The Willis Wonderland Next Level Songwriters Workshop

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Thank you to all who applied! We're delighted with the overwhelming response and the immense talent. We will be notifying selected participants in early May. Good luck!


The Willis Wonderland Foundation Next Level Songwriters Workshop was created to empower the next generation of visionary songwriters, while carrying on the legacy of Allee Willis, Hall of Fame songwriter whose compositions, including the classic hits "September," "Boogie Wonderland," the theme song from the TV series Friends, and the Tony-winning musical The Color Purple, have sold more than 60 million copies.

The Willis Wonderland Foundation Next Level Songwriters Workshop is a career-transforming experience for up to 12 creative forces like Allee—working songwriters, especially women and those in underrepresented communities, who are unconstrained by convention, driven by delight, and fueled by authentic passion and purpose. The workshop is designed to aid participants in honing their skills and singular gifts by supporting them with hands on mentorship, tutelage and guidance on a wide variety of skills, processes, tools, and strategies essential to writing winning songs that can lead to sales, publishing deals, and career advancement.


June 1, 2023 – July 28, 2023

The program includes seven weeks of online evening sessions twice a week, spearheaded by top-selling Grammy-winning songwriter Autumn Rowe, who has written for Jon Batiste, Dua Lipa, Pitbull, Zendaya, etc.; and guest mentors including multi-platinum selling Lindy Robbins (Jason Derulo, JLo, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, etc.), and more, guiding the next gen of hitmakers to create another “September.” 

The Final Week will be held live in Los Angeles July 24-28, where new work created by participants during the previous weeks will be recorded with help from our mentors and professional producers, engineers, studio musicians and vocalists. In addition, participants will get introductions to industry greats and major contacts on the business side who will give guidance on the placing of their work in TV and Film, licensing, publishing, and more.

All participants will receive a $2,000.00 travel, food, and lodging stipend to attend the week in LA.

Once recorded, Willis Wonderland Foundation will expose material to our partners and collaborators in the music business—including managers, publishers, labels, artists, and more in the hopes of forming relationships that lead to recording contracts, publishing deals, management relationships, and syncs and licenses.

While we plan to hold more workshops in the future for other types of material (i.e., music for film and TV, Broadway, Hip hop etc.) the focus of this workshop is creating hit pop songs.


February 9: Application opens
April 15: Application deadline
Early May: Selected participants notified
June 1-July 22: Online mentoring sessions begin (twice a week, 60-90 mins each)
July 24-July 28: In-person five-day intensive in Los Angeles


Those committed to a career as a professional songwriter. We encourage songwriters of all ethnicities, colors, cultures, sizes, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities, ages (sorry, must be at least 18), education levels, and exceptionalities to submit. We are committed to diversity and hope artists from all walks of life apply for the Workshop.


Those interested in participating must fill out an application and include:

  • Five songs you have written or co-written *
  • Lyric sheets to the five songs (pdf, .doc, or .docx)
  • A summary of your songwriting experience and goals.
  • One thing about Allee Willis that inspires you.

*The format of recordings should be: .mp3, .mp4A, or .AAC A. Songs submitted should be labeled YOURNAME_Song_Title.mp3 (or mp4A or AAC). Production quality is not important as long as the song can be clearly heard.

Participants are expected to create new works from weekly mentor assignments, and one to two completed songs during the seven-week virtual portion to record during their Los Angeles intensive,

Please note that participants are expected to do a great deal of writing outside the formal twice a week workshop sessions, and that work will be shared and discussed with the mentors and other participants.

Current California state COVID restrictions will be strictly adhered to for in-person portion.