Song & Tune Competition Form

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2020 Illawarra Folk Festival Emerald Song and Tune Writing Competition

Open Song Section

1st – Jennie Wardle – Coming Home   CLICK TO LISTEN
2nd – Derek Dowding – Esmeralda Emerald   CLICK TO LISTEN

Open Tune Section

1st – Sarah Moir – Dance of the Kilts   CLICK TO LISTEN 
2nd – Karen and Murray Law – Polishing the Stone   CLICK TO LISTEN

Youth (U25) Song Section

1st – Charlotte Thompson and Vasek Wichta – Emerald Eulogy   CLICK TO LISTEN
2nd – Emma Wardle – An Emerald Lullaby CLICK TO LISTEN

Youth (U25) Tune Section

1st – Emma Wardle – Emerald Meadows   CLICK TO LISTEN
2nd – Catriona Williams – Emerald Waltz   CLICK TO LISTEN

Thanks again to APRA/AMCOS for their sponsorship of the competition.

2020 Illawarra Folk Festival Emerald Song and Tune Writing Competition

Calling all songwriters and tune writers! Entries closed 30 November 2019

The Illawarra Folk Festival invites all songwriters and musicians residing in Australia to enter our 35th Anniversary song contest.

The stone symbol for a 35th anniversary is the Emerald. Australian composers of all ages are able to submit new compositions with a reference to Emerald and/or its meaning.

Here’s some information about the Emerald from the web:

Emerald is regarded as the traditional birthstone for May as well as the traditional gemstone for the astrological signs of Cancer.

One of the quainter anecdotes about emeralds was told by the 16th-century historian Brantôme, who referred to the many impressive emeralds the Spanish under Cortez had brought back to Europe from Latin America. On one of Cortez’s most notable emeralds he had the text engraved, Inter Natos Mulierum non sur-rexit mayor (“Among those born of woman there hath not arisen a greater,” Matthew 11:11) which referred to John the Baptist. Brantôme considered engraving such a beautiful and simple product of nature sacrilegious and considered this act the cause for Cortez’s loss of an extremely precious pearl (to which he dedicated a work, A beautiful and incomparable pearl), and even for the death of King Charles IX of France, who died soon afterward.

The word “emerald” is derived (via Old French: esmeraude and Middle English: emeraude), from Vulgar Latin: esmaralda/esmaraldus, a variant of Latin smaragdus, which originated in Ancient Greek: σμάραγδος (smaragdos; “green gem”).

An Emerald is a cardinal gem. Cardinal gems are gemstones which have traditionally been considered precious above all others. The classification of the cardinal gems dates back to antiquity and was largely determined by ceremonial or religious use and rarity.

How you include the theme is entirely up to you, as long as it’s obvious enough for the judges to recognise it! Depending on the category, submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Lyrics (excludes songs that do not have lyrics)
  • Melody
  • Arrangement
  • Overall likeability

Entry is free. All entries must be received no later than the closing date of 30 November 2019.

There will be 4 categories:

Open Song Section – 1st prize $300, 2nd prize $150
Open Tune Section – 1st prize $300, 2nd prize $150
Youth (U25) Song Section – 1st prize $200, 2nd prize $100
Youth (U25) Tune Section – 1st prize $200, 2nd prize $100


1. Open Song Section – 1st prize $300, 2nd prize $150

1st – Jenny Wardle: Opal of My Eye
2nd – John Nicholls: I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
Highly commended:
Linda Mizzi: The Opal Man
David Penman: Opal Teardrop
John Littrich & Neil McCann: Fire in the Stone
2. Open Tune Section – 1st prize $300, 2nd prize $150  
1st – John Nicholls: The Opal Miner’s Waltz
2nd – April Sampson-Kelly: Dark Opal
3. Youth (U25) Song Section – 1st prize $200, 2nd prize – $100
1st Emma Wardle: The Opal Mine
Equal 2nd Hazel Law: Till You Get to Shore
Equal 2nd Allegra Dunning: Opal Twister

4. Youth (U25) Tune Section – 1st prize $200, 2nd prize – $100

1st Emma Wardle: Melody Of The Opals
2nd Catriona Williams: My Opal Pendant