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Competition Deadline for Bread and Roses Song and Spoken Word Award approaches

“A PAMPHLET, no matter how good, is rarely read more than once. But a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over,” legendary US labour activist Joe Hill once remarked.

He knew what he was talking about — in addition to his political activities, he was a cartoonist and popular songwriter for the cause and his great ballads like There is Power in a Union and Casey Jones are still belted out at rallies and demos a century after his death.

It’s in that spirit that the CWU and Culture Matters launched the highly successful Bread and Roses Song and Spoken Word Award last year and now it’s back, with the Musicians Union (MU) supporting the initiative this time round.

The aim of the organisers is simple. They’re looking to encourage musicians and performers to write material meaningful to working-class people and communities and to encourage those communities to develop and practice their creativity. A shining example of cultural democracy in action, if ever there was one.

The award is now open for submissions, with a £100 cash prize for each of the top five entries. The judges will be drawn from practising performers, the CWU, the MU and Culture

The competition is open to all, regardless of trade-union membership and the deadline is midnight on March 2. Entries, including your full name, postal address and phone number should be sent by email to

Get writing!


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