Alt Pop Artist Notelle Wins Grand Prize in the International Songwriting Competition (ISC)

Judges Include Coldplay, Linkin Park, Tom Waits, Hozier, The Lumineers, NEEDTOBREATHE, Trevor Daniel, and More 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. , May 12, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is pleased to announce its 2021 winners. Launched in 2002, ISC is considered the most prestigious songwriting competition in the world, receiving almost 22,000 entries this year from more than 150 countries.

In celebration of its 20th Anniversary this year, ISC has increased its prize package to $225,000 in cash and merchandise to be shared by 71 winners in 23 categories. The overall Grand Prize package has also been increased to more than $70,000 and includes $25,000 (US) in cash, plus merchandise and services.

The overall Grand Prize is ISC’s highest honor and this year is awarded to songwriter and performing artist Stephanie Middleton (aka Notelle) from Richmond, VA, USA for her song "Sufjan Stevens." This award is given to one songwriter in the competition who embodies the highest degree of excellence in the craft of songwriting.

For much of her career, Notelle has been recognized as an EDM featured vocalist and topliner for many of the genre’s most high-profile artists. Collaborating with DJs and producers globally, she has accumulated more than 41 million streams as a songwriter and artist. Now, however, Notelle is exploring her solo artistry and is developing her own version of innovative, genre-breaking music. Her ISC-winning song, "Sufjan Stevens," is riddled with inventive literary and pop culture references, encompassing smart and unexpected imagery. Notelle’s fearless desire to push stylistic boundaries and avoid standard structure perfectly aligns with her compelling vocals and melodies into what Notelle describes as "dark industrial pop." These outstanding songwriting elements are exactly what resonated so strongly with the ISC judges, resulting in her being awarded this year’s overall Grand Prize winner.

"Notelle is such an interesting and unconventional songwriter," said Candace Avery, ISC Founder and Director. "She seemingly dismisses the typical rules of songwriting but still has created a smart, compelling, and accessible song with her winning song, "Sufjan Stevens." Her willingness to go outside of the standard boundaries allows her the creativity to write a song that is so fresh – and ultimately this is what timeless songs are made of."

In addition to the Grand Prize winner, many other deserving songwriters also share in the prestige and kudos of winning their respective categories in ISC. These winners hail from all over the world (56% of this year’s winners come from outside the USA) and represent diverse cultures while ranging from talented amateurs to seasoned songwriting veterans. The 23 categories include all genres of contemporary music, from Pop to World Music to Country to Instrumental, and more.

Previous ISC winners have included: Tones and I; Illenium; Vance Joy; Bastille; Fantastic Negrito; R.LUM.R; Gotye; Lindsey Stirling; Kimbra; Dustin Lynch; Faouzia; The Band Perry; Kehlani; Gregory Porter; Passenger; Gin Wigmore; Missy Higgins; For King & Country; Tenille Townes; Adrienne Lenker (Big Thief); Jordan St. Cyr; Andrew Bird; and many more.

For a complete list of winners go to 
For a complete list of judges, go to 
ISC is sponsored by: Arturia; Alclair Audio; Audeze; BSquared Management; Celebrity Access; Dark Horse Institute; Eventric; iZotope; Laney; Lurssen Mastering; Merch Cat; Modal Electronics; Play MPE; PreSonus; SongU; Sweetwater; Taylor Guitars; TuneCore; aand Warm Audio 
Entries are now open for ISC 2022. For more information, go to: 
For low-res photos of all winners, go to: 
For high-res photos, contact Candace Avery at

Contact: Candace Avery 
International Songwriting Competition

SOURCE International Songwriting Competition