Professional art writing development scheme

Closing date:

The Fourdrinier

The Fourdrinier online art journal is looking to appoint three diverse and/or underrepresented writers based in the North of England to participate in a Professional art writing development scheme. We will provide a positive, supportive atmosphere to nurture your ideas and skills.

Want to develop your art writing skills, be published online, and get paid? Unsure about sharing your writing with others and looking for extra support? This is a paid opportunity open to writers at an early stage in their career (unpublished or emerging) and will include training and mentorship from Jo Manby (the Fourdrinier Editor) and Laura Robertson (The Double Negative Co-Editor and Co-founder).

Each of the three new writers will also be paired up with one of three of our regular contributing writers on the scheme, to work together on critiquing and co-editing each other’s writing.The three successful applicants will work closely alongside the Fourdrinier‘s editor and their new writing partner to each identify and generate four original, paid pieces of critical writing to be published between 2023 and 2024/5.

Have you had one or two texts published, or nothing at all? Perhaps you’ve been secretly writing for years, or have just started to explore your interest in writing? We’re looking for any writer interested in contemporary art, from a diverse, underrepresented background, at an early stage in their career.

What do we mean by diverse, underrepresented backgrounds? We seek to promote ‘equality and diversity for people from protected characteristic groups defined in the Equality Act 2010 – including age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We also recognise the barriers that arise from class and socio-economic status.’This aligns our equality aims with the definition given by Arts Council England in their introduction to their Equality Objectives as outlined in the 2021-2024 Delivery Plan.

About the commissions
Commissioned writing will relate to any of the following categories:
– Art work by a local or regional contemporary artist
– Exhibitions of work by national or international artists exhibiting in the North
– Exhibitions that embrace the diversity of contemporary visual art culture and/or work by diverse or underrepresented art practitioners

If selected, you will receive:
– A fee of £200 per published article (4 articles per writer in total across the scheme)
– A participation fee of £300 (to be paid in two instalments)
– A travel bursary of up to £250 to visit exhibitions
– Two mentoring sessions with Laura Robertson, supporting you with the ‘nitty gritty’ of writing and editing
– Ongoing face-to-face and online editorial support from Jo Manby and the other writers

Budget Writing fee £200 x 4 articles; Participation fee £300; Travel bursary of up to £250 to visit exhibitions

Deadline 4 August 2023

How to Apply

Please send an email to Jo Manby: (subject line ‘the Fourdrinier application’) with the following:

1. A paragraph (up to 250 words) outlining:
– Where you are based in the North of England
– Your writing experience to date (including any relevant links)
– A brief outline of your diverse and/or underrepresented background
– Why you’re interested in writing about diverse contemporary art and artists

2. A short ‘pitch’: this is a paragraph (up to 100 words) outlining what you’d like your first proposed article for the Fourdrinier to be about. This should include basic information (who, what, where, etc.) and a ‘hook’, or angle for the text, which makes it relevant to the reader (e.g. why this, why now?)

3. A recent sample of writing – this can be any published or unpublished text that you think would demonstrate your match for our scheme. No more than 1,000 words in length (extracts of longer pieces accepted). This should be something you’re proud of!

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