Hook, Line and Lyric

Hook, Line and Lyric @Jesus is the College’s bi-annual songwriting competition. It has been established to provide the opportunity for aspiring songwriters to have a couple of points in the year where they can submit their songs, meet fellow songwriters and get exposure and feedback from a panel of professionals from across the music industry.

Hook, Line and Lyric @Jesus is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels, we want you to just have a go, have fun, experiment and develop your craft.

This competition is supported by the Centre for Music Performance, whose mission it is to support music performance at all levels, in all genres, and for students of all subjects, placing musical engagement at the heart of the higher education experience that makes Cambridge unique.

The Judges 2023-24

Prof. Ben Walton (Jesus College), Sonita Alleyne OBE (Jesus College), Alex Hall (CMP)

First Prize: £100

Second Prize: £50

Third Prize: £30

When is it?

Hook, Line and Lyric @Jesus runs bi-annually.

The Easter competition will be launched on 8 April via email announcement and posts on social media (via the College Comms team and the Music Performance Centre), encouraging everyone with an interest to have a play and step out of their creative comfort zone – because as we very well know, a comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there! Additionally, students will be invited to join the Facebook page Hook Line and Lyric at Jesus, where prompts and advices on how to get the best out of the competition will be posted on a regular basis.

How to enter?

Submissions from every genre of music are welcome and encouraged – As our name suggests, our judges will be listening out for tempo, musicality, and meaning! So whichever your preferred music style, we are here for it!

Find all the details of the competition (including how to submit, rules for entry and category examples) on Film Freeway


Launch: 8 April 2024

Deadline: 10 June 2024

Winners to be announced: by 31 July 2024

– This competition is only opened to current students and alumni/graduates of Cambridge University students, CATS and ARU – individually or as part of a songwriting partnership.
– Songs should consist of the contestant’s own work and should not infringe any copyrights or any other rights of any third parties. An exception is that a song that contains elements of another work may be accepted provided this is made clear by the entrant on entry, but in such cases the unoriginal part will not be judged and only the original parts will be judged.
– Keep submissions anonymous
– Swear words are permitted in songs if used in an appropriate context.


Previous Winners:

First prize: Roy Juxon, (MPhil Economics, 2022) – Downing College – You just know my name.

Second prize: Greta Thompson, (PhD Engineering, 2022), – Pembroke College – on behalf of her band Aquatic Ape for the song All that I need.

Third prize: Tara Buxton (English, 2023) – Jesus College – Metamorphosis.

Honourable mentions went to Kirsty Mack of Robinson College for The Fall, and to King’s College student Joseph de Souza for I Can’t Begin to Tell You.