Singer-songwriter Joshua Hansen of Irvine, California has been named the grand prize winner in the 2012 International Songwriting Competition (ISC). He was recognized for his song “Monsters with Misdemeanors,” which was entered in the Folk/Singer-Songwriter category.

Joshua Hanson (Photo:Claire Marie Vogel)

Joshua Hanson (Photo:Claire Marie Vogel)

An Idaho native and the son of a lounge-singing mother and a theatrically trained father, Hanson is the lead singer and songwriter for Yellow Red Sparks, an indie folk-rock trio that released its self-titled debut CD earlier this year. “The judges loved the song for its sparse honesty and achingly tender lyrics,” says Candace Avery, founder and director of ISC. As the grand prize winner, Hanson receives $25,000 in cash and an additional $40,000 in merchandise and services.

A total of 68 winners were selected from among more than 20,000 entries in the songwriting competition. Aspiring and established songwriters from 119 countries submitted entries that were judged on the basis of creativity, originality, lyrics, melody and composition. Judges included music industry executives and notable recording artists and songwriters. A total of $150,000 in cash and prizes is being awarded.

Winners in select individual categories include:


First Place: Teejay Terblanche – Black Handed Kites (Cape Town, South Africa) for “Golden Hearts”

Second Place: Wes Carr (Buffalo Tales), Eric Silver (Sydney, Australia) for “Blood and Bone”

Third Place: Tim Easton (Nashville, Tennessee) for “Festival Song”


First Place: Clairy Browne, Darcy McNulty, Steven Scham – Clairy Browne & The Bangin’ Rackettes (Melbourne, Australia) for “Love Letter”

Second Place: Matt Corby (Sydney, Australia) for “Brother”

Third Place: James David (Los Angeles, California) for “Whispers”


First Place: David Garnham – David Garnham & the Reasons to Live (Darwin, Australia) for “Love Inside a Jar”

Second Place: Dale Boyle (Dorval, Quebec) for “You Might Come Around”

Third: Ed Romanoff, Josh Ritter (Brooklyn, New York) for “When You’re Dancing”


First Place: Nicolas Toussaint – Nico Wayne Toussaint (Bayonne, France) for “Too Long to Heal”

Second Place: William Troiani, Haykom Haye, Ian F. Johannesen. Alexander Pettersen – Billy T Band (Oslo, Norway) for “Don’t Blow My Cover”

Third Place: William Morganfield – Big Bill Morganfield (Stone Mountain, Georgia) for “High Gas Prices”


First Place: Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome – Garfunkel and Oates (Los Angeles, California) for “Handjob and Blandjob I Don’t Understand Job”

Second Place: Pat Godwin (Dallas, Pennsylvania) for “Mom Worked the Farm”

Third Place: Eric Schwartz (Los Angeles, California) for “There’s A Picture”

A complete list of 2012 ISC winners — first, second and third place — in all 22 categories may be viewed online at, Honorable mentions are also listed for each category.

“ISC’s mission is to inspire and promote greatness in the field of songwriting,” says Avery. “It is humbling to hear so many talented songwriters, and it is gratifying to play a part in the growth of the winners’ careers.”