5 in 5 Songwriting Challenge How To Guide & FAQ

Kick perfectionism today with the 5 in 5 Song Challenge and contest, presented by SongFancy.

We’re going to write 5 songs in 5 days, and it’s going to put your inner critic on DO NOT DISTURB mode!


How To Participate in the Challenge:


 

1. Get the prompt.

Each day, I’ll post a prompt inside the Facebook group in the wee morning hours (Nashville time). Come to the group and check out the prompt each day – this is what you’ll be writing from.

2. Write the song.

Write your song based on the prompt! The goal here is to write quickly, with little editing. Push yourself. It will be hard, but that’s why this is a challenge. Give yourself an hour, 30 minutes, all evening, or just your lunch break – but whatever you do, finish that song!

3. Share your song!

Come back to the Facebook group when it’s all finished and share with the class! The 5/5 group is a wonderful place to get vulnerable, receive feedback, and feel the rush of sharing a brand new tune.

 


FAQ


 

What types of prompts do you share?

I’m always changing up prompts each challenge to keep it interesting and ot inspire as many different kinds of writers as possible. Some of the prompts we use are:

  • WORD SETS – A set of 10 words, where the writer is prompted to write a song using at least 5.
  • TITLES – A title for your song! Write a song with this title.
  • PHOTOS – Write a song that is inspired by the photograph.
  • THEMES – Write a song that alludes to this theme. You can use the exact wording, or choose not to.

Here is an example of past prompts that have been used – A Theme, a Word Set, and another Theme.

SongFancy's 5 in 5 Song Challenge prompts - here is an example of some of the writing prompts we've written songs to.

What can I expect inside the 5/5 Facebook group?

The Facebook group is where it all goes down! It’s the hub of the challenge. Meet other writers, post your song, listen to other songs, ask questions, make friends, and most of all – encourage each other! Here are some of the other resources you’ll find inside the group:

  • All the daily prompts
  • Questions answered and feedback given – start a conversation, ask anything, there are no stupid questions!
  • Helpful articles with songwriting tips to plug-and-play into your songs
  • Facebook lives from me

Can I ask the group for feedback on my song while I’m writing it?

Please! Ask away! That’s one of the most beautiful parts of this group – everyone is super helpful and read to jump in with their assistance.

If you ask for feedback, please give it in return. Find a song where the writer is asking for feedback and help ‘em out!

Can I invite my friends to participate with me?

Absolutely! Feel free to share this sign up link with them so they can get in on the fun: bit.ly/5songs5days

I’ve re-written my song so that it’s much better than before. Can I come back and share it after the challenge has ended?

Of course! Come back to the group anytime and post your polished songs. We write a ton of drafts in during these challenges, so it’s really fun to hear the finished product when it’s all done!

What does a “finished song” look like?

A finished song constitutes a song that you’ve started and seen through to the end.

That will very a bit from person to person. For example, if you write lyrics and music, then a finished song will be a full written lyric, with all melody and chords. If you’re a lyricist only, then a finished song may only be a finished lyric. But there are no blank lines, no empty spots. Every blank has been filled in and the song could be performed right at that moment if you needed to. 

Do I have to share what I write with the group?

It’s not required, but honestly, it’s the best part of the challenge! This challenge is designed to push you beyond your comfort zone. So I encourage you to share your worktapes and lyric sheets! It’s one of the most fun parts of this challenge. There are benefits to sharing your work and works in progress:

  • You get feedback and helpful advice
  • You push yourself to overcome self doubt
  • You prove to yourself and others that you’re writing
  • You keep yourself accountable

How do I share my songs in the group?

Make a post or a comment with a link to your song. Quick iphone worktapes, garage band recordings, YouTube videos of you playing your song, lyric sheet pdf’s, links to Google doc’s, images of your lyrics, are all acceptable ways to share.

I like Soundcloud and YouTube because they are (in my opinion) the easiest (and the free-est) way to upload work quickly. In both places, you can set your uploads to private and share a private link, which is nice if you only want to share a song with the 5/5 group and no one else!

Do I have to write from the daily prompt, or can I do my own thing?

Please only share songs that are written to the daily prompt. The daily prompts are there to give you a place to start, so you don’t have to worry about brainstorming new ideas. We’ll all be writing to the same prompts, which adds another level of inspiration when you see what your peers are doing with the same idea.

Of course, the spirit of this challenge is to finish an entire a song a day for 5 days, not just write what I tell you to write! So if you wind up going off the rails and writing something completely different that doesn’t fit the prompt, by all means, write that song! Just please do not share it in the group. 

I heard there was a contest portion of the 5/5 as well. Where can I learn more about that?

There sure is! Check out this page that tells you all you need to know about entering the contest.

  • Sarah Clark

    i like writing music.