MUSICIANS from all over the country are being invited to submit their albums to be in with a chance of winning a massive £20,000.

The Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award returns for its 10th year as a live event on October 23, with more than 2,000 guests set to attend the final ceremony in Edinburgh.

Albums released between June 1, 2020, and May 31, 2021, can be submitted for consideration, meaning that all eligible albums – including the eventual winner – will have been released during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following a year of turmoil and significant challenges for the music industry, The SAY Award will celebrate musicians’ creativity during lockdown, awarding the final winner a £20,000 cash prize.

All nine runners up each receive £1,000.

Last year was an innovative and record-breaking year for Scotland’s national music prize. From the first digital campaign and ceremony due to the pandemic, to the youngest ever winner, The SAY Award shone a spotlight on Scotland’s thriving and diverse music industry at a time when it was needed most.

Last year’s winner Nova said: “Winning during the pandemic has been a total rollercoaster. I’ve seen so many Scottish artists grow over the last year, just like I have, so the winner this year is bound to be fantastic. Who knows? Maybe we’ll end up doing a track together.”

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This year will see the introduction of two new accompanying awards to the main album of the year prize.

Recognising an iconic Scottish album and investing in the country’s future recorded output, The SAY Award will introduce the ‘Modern Scottish Classic Award’ and the ‘Sound of Young Scotland Award’.

Robert Kilpatrick, of Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) which develops and produces the awards, said: “When we launched last year’s SAY Award three months into the pandemic, we were only just beginning to understand the devastating and enduring impact it would have on our artists and wider music industry.

“Amidst challenges once unimaginable, we worked to keep music at the forefront of the national conversation; affirming its life-changing value and demonstrating the urgent need for support for all who contribute to its place in our lives.

“Twelve months on, many challenges remain, and our artists and wider music industry continue to have to tread water and navigate mass uncertainty. The resilience our industry’s shown has been nothing short of inspiring, and the coming together of artists and industry professionals alike has been instrumental in mitigating the worst of the impact.

“As we begin to emerge from what is hopefully the worst of Covid-19’s effects, this year’s SAY Award is a particularly special and important one. All eligible albums will have been released throughout the pandemic, which is no mean feat for artists and their teams operating in an ever-changing and turbulent landscape.

“These records have been released when our society has needed them most, and due to this, The SAY Award 2021 will truly showcase and celebrate the passion, power and value of artistic endeavour.

“It’s also year 10 of SAY, a special milestone for both the award and Scotland’s music scene, and we’re delighted to be introducing some exciting new elements – including two accompanying awards – to mark the occasion. We look forward to celebrating the cultural impact and contribution of Scottish albums across the next four months, before returning to a physical ceremony at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall; a night our music industry will undoubtedly remember for many years to come.”

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From classical, electronic, hip-hop, jazz, pop, rock and trad, The SAY Award album submissions reflect the ever-evolving Scottish music scene.

Once all eligible albums have been collated, 100 impartial ‘nominators’, chosen from sectors including journalism, music retail and music venues across Scotland, nominate and rank their five favourite albums in order of preference.

The SMIA assigns a score to each title in a nominator’s top five, before announcing the 20 highest scoring albums as The SAY Award longlist.

The longlist will then be cut down to a shortlist of 10 albums, one of which will be chosen by music fans via a 72-hour online public vote. The remaining nine albums will be chosen by The SAY Award judging panel.

With COP26 taking place in Glasgow throughout November, SMIA say sustainability is at the heart of The SAY Award’s plans, and will look to demonstrate and instil best practice for the music industry both now and in the future.

To view eligibility criteria and guidelines for 2021’s award, and to submit your album for free visit Deadline is July 22.