrics with Biblical references tying romantic love to God and back. Epic. Dynamics from breathy to lover's cry of release. Whoa.
Fire and Rain - James Taylor Beautiful guitar picking around image rich lyrics in one of the most poignant songs ever about losing a friend.
Runaway Train - Soul AsylumClassic chord progression layered with a simple melody, strong dynamics, and thematically discusses mental illness with image rich metaphors. (firefly without a light, you were... a blowtorch burning/ I was a key that could use a little turning)
Do you have a song that
Everyone loves to sing with you?
Makes people cry?
People always request at your show?
Has become your signature song?
If those descriptions immediately made you think of one of your songs, then you have a good candidate for this contest! If you have multiple songs that came to mind, then you have a GREAT chance at winning Prizes, Performances, and Press!
We award each song based on a 450 point scale that will earn you:
Your Best 1 - 3 Songs
Use a Camera
or a cell phone to record a performance of each song
Upload Your Song to YouTube
Email us the link
Submission Deadline is March 15th, 2022
Submit Your Song
In Just Minutes!
Choose Your Songs
Record A Performance
Submit your Link
Grand Prize Winner!
Record your winning song in a Pro-Tools Recording Studio and make it radio-ready with a 20-year Veteran Producer who will help you add all of the instruments, percussion, and studio magic to turn your song into a hit!
Owner, Producer, and Engineer of
The Library Recording Studio
Receive this Gibson Les Paul Special P90
Top 10 Winners
Would You Rather Compete against > 50,000 songs?
How Many Chances Do You Want to Win?
Prove that You Believe in Your Music
The only way you can't win in this contest is by hesitating.
There is only room for 100 songwriters.
Every one of those 100 songwriters get song reviews to use with their media.
Every one of those 100 songwriters gets a free gift*.
Entering your songs into this contest shows that you believe that your songs are worthy of a larger stage--worthy of press--worthy of the time to have other musicians listen to and review your music.
I've worked with Ry as a musican, a partner in corporate IT projects and attended his Victory conference. He puts so much care into every project he works on. His performances are always stellar!
Ry combines elements of rock, blues, punk, and pop to create a unique sound. His ability to connect an emotional lyric to a memorable melody will have you singing along and moving to the beat. Ry has written hundreds of songs as a solo artist and created several albums both solo and with a full band.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why is this contest so much more expensive than others?
A1.The UnSung Heroes Songwriter Contest is a premium contest designed to attract only local Twin Cities artists who know they have amazing songs that they are ready to perform for a larger audience.
The entire experience of this contest is designed to further your career--including the information you're reading on this page.
Q2. Do I have to live in the Minneapolis or St. Paul to participate?
A2.No. The purpose of the contest is to provide exposure to artists that want play in the Twin Cities area in and around Minneapolis and St. Paul. Our marketing and local press is focused on Minneapolis and St. Paul, but also enthusiatically includes surrounding suburbs.
Q3. What good is local press?
A3. Writing a great song is not newsworthy to your typical newspaper. But putting that great song into a contest is. Once your song is competing against other songs, you have a story to tell about how well your song performs. Getting into the top 50 in a local premium contest is a newsworthy story. That's why we will submit a press release to a local community newspaper of your choice for the top 50 finalists.
Many artists struggle to get local noteriety even when they write and perform great music. Getting your first local press in a community newspaper is a critical step to getting more press in the future. Once you have it, you can forever cite your press release in your Electronic Press Kit (EPK). The EPK shows news outlets that you are newsworthy and gives you a platform for building a recognizable brand and public awareness. As you go forward in your career, any jouranlist will be able to reference your press in future stories. Ex. "Local Contest Finalist goes on to...."
Q6. If one of my songs is selected for the top 10 do I have to play in a showcase?
A6. This contest aims to give you a stage with a spotlight to highlight how great you are as a singer songwriter. If for whatever reason you do not want to perform, this really is not the contest for you.
Q7: When and Where is the showcase happening?
A7: The Un-Sung Heroes Singer Songwriter Contest Showcase is happening on Saturday, June 4, 2022 from 7pm-11pm at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown. This avant garde theater is a popular venue for national acts and you will get to play this stage.
Q8: Is this a Pay-to-Play Event where I have to sell a certain number of tickets to participate?
