The a-n Writer Development Programme 2019-20 is open for applications from now until 12 noon, Thursday 12 September 2019 with UK-based a-n Artist members, Joint (Artist and Arts Organiser) and Arts Organiser members invited to apply.

Taking place between October 2019 and March 2020, the programme will include a series of writing tasks and at least three daytime workshop sessions. The cost of travel will be covered for successful applicants, and an additional £300 bursary is available to support attendance to these sessions.

The Writer Development Programme will be led by a-n news editor and freelance writer Chris Sharratt who has over 20-years’ experience in newspaper, magazine and online arts journalism and is a regular contributor to Frieze, Art & Education. The programme will encourage each writer to develop their skills in arts journalism and critical writing. Sessions will cover interviewing, feature writing, reviewing, writing for an audience and working with an editor. It will culminate with a series of paid commissions for the a-n website.

This is the third time that a-n has run the Writer Development Programme, following successful programmes in 2015/16 and 2017/18. Previous cohorts have attended workshops at gallery spaces in Birmingham, Bristol, London, Manchester and Glasgow.

Speaking about her experience of the programme in 2017-18, artist, curator and recent a-n Artist Council appointee Judith Alder said:

“I found the programme to be a great experience from a number of perspectives. It gave me a good insight into the world of art writing including introductions to other writers and editors and advice on how to pitch my work. It also introduced me to a great group of artist/writers from across the UK, some of whom I continue to keep in touch with.

“Meeting with the group and visiting exhibitions, galleries and arts events across the country was a stimulating experience and writing about the exhibitions forced me to think about and articulate the work in new ways. Overall the programme not only developed my writing but also extended my networks, provided a new income strand and gave me a better understanding of how the art world operates.”

Also from the 2017-18 cohort, artist and writer Bob Gelsthorpe added:

“I’ve never had any formal training in journalism or copywriting, it’s always been a case of learning on the job, which led to a lot of the traps that my writing fell into.

“The programme steers you away from those common pitfalls and gets you thinking about the type of writing editors want, when they want it and how they want it, which upskills you in everything from focusing your writing to effective editing. Plus I met some frankly quite wonderful people, I’d encourage anyone interested in writing about contemporary arts practice to apply.”

For more on previous a-n Writer Development Programmes, read blogs from 2015/16 and 2017/18, and see more examples of writing by those selected for previous programmes here.

The application deadline for the a-n Writer Development Programme 2019-20 is 12 noon on Thursday 12 September 2019. Full details on how to apply here.

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