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What is the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project?
The Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriters Project is a weeklong summer intensive for emerging songwriters and writing teams ages 18-30 across all genres, including musical theatre, pop, R&B, country, Latin, rock, and contemporary pop. It includes a week of intensive workshops taught by award-winning master teachers and culminates in a final sharing of new work and a virtual concert streamed on YouTube.

When and Where does the Project take place?
The Project takes place each June on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.


What is the cost for songwriters?
The Johnny Mercer Foundation makes it possible to offer this program free of charge to invited participants. The Project also offers a stipend to help with living expenses for the week.

What COVID-19 health and safety guidelines are in place for the Project?

​As Northwestern, the city of Evanston, and the state of Illinois update their guidelines, the JMF Songwriters Project will continue to work with our health and safety specialists to evaluate and alter our plans as necessary. We are closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and will follow local, state, and University guidelines for this event. All attendees will be required to have been fully vaccinated or have received a negative COVID test within 48 hours of the event start, as well as comply with all other University safety protocols that are in place at the time. We are committed to keeping our artists and staff informed, and our latest guidelines will be up to date on this page.



Who can apply to be a participant in the Project?
Any songwriter between the ages of 18 and 30. We encourage artists of all ethnicities, colors, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities, education levels, and exceptionalities to submit. We are committed to diversity and hope artists from all over the world and from every walk of life apply for the Project. 

What do I need to apply?
We ask for some basic information about you, ask some questions about your work as a songwriter, and then ask you to submit three songs that you've written. We ask for audio files and music or lyric sheets for each song.

Do you accept international applications?

We will continue to accept applications from all countries, pending any new guidelines from U.S. local, state, and federal governments. International applicants traveling to the United States by air from any part of the world are required to establish that they are fully vaccinated, with some limited exceptions. For more information, refer to Northwestern's COVID-19 FAQs for International Students & Scholars.

Is there an application fee?
There is no fee to apply to the Project.


When is the deadline to submit applications?
The deadline for 2023 applications will be March 1, 2023.

When will the participants be notified of their acceptance?
All applicants will receive notification by May 1, 2023.

What do I do if I have more questions?
Feel free to contact us at

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