Payments to be made in January.

ASCAP has awarded nearly 5,600 songwriters with $2.68 million for 2006-2007. The payments—which will be made in January—are part of a program to reward writers in the early and middle stages of their careers whose main activity is outside of broadcast media.

The ASCAPlus awards are for ASCAP songwriters whose performances are primarily performed in venues not surveyed by the performing rights organization or whose catalogs have prestige value for which they would otherwise not be compensated. To be eligible for the program, writers must earn less than $25,000 in annual domestic performance royalties.

"Since 1960, the unique ASCAPlus Awards program has provided deserving music creators with something meaningful and tangible in the form of recognition and money," says ASCAP president/chairman Marilyn Bergman. "I can attest to this personally because at an early stage of my career, I was a special awards recipient."

The program is not a contest or competition involving the critical evaluation of any specific work or works. The primary basis for an award is a determination by a panel of professionals based on activity generated by each member's catalog, with an emphasis on recent performances.

Members of the awards panel were Judith Clurman, conductor and director of choral activities at the Julliard School; Peter Filichia, drama critic for the Newark Star-Ledger; Brian Mansfield, country music authority and Nashville correspondent for USA Today; Melinda Newman, music journalist; Pat Prescott, veteran radio personality who currently co-hosts the morning show on KTWV in Los Angeles; H. Robert Reynolds, Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan; and Steve Smith, classical music editor for Time Out New York.

The next submission deadline for the program is June 1, 2007. More information can be found at ASCAP's Web site.