The Ivors Rules

The Ivors are presented by BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors) and judged by the writing community.

They celebrate, honour and reward excellence in songwriting and composing, for works released in the UK within the Awards year.

The Ivors also honour songwriters and composers with awards recognising their contribution to British music. These awards are in the gift of the Ivor Novello Awards Committee; which is a sub-committee of the main BASCA Board.


2018 Ivor Novello Awards Rules and Guidelines

  • Eligibility
  • Entry
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically
  • Best Contemporary Song
  • Album Award
  • Best Original Film Score
  • Best Television Soundtrack
  • Best Original Video Game Score
  • Entry Award Category Judging
  • Non Entry Award Categories and Rules
  • Nominations and Winners
  • Miscellaneous Rules and Guidelines

All entries must have a British or Irish contribution of at least one third (33.3%) according to the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society. In calculating the British or Irish contribution all writers will be taken into account, including the writers of any samples used.

Non-British or non-Irish nationals are eligible for nomination; provided the writer(s) were ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom during the calendar year ending 31 December 2017 (documentary proof will be required).

All submitted works must have been published and commercially released during the calendar year ending 31 December 2017.

PLEASE NOTE additional category eligibility criteria is outlined on the individual category sections.

Anyone can enter an eligible work for consideration including the songwriter or composer themselves.

There is no restriction on the number of works that may be submitted in any category.

No work that has previously been entered for consideration can be re-entered for the Awards.

An administration fee of £55.00 NET (£66.00) is payable per entry. Administration fees must be paid in full before a work will be passed for judging.

All entries are to be submitted online via the BASCA Awards Entry Site http://basca.secure-platform.com/a

All entries must be received by Friday 9 February 2018

This award recognises excellence in songwriting craft; entries will be judged with particular reference to melody, lyrics, harmony and structure.

(a)To be eligible the song must have appeared on either The Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart or as a track on an entry in The Official UK Top 100 Albums Chart during the calendar year ending 31 December 2017.

(b) A song may only be submitted into either Best Song Musically and Lyrically or Best Contemporary Song. As such, please specify the category in which you would like the song to be considered. BASCA reserves the right to transfer a song from either category, to be determined by the relevant Ivor Novello Awards jury.

(c) An mp3 file (192Kbps or above) of the released song must be submitted with each entry.

(d) Each entry must be accompanied by a PDF of the official song lyrics.

(e) Each entry must be accompanied by a PDF of the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society, identifying the writer and publisher interests and share contributions.

(f) There will be no more than three nominated songs in this category.

(g) There will be one winning song in this category.

(h) BASCA will credit each writer, regardless of nationality, whose personal contribution is at least 12.5% of the writers share in the work according to the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society, and the corresponding UK publisher.

(i) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to each winning writer in line with clause (h).  Only these writers will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.

(j) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to the corresponding UK publisher. Additional statuettes may be awarded to bona fide co-publishers in the case of co-written and co-published works in line with clause (h). Only one representative from each publisher will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony. For the avoidance of doubt, the UK publisher shall include any person, firm or company owning or controlling the copyright in the nominated work in the UK during the qualifying period.

(k) Any works where there is or appears to be a genuine ownership, authorship or author-share dispute may, at the discretion of the Board of BASCA, be disqualified.

This award recognises outstanding originality in songwriting. The judges will be looking for songs which capture the moment and/or explore the boundaries of contemporary music.

(a) To be eligible the song must have appeared on either The Official UK Top 100 Singles Chart or as a track on an entry in The Official UK Top 100 Albums Chart during the calendar year ending 31 December 2017.

(b) A song may only be submitted into either Best Contemporary Song or Best Song Musically and Lyrically. As such, please specify the category in which you would like the song to be considered. BASCA reserves the right to transfer a song from either category, to be determined by the relevant Ivor Novello Awards jury.

(c) An mp3 file (192Kbps or above) of the released song must be submitted with each entry.

(d) Each entry must be accompanied by a PDF of the official song lyrics.

(e) Each entry must be accompanied by a PDF of the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society, identifying the writer and publisher interests and share contributions.

(f) There will be no more than three nominated songs in this category.

(g) There will be one winning song in this category.

(h) BASCA will credit each writer, regardless of nationality, whose personal contribution is at least 12.5% of the writers share in the work according to the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society, and the corresponding UK publisher.

(i) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to each winning writer in line with clause (h). Only these writers will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.

