Guidelines and Eligibility

The cycle for this prize has closed. Check back in September 2023 for information about the 2024 Prize Guidelines.

2023 ISJAC/USF “Owen Prize” in Jazz Composition

The International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers, in tandem with University of South Florida and Distinguished Professor Emeritus, 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 and have their work performed at the 2024 ISJAC Symposium.  The winning composer will also be offered a publication contract with for international distribution of their work should they so choose.

Eligibility:  The Prize is open to any student, age 26 or under at the time of submission, currently enrolled full-time in an accredited, degree-granting institution, regardless of major.  There is no application fee; but all applicants must be full (paid) members of ISJAC.   To join  

Submission Guidelines:  Those wishing to apply for this prize should submit the following materials via the portal on the ISJAC website:

  • Application Form
  • Full score in PDF format 
  • Mp3 of best recording of the work

This year’s competition is open for any size jazz ensemble or instrumentation.  However, if selected as the winner, a work that employs instrumentation outside of that found in a traditional jazz big band (5/4/4, PBGD with standard woodwind doubles) will not receive the featured performance.  

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

Dates:  All applications must be received by Oct. 20th, 2023.  Late submissions will not be considered.  Notification of the winning work will be made in early December, 2023.

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.  

Link to Application (Viewable by Members Only)