A8: No. A Pay-to-Play event is an event where a local band is given "the opportunity" to play as a featured band or an opening band for a touring act provided they can sell a certain number of tickets to the show. While we certainly encourage you to invite your friends and family to purchase tickets, we do not require participants to sell any tickets. Selling tickets is our job--not yours!
Q5. Who gets to play in the showcase?
A5.The top 10 winners will each have the opportunity to perform a 20-minute set in showcase held in the incredible Varsity Theater with professional sound system and lighting used by nationally touring acts.
In-Depth Feedback on Every Song to give you usable quotes for your EPK.
How Do I Know If My Song Could Be
A Timeless Classic or a Fan Favorite?
Ry's album, "Sojourn through the Night" is on a loop during my early morning summer walks. When I go to bed feeling skeptical, like I’ve lived someone else’s simulation, in a world I don’t quite recognize...
this feels real. Familiar. Convincing.
And what other than music can do that? Ground you in truth while also lifting you out of the muck? That is this album. There is enough of a lament here to sate a wannabe goth girl like myself. Yet these deep dives into the shadows of the soul make me further appreciate the promise of the upbeat tunes.
Author of "Angel of Eventide"
From my very first impression of Ry, I found him to be a generous and creative problem solver. That was nearly twenty years ago, and he has consistently proven to be all that and more as he has matured and refined his skills in each craft and venture of which he's been a part.
I am proud to work with Ry and I am inspired by him. He is the rare type of person who can leave you entertained, valued, successful, improved. What’s more; each time I express my gratitude for any aspect of what Ry has contributed, his sincere response is a nonchalant expression to the effect of, “Of course! It was my pleasure to simply do what I was asked.” What he may not realize, is that most the time when people ask for help, they don’t really expect that person to be 100% committed; With Ry, 100% seems to be the minimum he can give.
I attended the Men's Victory Conference Camping Retreat years ago, and today I am still inspired by the encouragement to discover, be and celebrate my true self, and the excitement of pursuing dreams.
When I was feeling stuck, Ry encouraged me to create my own conference and coached be through the entire process for planning everything including food, speakers, networking questions, and website registration.
It was a life-changing expereience!!!
"To Appease" is and always has been my favorite song by Ry Edwards. I first heard it almost 20 years ago and it has randomly popped into my head about once a week ever since then.
I adore everything about it. The acoustic guitar reminds me of everything I love about Billy Corgan and John Mayer. The lyrics and vocals are so heartfelt and warm that it lifts me up even when the outside world feels cold and sad. I find myself singing it to myself and my daughter often and probably always will!
Chord Progression Complexity
Do I immediately want to listen again?
Am I still singing it after the songs ends?
Q9: How many songs can I submit?
A9: Each song writer is allowed a maximum number of 3 entries. Please do not attempt to enter the same songwriter under multiple stage names. We designed this contest to give an opportunity to songwriters who are ready to take a leap to a bigger stage and ask that each contestant respect this rule.
Q14: I don't have a video performance yet. Should I still sign up?
Points are awarded in the following categories:
Q16: I don't have a great song yet, but I think I could write one before the deadline. Should I still sign up?
A16: No. If you do not already have a song that you have tested before an audience, please do not sign-up at this time. Wait until you have a great song before submitting to any contest. Make certain that you are mature enough in your career where you are ready to play for larger audiences.
*$100 Credit only valid for contestants who enter 3 songs. Credit applies toward any 1 ticket to the FIND YOUR STAGE - Minneapolis Singer Songwriter Conference June 4-5, 2022.
^Free Gift (Valued at $100) must be picked up at the Un-Sung Heroes Songwriter Showcase on June 4, 2022, else the gift is forfeited.
Q11: If I can't win more than one prize, why should I submit more than one song?
A11: Several reasons:
A12: It is a gathering of local singer songwriters who are looking to take the next step in their music career. While the "Un-Sung Heroes Songwriter Contest" is designed for more seasoned songwriters, the "FIND YOUR STAGE" conference is open to any and all songwriters--professional, amateur, novice, or aspiring--who want to
Q13: How are the "FIND YOUR STAGE - Mineapolis Singer Songwriter Conference" and the "Un-Sung Heroes Songwriter Contest" connected?
