Mollie Brown

Mollie Brown

Mollie Brown is an activist, student and mother, and an Associate Editor of Culture Matters. 

The Bread and Roses Songwriting and Spoken Word Award 2020
Friday, 13 September 2019 16:03

The Bread and Roses Songwriting and Spoken Word Award 2020

Published in Music

Mollie Brown introduces the Bread & Roses Songwriting and Spoken Word Award 2020, and 'the instinctive joy of taking control of cultural production'

The Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) and Culture Matters are pleased to announce the third edition of their successful Bread & Roses Songwriting and Spoken Word Award. The Musicians’ Union is also supporting and sponsoring this award.

The Award is now open for submissions.  The new Award is a practical example of cultural democracy, with the aim of encouraging musicians and performers to write material meaningful to working-class people and communities, and to encourage those communities to develop and practice their creativity. This year’s Award will focus on five themes: Climate Emergency, Our Culture, More Than Profit, Workers’ Lives and Global Solidarity.

Entry is free and there is a £100 cash prize for each of the top five entries. The judges will be drawn from practising performers, the CWU, the MU, and members of Culture Matters.

Ron Brown, MU Regional Committee and Judge 2019, said:

The Bread and Roses Award is a fantastic opportunity for voices of the working class to be heard through song and poetry. The Musicians’ Union is very pleased to be supporting the Award again this time round. As one of the judges for the 2019 Award, it was a pleasure to listen to the very high quality of work submitted by the entrants, and I am very much looking forward to hearing all the entries submitted for the 2020 Award and once again being part of the judging panel. Submit your work and be heard!

Steve Pottinger, Winner 2019, said:

The Culture Matters Bread and Roses Awards do great and essential work in championing voices which speak about working-class life, and I was overjoyed to be one of the winners of this competition last year. Go on, submit your work. Tell your story. Find your audience.

Ben Young, Winner 2019, said:

The Bread and Roses Award is a great encouragement for us to play songs that capitalism wouldn't like.

Paul Dovey, CWU Education Officer, said:

'Tory Britain is Austerity Britain. Homeless people are left to fend for themselves on cold, dangerous streets. Foodbanks struggle to cope with demand. Children are going to school hungry. But a culture industry, dominated by the wealthy, remains mostly silent: worse, misleading and damaging stereotypes are promoted, denying the diversity of genuine working-class voices and culture. Now, more than ever, it is essential that a platform is provided for those voices to be heard and recognised. The Bread and Roses Songwriting and Spoken Word Award continues to
provide that platform.

We'd like to thank Culture Matters for organising this Award. It provides a vital platform for sharing the ideas and experiences of working people. They provide a place to celebrate working-class culture and the visceral, instinctive joy of taking control of cultural production.'

Submission Guidelines and Award Rules

Entry is open to all, regardless of trade union membership. The submission guidelines are as follows:

1. Entries should cover one or more of the following broad themes: Climate Emergency; Our Culture; More Than Profit; Workers' Lives; and Global Solidarity.

2. Entries can be from solo or bands of artists/performers, and are actively encouraged from grassroots, younger and emerging performers.

3. Entries should be one song or performance of original material, in English, either unpublished or previously published after 1st January 2019.

4. Entries should be submitted as audio or live/pre-recorded video files (MP3/4 format or video) via email. All entries will be judged equally, but some video entries may be also selected to feature on the Culture Matters YouTube channel.

5. Entry is free and is open to all residents of Great Britain, regardless of trade union membership. Culture Matters will fund five prizes of £100 each.

6. All entries will remain the copyright of the entrant, but CWU and Culture Matters will have the right to publish them online and in other media.

7. The organisers accept no responsibility for entries that are incorrectly submitted or not delivered due to technical faults.

8. By entering the Award, entrants agree to accept and be bound by the rules of the Award and the decisions of the judges.

9. Due to the likely volume of entries, the organisers regret that they cannot enter into correspondence with individual entrants.

10. Entries should be sent via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The deadline for receipt of submissions is midnight on December 14th, 2019. When emailing submissions, please provide your full name, chosen theme, postal address and phone number. NB This date has now been extended to February 14th 2020.

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