Guidelines and Eligibility

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers, in tandem with University of South Florida and recently retired 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 for jazz big band will receive a $1,500 cash award along with a travel allowance of $500 towards attendance at ISJAC’s 2022 “Jazz Composers’ Symposium” in Austin, TX where it will be performed before an audience of distinguished jazz composers from throughout the world.  The winning composer will also be offered a publication contract with for international distribution of their work should they so choose.

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 be members of ISJAC and submit the following materials via the portal on the ISJAC website 

  • Application Form and $15 entry fee
  • Full score in PDF format 
  • Mp3 of best recording of the work

This year’s competition is for jazz big band. Works for 10 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 must have been written within the last two years.  


 All applications must be received by Oct. 14th, 2021 11:59pm Eastern Time.  Late submissions will not be considered.  Notification of the winning work will be made in early December, 2021.


 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.

Go To The 2021 Owen Prize Application