Ebony satin lacquer finish, mahogany body, dual P-90 pickups, beautifully light at 8.4 pounds
(Extra durable padded gig bag included)
Top 3 Winners
Receive a Dell Inspirion 15" Laptop computer
(11th gen processor i5, 256GB Solid State Drive, 16GB RAM)
Eligible to receive a FREE GIFT*
a soft portable synthesizer piano Keyboard
61 touch-sensitive keys, 120 instrument sounds, drum beats, record/playback, line out and built-in speaker. MIDI compatible for use with computers and synthesizers. Rolls up for easy travel and storage.
Valued at $100.
*Must be redeemed at the Showcase performance at the Varsity Theater on June 4, 2022, else forfeited.
Receive a press release in your community newspaper of choice.
A T-Shirt with the Un-Sung Heroes Songwriter Contest logo on the front and the names of the top 25 songwriters on the back
An invitation to perform a 20-minute set in The Un-Sung Heroes Showcase
June 4, 2022 at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis
Each will receive a 1-hour photo session with Rodel Q Photography
for headshots or band photos.
Toward Any 1 Ticket to the FIND YOUR STAGE - Minneapolis Music Conference June 4-5, 2022
Every contestant who enters 3 songs
1 song review
1 guaranteed prize
1 chance for 50 prizes
2 song reviews
1 guaranteed prize
2 chances for 50 prizes
3 song reviews
1 guaranteed prize
3 chances to win 50 prizes
Valid Toward Any 1 Ticket to the FIND YOUR STAGE - Mpls Singer Songwriter Conference
Many national and international song writing competitions have few or no limits on how many songs or songwriters can enter.
The sheer number of entries can influence the judges priority to become more focused on getting through listening to all of the song entries than appreciating the the nuances of each unique artist and their personal style.
That is not the case with the Un-Sung Heroes Songwriter Contest. Instead of charging $30 per entry and just letting anyone enter, we raised the price to ensure we are attracting songwriters who are using this contest as a investment in their career.
In return we offer quality services reviewing the merits of each song and writing a thoughtful review of each one that you can then use on your website, EPK, and as social media posts. Each song will be listened to 3 times before it's even judged. The finalists will go through multiple rounds of judging to ensure we truly are finding and presenting the best songs at the showcase.
So what would you rather do? Pay a cheaper fee and compete against thousands of other song writers? Or pay the larger fee knowing that
How is the Un-Sung Heroes Songwriter Contest Different from other Songwriting Contests?
Choose Your Number of Entries
*Free gift must be picked up at the Un-Sung Heroes Songwriter Showcase at the Varsity Theater on Saturday evening June 4, 2022.
Isn't it about time that you believe in your music
as much as you want others to?
Ry is an incredibly talented musician and songwriter with a big heart for people. Ry supported me and my dream because he truly wants to see artists succeed!
Q4. What Genres do you accept?
A4. We truly are seeking songs where the musicality creates a mood that enhances the lyrics thematically. Whatever style you can use to create a musical masterpiece will be accepted.
However, the focus of this contest contains elements from Indie Pop:
Other similar genres might include:
Genres outside of the focus of this event include:
Electronic Dance Music (EDM)
Q15: If I sign-up today and don't get my song uploaded by March 15th 2022, will I get a refund?
A10: No. Only 100 songwriters are allowed in the contest and each song writer has up to 3 chances to win. Each songwriter's highest scoring song will determine their final ranking. However, each song will still get reviewed and scored and you will receive the feedback on all of your songs to put as quotes on your website or EPK.
Q10: Can I win multiple times?
Q12: What is the FIND YOUR STAGE - Mineapolis Singer Songwriter Conference?
A14: This is an incredible opportunity. If you have a hit song, this is your opportunity to get the prizes, performance, and press it deserves! Sign-up now to secure your spot then call your best friend and have them record you on their cell phone, upload it to Youtube, and send in the link before March 15th 2022. You can do this!
A15:No. We want you to commit and complete this task. We encourage you to submit your song and get a performance up on YouTube. Even if you don't have a YouTube Channel today, start one! YouTube is such an amazing platform for reaching new fans and promoting your music. Let this contest be your impetus for setting up your music-focused YouTube account. Use YouTube to market your music!
Developing 100 Local Artists
Detailed reviews of every song submitted!
Beyond constructive criticism for songwriters to review privately,
reviews will also include artful description of the best elements of the songs
for use with your EPK.
Valued at $50.
Rewards for ALL 100 participants
Top 50 Winners
Top 25 Winners