Critique for A Fee

SGA's Position

The following excerpt is from The Nashville News (Volume 4, No. 3), a bi-monthly newsletter produced by The Songwriters Guild of America, 50 Music Square West, Suite 702, Nashville, TN 37203, by way of the newsletter of the Southwest Virginia Songwriters Association.

Songwriters Guild of America (SGA) Southern Regional Director, Ms. Kathy Hyland, and singer/songwriter/SGA member Fred Koller were interviewed by Brad Bussy, Producer of "This Week In Country Music" on SGA's position regarding publishers who charge writers fees for critique. The particular case involved Affiliated Publishers, Inc., a Nashville firm which charges a quarterly fee to critique songs, which, if recorded, entitles API to share 50/50 with the writer.

SGA's advice to a writer is:

"Never pay to have your songs recorded or published. When the publisher gets your song recorded and it generates income, they pay you. There are publishers in Nashville who will listen to your material, there are organizations such as SGA that offer free 'critique' for members, there are writers nights at many clubs in Nashville where writers can get exposure for their material, there are numerous workshops held across the country where writers can improve their craft and get professional 'feedback' on their material. In addition, through the use of The Sue Brewer Fund of the Songwriters Guild Foundation, writers can apply for free studio time to demo their songs, a free critique of their material and a showcase for those writers receiving a positive critique of their songs. For the same fee that a writer pays to API ($180 per quarter or $600 per year) a writer can make a trip to Nashville, Los Angeles, or New York and make legitimate music contacts, demo their songs and attend workshops if needed."

The show aired on Saturday, March 25, on The Nashville Network.