(j) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to the corresponding UK publisher. Additional statuettes may be awarded to bona fide co-publishers in the case of co-written and co-published works in line with clause (h). Only one representative from each publisher will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony. For the avoidance of doubt, the UK publisher shall include any person, firm or company owning or controlling the copyright in the nominated work in the UK during the qualifying period.

(k) Any works where there is or appears to be a genuine ownership, authorship or author-share dispute may, at the discretion of the Board of BASCA, be disqualified.

This award acknowledges the album as a body of work; entries will be judged with particular reference to exceptional songwriting and consistency.

(a) To be eligible the album must have appeared on The Official UK Top 100 Albums Chart during the calendar year ending 31 December 2017.

(b) The album must also contain at least 75% original material; ‘original’ in this context is defined as not previously released in the UK.

(c) The version of the album that enters the chart on date of release should be the album submitted for judging. Later versions of the release in special editions with extra tracks etc. will not be considered.

(d) Mp3 files (192Kbps or above) of each track on the album must be submitted with each entry.

(e) Each entry must be accompanied by a PDF of the album registration at the relevant royalty collection society, identifying the writer and publisher interests and share contributions.

(f) There will be no more than three nominated albums in this category.

(g) There will be one winning album in this category.

(h) BASCA will credit each writer, regardless of nationality, whose personal contribution is at least 12.5% of the writers share in the work according to the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society, and the corresponding UK publisher. Only these writers will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.
To calculate the personal contribution across an entire album, the album will be divided by the number of eligible tracks (i.e. excluding cover versions) so, for an album with say 10 eligible tracks each track is worth 10%.

(i) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to each winning writer in line with clause (h). Only these writers will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.

(j) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to the corresponding UK publisher. Additional statuettes may be awarded to bona fide co-publishers in the case of co-written and co-published works in line with clause (h). Only one representative from each publisher will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony. For the avoidance of doubt, the UK publisher shall include any person, firm or company owning or controlling the copyright in the nominated work in the UK during the qualifying period.

(k) Any works where there is or appears to be a genuine ownership, authorship or author-share dispute may, at the discretion of the Board of BASCA, be disqualified.

This award recognises outstanding composition for a feature film; particular attention will be paid to how well the music enhances the visual content.

(a) To be eligible the film must have been exhibited theatrically in the UK during the calendar year ending 31 December 2017. Definition of release date in the UK is based on the weekly schedule for the Film Distributor’s Association, the trade body for theatrical film distribution in the UK.

(b) An MPEG4 or QuickTime MOV file containing a selection of the original music cues from the film must be submitted with each entry: (i) music must be shown in the context of the visuals as it appeared in its original broadcast. (ii) cues can be shown in any order the composer feels best highlights their work. (iii) there is no limit to the number of cues, but the overall duration must be no longer than 15 minutes.

(c) Each entry must be accompanied by a PDF of the original music cue sheet for the film, as submitted to the relevant royalty collection society.

(d) In the event that the score is put forward to the second jury session, BASCA will require up to 9 region two DVD copies of the complete film, if it is not on general DVD release.

(e) There will be no more than three nominated scores in this category.

(f) There will be one winning score in this category.

(g) BASCA will credit the composer(s) of the original score, responsible for the overall conception, design and execution of the work as a whole, and the corresponding UK publisher according to the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society. Where the composer created less than 50% of the original music, additional contributors may be considered at the discretion of the relevant Ivor Novello Awards jury.

(h) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to each winning composer in line with clause (g). Only these composers will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.

(i) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to the corresponding UK publisher. Additional statuettes may be awarded to bona fide co-publishers in the case of co-written and co-published works in line with clause (g). Only one representative from each publisher will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony. For the avoidance of doubt, the UK publisher shall include any person, firm or company owning or controlling the copyright in the nominated work in the UK during the qualifying period.

(j) Any works where there is or appears to be a genuine ownership, authorship or author-share dispute may, at the discretion of the Board of BASCA, be disqualified.

This award recognises outstanding composition for a television programme; particular attention will be paid to how well the original music enhances the visual content.

(a) To be eligible the original music must have been broadcast as part of a programme that received its first transmission in the UK during the calendar year ending 31 December 2017 on terrestrial, cable, satellite or digital channels including web based broadcasters who commission original content (such as Netflix).

