man and young woman huddle over a piano.

Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge

National Endowment for the Arts and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge. In collaboration with Concord Theatricals, Disney Theatrical Productions, and NMPA S.O.N.G.S. Foundation.

The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT), is now accepting submissions for the 2023-24 program, an opportunity for high school students to develop and showcase musical compositions that could be a part of a musical theater production. This year, even more resources and constructive critique opportunities will be available for participating students to cultivate their songwriting skills. 

The timeline for the 2023-2024 program includes:

  • This fall, online songwriting workshops will be open to all students (register at
  • From now until January 31, 2024, students can submit an original song for the 2023-2024 program. (Note- this deadline has been extended.)
  • In early 2024, all students who submitted a song will receive constructive critique on their submissions from successful musical theater songwriters and can participate in online group coaching sessions and masterclasses.
  • Applicants will have the opportunity to revise and re-submit their compositions, which will be judged by a panel of leaders in the musical theater field—including NAMT members and Festival of New Musicals Alumni Writers, among others—who will select the Challenge’s winning writers/writing teams in Spring 2024.  
  • Winning writers/writing teams will be invited to New York City in June 2024 to work with mentors in preparation for a concert of their songs.

Learn more about how to participate at

The Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge began as a pilot program in 2016 in three cities (Dallas, TX; Minneapolis, MN, Seattle, WA) before going national in 2017/2018. We invite you to check out the final songs from our previous years' winners from the 20212020, 2019, 2018 and 2016 competitions.