Some of New Zealand's best-loved songwriters are one step closer to the industry's top prize today as Apra reveals the top 20 songs in contention for this year's Silver Scroll Award.

Widely regarded as the most prestigious award in New Zealand music, the Silver Scroll recognises outstanding achievement in songwriting.

Previous winners include legends such as Dave Dobbyn, Shona Laing and Bic Runga, as well as more recent stars, including Lorde and Joel Little, Tami Neilson, and Ruban and Kody Nielson.

Chosen from more than 200 entries by a judging panel of nine songwriters, the top 20 will now be whittled down to five finalists, as voted by Apra's 10,000 New Zealand members.

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The 2018 jury was made up of Anji Sami (She's So Rad/Sami Sisters), Anna Coddington, Cherie Mathieson (Sola Rosa), Jane De Jong (Ruby Frost), Hollie Fullbrook (Tiny Ruins), Nadia Reid, Phil Bell (DJ Sir-vere), Rodney Fisher (Goodshirt), and Simon Gooding (The Map Room).

The Apra Silver Scroll Award will be presented at Spark Arena, Auckland, on Thursday October 4.

Other awards presented on the night will be the Apra Maioha Award, celebrating top waiata sung in te reo Māori; the Sounz Contemporary Award; Apra Best Original Music in a Feature Film; and Apra Best Original Music in a Series.

Apra will also induct a yet-to-be-announced songwriter into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

Apra Silver Scroll Awards - 2018 Top 20

• A Woman's Pain, written and performed by Tami Neilson
• Alright, written by Sam de Jong and Cynthia Nabozny, performed by Cyn
• Aztechknowledgey, written and performed by Troy Kingi
• Black Crow, written by Louis Baker and Steve Rusch, performed by Louis Baker
• Conquer written by Isaiah Libeau, Daniel Latu, and Amon McGoram, performed by SWIDT
• December, written by Joshua Burgess, Charles Ryder, Christie Simpson, and Samuel Perry, performed by Yumi Zouma
• Future Me Hates Me, written by Elizabeth Stokes, performed by The Beths
• Hours, written by Julien Dyne , Brandon Haru , and Karoline Tamati, performed by Julien Dyne featuring Ladi6
• Hunnybee, written by Ruban Nielson, Kody Nielson, and Jacob Portrait, performed by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
• Kalega, written by Rob Ruha and Taina Keelan, performed by Rob Ruha & The Witch Doctor
• Laugh It Off, written by Chelsea Jade Metcalf and Bradley Hale performed by Chelsea Jade
• New Wave, written and performed by Seth Haapu
• Nobody Gets What They Want Anymore, written and performed by Marlon Williams
• Nothing To Regret, written by Anna Robinson, Allison Crystal, and Larzz Principato, performed by Robinson
• Slow Train Creek, written and performed by Holly Arrowsmith
• Temporary Me, written by Kingdon Chapple-Wilson, performed by Kings
• Two Free Hands, written and performed by Anthonie Tonnon
• Wallace Line, written by Michael Cathro, performed by Ha The Unclear
• We Light Fire, written and performed by Julia Deans
• You Got Me, written and performed by Lisa Crawley