Skip to Content
log in or sign up for free



Here you will find up to date information about what's going on in the WCS Berkeley Chapter.  It's easy to find who to contact, where to go and when it's all happening!  If you need to reach us, please follow the link below to email the Berkeley Managers.

Please make sure that you membership is current.  Non-members are ineligible to win.   RENEW MY MEMBERSHIP


Winners for 2014

Best Song of the Year 13-14 for Berkeley is Meghan Andrews "Sweet Louise". She's an incredible performer and her other song "99" was even better. 

We did a Lyric Contest at our chapter this year. Members submitted written lyrics they performed during the season. At the end of the year, it was judged by Steve Seskin and Andre Pessis. The prize was a full production of the song from Gawain Mathews Studio.
Best Lyric of the Year 13-14
1st Place: MacClain & Cole "Who You Want Me To Be"
2nd Place: Mark Lyon "Someone Named John"
3rd Place: Kevin Beadles "She's Got Your Heart"
Best Title: Kevin Beadles "She's Got Your Heart"
Best Line: Kirk Benttinen "Every sinner has a future, every saint has a past"

WCS Berkeley Songwriting Competition

West Coast Songwriter, Berkeley Chapter, Songwriting Competition
Freight and Salvage (2020 Addison Street, 510-644-2020)
Admission $9.00 ($7.00 advance, before doors open)
Doors open 7:00, Sign-up 7:00 to 7:30, Performance 7:30
SIGN-UP on a first-come basis, maximum 20 songs, get there early if you want to perform. Most members arrive before 7, buy discount tickets at the box office, then line up for sign-up. Show your WCS membership card at sign-up. MEMBERSHIP Join or renew membership in person and admission fee is waived. Only WCS members are eligible to compete, but non-members can sign-up at 7:25 if room available. If you received this email, you are on the Berkeley chapter email list (not the same as WCS email list) and you don’t have to enter your email address on the sign-up sheet.
Audience is welcome, let your friends and fans know about the event

BEST SONG OF THE MONTH wins 3 hours of studio time to be used within 90 days at Ben Leinbach's Old Bull Studios in San Anselmo (415–
BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE MONTH wins 3 hours of studio time to be used within 90 days at Kevin Harris Music Production Studio in Alameda (510-220-9323,
BEST LYRIC OF THE YEAR Winner wins production of winning song to be used within 90 days at Gawain Mathews Music Studio (

CONCERT WINDOW will stream the entire concert live. Concert Window streams HD video of live musical performances at top-notch concert venues around the United States. If you perform, you agree to have your performance streamed live. Tell your fans they can purchase online tickets only on the day of the webcast at Of all people, your fans are the most likely to tune in, so be sure to reach out to them no matter where in the world they live. For each $3 ticket sold, $1 will be donated to West Coast Songwriters, a non-profit.
Let your friends and fans know they can watch the show live online
This is the first year for the Berkeley Chapter Lyric Contest. The annual contest recognizes 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for Best Lyrics of the Year. 1st place wins production of recording at Gawain Mathews Music Studio and invited to be a guest performer (non-competing) at the Berkeley Playoffs, Monday June 14. The song entered must be performed during the season (October to June). Winners must be current members at the time of performance and at the time of winning, winners announced before Playoffs. To enter lyric contest, give lyrics with contact info to chapter manager and check L/C box on sign-up sheet.

Hope you can make it on Monday,

Nomi Yah Gardiner, West Coast Songwriters, Berkeley Chapter manager,

FAQ's...about the Berkeley Chapter: 

Q: Where does the Berkeley Chapter event occur?

A: Freight and Salvage (2020 Addison Street, Berkeley) 510-644-2020

Admission $9 ($7 advance, before doors open)

Doors open 7:00. Sign-up 7:00 to 7:30. Performance 7:30 Sign-up is on a first-come basis, maximum is 20 songs per night. Get there early if you want to perform. Most members arrive before 7, buy discounted tickets at the box office, and then line up to sign-up. Show your card when you sign-up. Audience is welcome, let your fans know about the event. Only WCS members are eligible to compete, but non-members can sign-up at 7:25 if there is room available. If you join WCS in person the night of the competition, your admission fee is waived.

Q:I am a teenager who is interested in joining and I just wanted to verify that the cost is $40 per year.

A: Membership for those under 21-years-of age is $40. Make sure you bring your ID when you sign up in person.

Q: How much does it cost to join WCS?

A: Annual membership dues are $90-Regular, $119-Band, $150-Contributor, $40-Under 21.

Q:I have written a song I would like to perform, but would like to have my friend play the guitar while I sing it. I am a WCS member, but my friend is not. Am I still eligible to compete?

A: As long as the song is written by a WCS member, and the writer is present at the event, anyone can perform it. The song will be eligible to compete for Best Song of the Month and in the Playoffs, but will not be eligible for Best Performance of the Month.

Q:I joined WCS at another chapter and paid the dues. Can I participate in the Berkeley chapter songwriting session tonight??

A: You are able to participate in any chapter event. Please bring your membership card with you. If you have not yet received your card, please email Ian directly and ask for a copy of your membership confirmation. Print it out and bring to the event.

Q: Can I perform if I am not a member of WCS?

