Arts Journalist Bursary Scheme 2010

17 May 2010

'The scheme opened up a new world to me'

The RSC is on the lookout for up and coming arts journalists to join its annual Arts Journalist Bursary Scheme with a special event in Stratford-upon-Avon on Saturday 19 June.

The scheme, inaugurated in 2006 as part of the Company's Complete Works Festival, provides six - eight aspiring journalists unique career development via access to its productions and practitioners with a view to placing features and news stories in specialist and diverse media outlets – especially in the minority ethnic, local and youth media.

This next year of the scheme is a particularly exciting one including many media opportunities as it encompasses the world premiere of Roald Dahl's Matilda, A Musical at The Courtyard Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, the season of plays at the Roundhouse in London, and the reopening of the newly transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre this autumn. We also celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2011 with a new season beginning in April next year.

Running from August 2010 to August 2011, we have so far worked with over 25 journalists from around the UK who have placed RSC stories in a diverse range of online, print and broadcast media. They have also been paired with a mentor to help hone their skills and advise on developing their career. The mentors, all from leading national or regional media, have included arts editors of the Birmingham Post, Radio 4, Evening Standard and the Times as well as theatre critics from the Daily Telegraph and the Observer to name but a few.

The Bursary Scheme cannot offer payment (apart from the reimbursement of any out of pocket expenses), so ideally applicants will have an ongoing career in journalism, however embryonic – previous participants have ended up writing pieces for Time Out and the Telegraph's arts pages, as well as numerous websites and radio stations – one now has her own arts review page on www.preciousonline.com, for example.

Successful applicants should produce a minimum of two pieces in media outlets each quarter year during the scheme.

Kohinoor Sahota, a participant on the 2009/10 scheme said:

"I applied to the Royal Shakespeare Company's scheme hoping that it would combine two areas I was passionate about: theatre and journalism. The scheme opened up a new world to me as I had never seen a Royal Shakespeare Company performance before or been to Stratford-upon-Avon. The scheme also allowed me to have access to actors, directors, and designers, many of whom I, as an aspiring journalist, would not have had the opportunity to interview.

"One of the biggest benefits of the scheme is that everyone is given a mentor. I was extremely fortunate to have Nigel Wrench, a presenter for Radio Four, who I would meet once a month; we would discuss recent shows, critique my reviews, and he would offer me career advice. Under Nigel's direction I have become a more assertive, focused, and dynamic writer. I would strongly recommend the scheme to anyone who has considered becoming a theatre critic or arts journalist."


To attend the event for more information, to hear participants from the scheme talk about their experiences, and hear advice from guest arts journalists, please see details below.

NB: There will be an informal interview process to select candidates in July (dates tbc)

RSC Arts Journalist Bursary Event:
Saturday 19 June, 2010
2.00 - 4.30pm
RSC Offices, 3 Chapel Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warks, CV37 6BB

Sharing their career tips at this event on how they came into arts journalism are Brenda Emmanus, Arts, Culture and Entertainment Correspondent for BBC London News and freelance arts journalist, Shaun Hutchinson, theatre editor at www.thenewblackmagazine.com.

To register (£5 fee) call Uchenna Izundu on 07734 986359 or email mediachisolutions@googlemail.com
(Deadline for registration is 17 June)

Or apply in writing (application forms from either www.rsc.org.uk or from Uchenna) deadline for written applications is 2 July 2010

Or for further information, please contact either philippa.harland@rsc.org.uk or nada.zakula@rsc.org.uk

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