(b) An mpeg4 or QuickTime MOV file containing a selection of the original music cues from the programme must be submitted with each entry: (i) music must be shown in the context of the visuals as it appeared in its original broadcast. (ii) cues can be shown in any order the composer feels best highlights their work. (iii) there is no limit to the number of cues, but the overall duration must be no longer than 15 minutes.

(c) Each entry must be accompanied by a PDF of the original music cue sheet for the entire broadcast, as submitted to the relevant royalty collection society.

(d) There will be no more than three nominated soundtracks in this category.

(e) There will be one winning soundtrack in this category.

(f) BASCA will credit the composer(s) of the original music, responsible for the overall conception, design and execution of the work as a whole, and the corresponding UK publisher according to the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society. Where the composer created less than 50% of the original music, additional contributors may be considered at the discretion of the relevant Ivor Novello Awards jury.

(g) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to each winning composer in line with clause (f). Only these composers will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.

(h) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to the corresponding UK publisher. Additional statuettes may be awarded to bona fide co-publishers in the case of co-written and co-published works in line with clause (f). Only one representative from each publisher will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony. For the avoidance of doubt, the UK publisher shall include any person, firm or company owning or controlling the copyright in the nominated work in the UK during the qualifying period.

(i) Any works where there is or appears to be a genuine ownership, authorship or author-share dispute may, at the discretion of the Board of BASCA, be disqualified.

This award recognises outstanding composition for a video game; particular attention will be paid to how well the original music enhances the visual content and gaming experience.

(a) To be eligible the game must have been commercially released in the UK during the calendar year ending 31 December 2017.

(b) An MPEG4 or QuickTime MOV file containing a selection of the original music cues from the game must be submitted with each entry: (i) music must be shown in the context of the visuals as it appeared within the game. (ii) cues can be shown in any order the composer feels best highlights their work across the entire game. (iii) there is no limit to the number of cues, but the overall duration must be no longer than 15 minutes and should include a mixture of game play and cut scenes.

(c) While not a condition of entry, entrants are invited to include mp3 files (192Kbps or above) of each track on the soundtrack album of the game’s score, if available.

(d) Each entry must be accompanied by a PDF of the original music cue sheet for the entire game.

(e) There will be no more than three nominated soundtracks in this category.

(f) There will be one winning soundtrack in this category.

(g) BASCA will credit the composer(s) of the original music, responsible for the overall conception, design and execution of the work as a whole, and the corresponding UK publisher according to the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society. Where the composer created less than 50% of the original music, additional contributors may be considered at the discretion of the relevant Ivor Novello Awards jury.

(h) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to each winning composer in line with clause (g). Only these composers will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.

(i) Any works where there is or appears to be a genuine ownership, authorship or author-share dispute may, at the discretion of the Board of BASCA, be disqualified.

The final judgement in the five categories detailed above will be made by specially appointed juries, the members of which shall be chosen by BASCA:

(a) BASCA aims to have seven judges on each panel with a minimum of five and a maximum of nine allowed. The majority of jurors will be songwriters or composers.

(b) Any juror with a conflict of interest or perceived conflict of interest will not be allowed to serve on a jury.

(c) An Independent Adjudicator will be present at each jury session, in a non voting capacity.

(d) All judges will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

(e) In all cases, the final decision rests with BASCA and correspondence will not be entered into with respect to such decisions.

This section focuses on specific eligibility criteria for each award to which BASCA does not accept entries. The appearance of these award titles does not guarantee their presentation in any particular year.

PRS for Music Most Performed Work is title sponsored by our sponsor PRS for Music.

It is credited to the work having received the most broadcast, online and general performances in the calendar year ending 31 December 2017.

Cue usage, usage as idents, jingles or adverts are not taken into account, nor are any performances of less than 60 seconds of any other works.

The calculation is based on the information on the PRS for Music systems after the processing of usage data for April distribution in the year of the Awards.

(a) In addition to the general eligibility criteria for the Ivor Novello Awards, the British or Irish writer contribution of at least one third (33.3%) must be assigned to PRS for Music members.

(b) Only works not in dispute at PRS for Music, at the time of calculation, will be taken into consideration.

(c) There will be no more than three nominated songs in this category.

(d) There will be one winning song in this category.

(e) BASCA will credit each writer, regardless of nationality, whose personal contribution is at least 12.5% of the writers share in the work according to the works registration at the relevant royalty collection society, and the corresponding UK publisher.