A; There is a maximum of 20 songs per competition and WCS members have priority. If there is room on the list at 7:25, non-members can sign-up to perform but are not eligible to compete

Q: Do WCS members have to pay admission at the venues?

Entrace fees are $9 at the door and $7 advance, same price for performers and audience.

Q: I see that the admission is $2 less if paid in advance.How can I pay the admission in advance?

A: In order to pay in advance means before the doors open at 7. Advance tickets can be purchased from the box office or online.

Q: I love to hear songwriters perform. Is the monthly competition open to the public?

A: Anyone can attend the event.

Q: I wanted to verify if there is an event soon?

A: Check the West Coast Songwriters events calendar for updated information.. The info is also on the calendar at Freight and Salvage.

Q: How early should I get there to ensure I am eligible to perform stage?  

A: Signup is from 7 to 7:30pm, with a 20-song maximum. It's on a first-come basis, so get there early if you want to perform.

Q: How many songs can I sing at a competition?

A: Our limit is 20 songs per night. If less than 10 people sign-up, you can sing 2 songs.( However, this almost never happens in Berkeley, usuallyit is just 1 song per person).

Q: Last week I won the competition for best song in San Rafael. Can I sing the same song in Berkeley, or do I need to bring a new song?

A: You can sing the same song or another, it's up to you. Each song is eligible to win once a season in each venue.

Q: I already won Best Song in Berkeley this season. Can I still perform in Berkeley or do I have to go to another venue until next season?

A: You can still perform in Berkeley even if you won. You can win twice a season with different songs. You can perform the same song that already won, but you will not be eligible to compete.

Q: Is there a piano or keyboard already provided there?

A: Yes, there is a grand piano at the Freight.

Q: Just wondering who the judges are?

A: The names of the judges and all other info is emailed every month to the Berkeley Mailing List and often posted on the chapter page on the website.

Q: May I ask who are the judges for the next event

A: It is best to be on the mailing list as the Chapter Manager will send out the information. Please check your spam folder!.

Q: How can I get emails about the event?

A: Berkeley chapter has our own email list, separate from the main WCS email list. We send out 1 email a month, a few days before our event. To get on Berkeley's email list, make sure your email address is on the sign-up sheet., so make sure you are getting emails from

Songwriting Competitions:

  • Held the third Monday of every month
  • Competitions run from October - June
  • The PLAYOFFS are held in July
  • Playoff Winner has the opportunity to perform at the WCS Grand Finals held in late August 
  • Grand Final Winner has the opportunity to perform at the WCS Annual Music Conference (2nd weekend of September) in front of a house full of industry leaders, friends and family.
  • SIGN-UP: 7pm–7:30pm; event begins at 7:30pm.
  • $9 walk up and $7 in advance. 
  • Non-Members may only sign up if there is room after all members have signed up (Please note: Non Members are inelligible to win prizes)
  • Sponsored by: Noisy Planet, Ben Leinbach's Old Bull Studios in San Anselmo and Ben Bernstein's Petting Zoo Studios in Oakland

PLEASE NOTE: We request that members line up a half hour early for a spot and YES! we do have a grand piano for members' convenience! 

Best Song and Best Performance winners receive:

Best Song wins 3 hours studio time at Ben Leinbach's Old Bull Studios in San Anselmo. Best Performance wins 3 hours studio time at Kevin Harris Music Productions Studios in Alameda

Song Screenings 

NOT held in Berkeley, but are open to any WCS Active member at our other locations.

  • Songs are played in the order submitted
  • $5 cover charge
  • Non-members welcome, but only WCS members may submit songs.  However, should you wish to join at the door, you will be able to participate the same evening.
  • Submit one song per person on CD with a typed lyric sheet showing member's name/address/phone attached to the back with a rubber band.
  • Deadline for CD submission is the sign-up closing time.
  • All songs are played in the room, with the music industry guest critiquing each song so that everyone can hear the song and his/her comments.
  • If interested, the guest will pick up the song for further consideration.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  Song Screenings are open to WCS Members Only

CD Mail-In Service

  • If you are unable to attend the song screening, you may mail in one song for that month's screening series - but it must be received before the 15th of that month.
  • CD's will not be returned
  • You will receive a Publisher's Response Form giving you written feedback regarding your song.
  • Please include a $5 check and a SASE
  • On the outside of the envelope, write the name of the guest screener
  • Mail your CD and Lyric Sheet (One Song Only) plus your $5 fee (Please, no cash) to WCS, 1724 Laurel Street, Suite #120, San Carlos, CA 94070

Works in Progress

NOT held in Berkeley, but are open to any WCS Active member at our other locations.

Hosted by experienced songwriters, Works in Progress is an opportunity to receive constructive criticism on your finished or unfinished song.  Open only to WCS Members: FREE   However, join at the door and you can participate the same evening.

Social Mixers, Seminars, Workshops for all members to enjoy...

WCS offers a number of social mixers throughout the year.  Come and join the fun, chat with friends, meet new friends and network in a very relaxed and enjoyable space.  We truly encourage our members to collaborate, support and build community spirit!

Come join us at the next All Chapter Event!





This Month's Winners


Freight and Salvage
2020 Addison St
Berkeley, CA 94704
Javascript is required to view this map.

Upcoming Events

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

Copyright © 2010 West Coast Songwriters

West Coast Songwriters is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization