The 7th Milkmaid Songwriting Competition


What is it?

About the competition

Now in its seventh year, the competition will run on Wednesdays in April with the final on Friday 24th April 2020. Open to all acts from solo to full bands. Perform a warm up and an original song as your entry.

How do I enter?

How to enter

If you have any questions or would like to book a place in this years event please visit the Contact page.


Competition - Coronavirus Update

I’m very sad to announce that we have decided to postpone the competition due to the coronavirus outbreak. The health of our acts and audience is the most important thing and I feel it would be unfair to ask you all to come out when some may be self-isolating. We will look to rearrange the competition in the Autumn and I will keep you all informed.

Take care!

Draw for the 2020 Songwriting Competition.
Heat 1 - Wednesday 1st April 2020

Stephen Christopher
Marina Flo
Max Bianco
Francis Botcherby
David Black
Misery Guts

Heat 2 - Wednesday 8th April 2020

Ludlam Pikes
John Mosedale
The Other Ways
Bill Pipe
The Mild East
Ellen Fairey

Heat 3 - Wednesday 15th April 2020

David Scotford
Claudia Myatt
Gary Woolley
Julia Mascetti
Chris Rust
The StrumPets
Stephen & Julie Wigley

Heat 4 - Thursday 23rd April 2020

The Larks
Ralph Barnett
The Plimpies
Petra Garrard
Bob Hines

Judges confirmed for competition.

Adrian Black, Fern Teather, George Wicker and Lesley Paris will be judging this years competition.

The 7th Milkmaid Songwriting Competition

I am delighted to announce that entries are now open for the 2020 Milkmaid Songwriting Competition, heats will be on Wednesdays 1st, 8th, 15th and Thursday 23rd April with the final on Friday 24th April 2020.

If you would like to enter please use the contact page to book your place.

Closing date for entries is Thursday 5th March 2020, the draw will be held at the Milkmaid Folk Club on Friday 6th March 2020


Previous Winners (Runners-Up)

2019 - Lizzy Hardingham (Steve and Julie)

2018 - Bryan Causton & Penni McLaren-Walker (Homity)

2017 - Tony Phillips (Chris Fox)

2016 - Sally Ironmonger (Mark Gamon)

2015 - Raintown Seers (The Tin Heart Troubadours)

2014 - Sound Tradition (Addison's Uncle)



  • 2021 Showcase at The Milkmaid
  • £50 Balaams Voucher


  • 2021 Showcase at The Milkmaid
  • £25 Balaams Voucher


Closing date for entries Thursday 5th March 2020

Open to anyone from solo artists to bands

Competition will be split into 4/5/6 heats with up to 6 acts per heat depending on number of entrants

Heat winners, announced on the night, go through to final, wildcards announced after last heat also go through

Each act get 2 songs, a warm up (can be a cover) and the competition entry song

Main song must be an original composition

£5 Entry fee for acts

Standard club entry fee for audience

Milkmaid organisers and staff ineligible


Heats will be held on Wednesdays 1st, 8th, 15th and Thursday 23rd April at the Risbygate Sports Club, Bury St Edmunds

Final to be held at the Risbygate Sports Club on Friday 24th April 2020

PA and Engineer will be provided


There will be 4 judges

The songs will be judged based on criteria (lyrical content, tune, pertinence to folk, performance and je ne sais quoi!)

Criteria will be set out for judges and a joint decision made after the final act.

A copy of lyrics for the competition entry, if any, to be provided to judges

The Judges decision is final