(f) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to each winning writer in line with clause (e). Only these writers will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.

(g) One hand cast bronze statuette (Ivor Novello Award) will be presented to the corresponding UK publisher. Additional statuettes may be awarded to bona fide co-publishers in the case of co-written and co-published works in line with clause (e). Only one representative from each publisher will be invited on stage to collect their award at the Ivor Novello Awards ceremony. For the avoidance of doubt, the UK publisher shall include any person, firm or company owning or controlling the copyright in the nominated work in the UK during the qualifying period.

International Achievement

This award is in the gift of BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee. The primary purpose of this award is to honour a British or Irish songwriter(s) or composer(s) who has experienced exceptional success outside the United Kingdom.

Lifetime Achievement

This award is in the gift of BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee. It is presented to a British or Irish songwriter(s) or composer(s) in recognition of a lifetime of exceptional creative talent.

Outstanding Song Collection

This award is in the gift of BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee. It is presented to a British or Irish songwriter(s) who has written a consistently outstanding body of work.

PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music is title sponsored by our ceremony sponsor, PRS for Music. The recipient’s identity is proposed by PRS for Music and approved by BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee. It is presented to a British or Irish songwriter(s) or composer(s) whose career has made an outstanding contribution to British Music.

PRS for Music Special International Award is title sponsored by our ceremony sponsor, PRS for Music. The recipient’s identity is proposed by PRS for Music and approved by BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee. It is presented to an international songwriter(s) or composer(s) who has had an outstanding career, being or having been, a major influence on the British music industry.

Songwriter(s) of the Year

This award is in the gift of BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee.  It is presented to a British or Irish songwriter or songwriting team that has written an outstanding body of work released during the award year.

The Ivors Classical Music Award

This award is presented to a British or Irish composer. The recipient’s identity is proposed by BASCA’s Classical Committee and approved by BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee. It recognises an outstanding body of work in the classical genre.

The Ivors Jazz Award

This award is presented to a British or Irish composer. The recipient’s identity is proposed by BASCA’s Jazz Committee and approved by BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee. It recognises an outstanding collection of jazz compositions.

The Ivors Inspiration Award

This award is in the gift of BASCA’s Ivor Novello Awards Committee. The primary purpose of this award is to honour an exceptional British or Irish songwriter(s) or composer(s) who has inspired the creative talents of others.

(a) BASCA reserves the right not to make an award in any category.

(b) Any works where there is or appears to be a genuine ownership, authorship or author-share dispute may, at the discretion of the Board of BASCA, be disqualified.

(c) The nominations for each category will always be listed in alphabetical order by work title. Where there is more than one nominated writer, names will always be listed in alphabetical order of surname.

(e) Nominated writers and publishers will be informed on a confidential basis, in writing, by the end of March 2018.

(f) Nominations will be announced to the press and general public one month before the Award ceremony.

(g) Each nominated writer will receive a ticket for themselves and a guest to attend the Award ceremony, courtesy of BASCA.

(h) The winners’ press release and list is the definitive source of award winners information.

(i) The Ivor Novello Award remains the property of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, to remain in the care of the recipient or their descendants.  Should the award leave the care of the recipient or their descendants, BASCA reserves the right to purchase the statuette back for a fee of £1. The award must not be sold on to any third party.

(j) The Award ceremony will incorporate an audio-visual presentation of nominated works, and nominees or their representative’s cooperation in supplying the necessary music videos, still publicity photographs and audio files will be required.

(k) Entrants may use ‘The Ivors’, ‘The Ivors Nominee’ or ‘The Ivors Winner’ logos online, in print and in broadcasts only once the work has been nominated for or won an award: (i) logos are available from BASCA at the time songwriters or composers are informed of their nomination and can be used before the press announcement for the purpose of artwork preparation only. (ii) cropping or altering the artwork in any way is prohibited. (iii) each instance of logo use must be approved by BASCA, with proofs of the logo in situ provided by email.

(a) The Ivors and Euterpe (Ivor Novello Award) are trademarks belonging to BASCA. Persons wishing to reproduce or use these marks, must secure the written consent of BASCA prior to such use.

(b) An Ivor Novello Award may not be reproduced or used in any commercial manner unless prior permission has been obtained from BASCA.

(c) he final decision regarding all aspects of the Ivor Novello Awards, including the interpretation of these rules rests with the Board of BASCA.

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