Writing on the arts

Writing on the arts
An intensive workshop for Caribbean arts writers and culture journalists

Place: Mona Campus, Mona, Jamaica
Date: 9-13 January 2017
App Deadline: 21 November 2016


The British Council, working in partnership with the Bocas Lit Fest, based in Trinidad and Tobago, and the Department of Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, is pleased to announce and invite applications for a workshop aimed at Anglophone Caribbean arts writers and culture journalists.

Running from 9 to 13 January, 2017, and based at UWI’s Mona campus in the Faculty of Humanities and Education, the workshop will bring together up to twelve early-career professional arts writers from around the Caribbean region for five days of high-level, hands-on training.

A thriving arts sector requires culture journalists writing about and reviewing the arts for mass media. Across the Anglophone Caribbean, there is a shortage of trained, experienced arts writers able to instigate interest in our creative forms in the public sphere. This workshop aims to help emerging arts writers improve the quality of their coverage and contribute to enhanced attention to arts and culture in the media and broader society.

The workshop curriculum will cover key issues common to writing about all cultural forms, and breakout modules focusing on specific issues relevant to four key areas of the arts: books and literature, visual arts, film, and drama. These will include:

  • the role of arts journalism in the cultural ecosystem
  • forms of arts journalism: the review, the profile, the interview, etc.
  • what does “criticism” really mean?
  • responsibilities to the writer or artist
  • responsibilities to the audience
  • subjectivity vs. objectivity; opinions vs. fact
  • expertise in an art form, and how to acquire it
  • ethical and legal issues
  • when critics get criticized

The workshop will be led by Claire Armitstead, books editor of the UK Guardian, supported by expert facilitators for the genre focus areas.

Prospective participants should be early-career arts writers or culture journalists with a track record of writing on books and literature, visual arts, film, or drama for established media, whether newspapers, local or regional magazines, or websites. Writers must be based in the Anglophone Caribbean.

The workshop will include a maximum of six participants based in Jamaica and six from the rest of the Caribbean. Participants based outside Jamaica will have travel and accommodation expenses fully funded. Participants must be able to attend the full five days of the workshop (arriving in Jamaica on Sunday 8 January and departing on Saturday 14 January).

There is a participation fee of US$300 for each participant based outside Jamaica, and US$200 for Jamaica-based participants (this includes daily lunch and refreshments, workshop materials, and field trip activities).

To be considered for this workshop, please send us a letter of motivation including the

  • Name, nationality, and place of residence
  • Contact information: email address and telephone number
  • Outline of your existing arts writing experience, including institutional affiliation if any
  • Which of the four areas of focus — books and literature, visual arts, film, or drama — is your primary speciality or interest (applicants must specify one area of focus).
  • What you find most rewarding and most challenging in your work as an arts writer or culture journalist
  • What you hope to achieve from participating in the workshop and how you expect to put any new skills to immediate use

Please also send a copy of your CV (no more than one page) and a list of recent relevant published work (eg. reviews, profiles and features, interviews).

The deadline for submitting application materials is 21 November, 2016, and selected participants will be notified by 30 November. Applications should be submitted via email to litsengmona@gmail.com with the subject line “Application: writing on the arts workshop”.

Prospective participants will be assessed by a panel made up of representatives from the three workshop partners.

Above Adapted from pdf.

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message