Applications are open for the APRA Professional Development Awards (PDAs) 2024!
We encourage all our emerging composer and songwriter members to consider applying.
Here we answer some common questions about the PDAs, to give you the best chance of success in your application
What are the PDAs?
The APRA PDAs are an annual award given out to emerging composers and writers. Twelve recipients each receive a $10,000 cash prize to support their development.
Who can apply?
Emerging composers and songwriters who are APRA members can apply. This includes Australian citizens or New Zealand citizens who have been legal Australian residents for a minimum of two consecutive years as at 1 January 2024.
You may only submit one application per year – but many PDA winners in the past have applied over consecutive years.
2023 PDA winner (Screen Composition category) Luna Pan said in her acceptance speech: “I’m pretty sure this is my fifth year applying for it. I almost gave up…But I’m so glad I didn’t…Hard work pays off.”
Can I use it to fund our next album, or to promote my music project?
The purpose of the Awards is to develop your skills as a songwriter or a composer, not to pay for professional services to promote your work.
Judge Tim Levinson (Urthboy) says: “The main criteria is that it’s not funding a recording, it’s not promoting a recording, it’s nothing to do with a release. It’s about your professional development, so focus on your professional development, and keep it really specific. Good luck!”
Andrew Khedoori from Partner Organisation CBAA (Community Broadcasting Association of Australia) agrees: “I’ve been impressed by a variety of artists who are extremely self-motivated and driven to understand the ins-and-outs of the industry and the entry points that may specifically assist their artistic development and careers. I’ve read applications from artists wanting to become self-sufficient by learning how to record themselves, get the best mentoring or songwriting sessions as well as get a keen understanding of all the administration involved in music life with management courses.
So many artists have found what seems to be exactly the right approach for them to move forward and the right place for them to do it. Taking control of your destiny is key.
If you do the research, it can make all the difference to your application.”
Think about which areas you feel like you need to develop to progress to the next stage of your music career. Do you want to attend workshops, music education courses, seminars, or co-writing sessions? These opportunities can take place either domestically or abroad.