Guidelines and Eligibility

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers, in tandem with University of South Florida and Distinguished Professor, Chuck Owen, are delighted to announce the dates and guidelines for the annual Owen Prize offered to young, up-and-coming, jazz composers. The composer of the winning work will receive a $1,500 cash award along with a travel allowance of $500 towards attendance at ISJAC’s 2022 Jazz Composers’ Symposium at the University of Texas at Austin (USA). The selected work will also be performed before an audience of distinguished jazz composers throughout the world as part of ISJAC’s 2021 Un[charted] Territory – An ISJAC Zoomfest or as part of the 2022 Jazz Composers’ Symposium in Austin, TX.

Eligibility:  Any student, currently enrolled full-time in an accredited, degree-granting institution, regardless of major, may apply. The competition is restricted to those age 26 or younger at the time of submission of materials.

Submission Guidelines: Those wishing to apply for this prize must submit the following materials via the portal on the ISJAC website Registration as an ISJAC member is required but free.

  • Application Form and $35 fee
  • Full score in PDF format
  • mp3 of best recording of the work

This year’s competition is for jazz big band. Works for ten or more instruments that may not consist of traditional big band instrumentation (including strings, percussion, electronics, etc.) are eligible and will be adjudicated. However, if selected as the winner, a non-traditional work may not be able to be performed at the Symposium.

Applicants may submit one work only (either an original composition or arrangement) which should have been written within the last two years.

Dates: All applications must be received by November 19th, 2020. Late submissions will not be considered. Notification of the winning work will be made in early January 2021.

Adjudication: ISJAC will select a panel of highly-regarded, professional jazz composers tasked with reviewing all applications and selecting a single work they believe displays exceptional creativity, technical mastery, and musicality.

Thank you for your submissions. The application deadline has passed.