Established in 1997 by Yoko Ono in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, this scholarship program honors the memory of one of the preeminent songwriters of the 20th century: John Lennon. Through the generosity of Ono and Gibson Musical Instruments, three scholarships totaling $20,000 are presented annually for the best original songs in any musical genre. Over the past twenty years, more than $400,000 in scholarships has been awarded to talented young musicians from colleges and universities throughout the United States, making this award one of the nation's most esteemed accolades for emerging songwriters.
Please read all of the information on eligibility and guidelines as updates have been made for 2021.
In order to be eligible for the competition, all applicants must be:
A) Current full-time or part-time students of a U.S. college or university. Students who have been accepted to a U.S. college or university for future enrollment are NOT eligible.
B) Between the ages of 17 and 24, as of January 22, 2021.
C) Former winners (other than Honorable Mention) of the John Lennon Scholarships are not eligible to enter the competition.
Note: John Lennon Scholarship entrants who are also applying for the Nashville Songwriting Scholarship must submit different songs for each contest. Dual applicants may NOT submit the same original work to both competitions and dual entries will be marked ineligible.