CVAN NW Critical Writing Programme & Bursary

Posted on 28 January 2015

Contemporary Visual Arts Network North West (CVAN NW) is offering 25 writers the opportunity to undertake a programme of six critical writing workshops and be awarded a £300 bursary.

The workshop and bursary programme is delivered in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and University of Central Lancashire, through the In Certain Places scheme (, alongside four leading critical writing platforms in the North West – The Double Negative, Creative Tourist, Art in Liverpool, and Culture on a Shoestring.

Workshops will take place between 11 March and 2 May 2015 (avoiding the Easter break) at venues across the North West on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornings. They will be facilitated by specialists in the fields of writing, publication and distribution, both print and online, including Joanne Lee, Chris Sharratt, Bob Dickinson, Gerrie Van Noord, Sophia Crilly and Laura Robertson. The workshop programme will cover key areas in relation to critical writing including form and function, social media, self-distrubution, online and print media, and relationships with galleries.

Each successful applicant will be awarded a bursary of £300 including travel expenses to produce one short exhibition review (1000 – 1200 words) and one feature (2000 – 2500 words). Each will be partnered with a critical writing platform to receive mentoring support and editorial feedback throughout the writing process. Platforms will work closely with writers to determine style and content, though all writing produced must respond to visual arts in the North West region. Writing will be published on one of the four partner platforms and widely promoted across the region and beyond.

Applicants must be aged 18+, and have a genuine passion for and sustained commitment to critical writing for the visual arts in the North West, together with a real desire to develop critical writing skills. We are looking for writers who can make a genuine commitment to attend all six workshops and produce two pieces of writing in the timeframe provided.

This programme forms part of ‘Art: Audience, Development, Discourse and Skills’ (Art: ADDS). Art: ADDS is an Arts Council England funded project initiated by CVAN NW to develop skills, knowledge and expertise in the North West, and to improve the ability of visual arts organisations to build on and increase audiences.

Art: ADDS has three priorities: Critical Writing, Artist Development and Young People. The overarching aims of the Critical Writing programme are to increase the overall quantity and quality of critical writing for the visual arts in the North West, to strengthen the critical writing infrastructure in the region, and to generate new audiences.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 23 February. To apply please download an application pack below.