Sunday, 20 May 2012

SAAWCA at UJ/ACT Arts & Culture conference

The UJ/ACT Arts and Culture conference takes place this week in Johannesburg and SAAWCA head and founder, Mary Corrigall, will be making a presentation during the first afternoon session on May 24 at the UJ Arts Centre.

In a panel dubbed State of the Sectors, she will join key representatives from the realms of theatre, music, dance and film who will present sector over-views. That we have cinched a spot on this slot is a great coup as it immediately identifies arts writing as a sector and one which falls under the arts and not just journalism. This should have significant impact on how the arts industry views us and will also aid how we can shape and enhance our role in the arts.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Criticism in Print

The internet might be turning our once transient products into permanent texts, yet it’s always rewarding to see a critic or commentator’s work being published in book form. SAAWCA member Chris Thurman is launching just such a book. It’s dubbed At Large: Reviewing the Arts in South Africa. The launch will include a panel discussion that forms part of the Wale festival at Wits University. If you are in Joburg don’t miss it.  Here are the details:

Date: Wednesday 9 May
Time: 18h30-19h30
Venue: Pentz Bookshop
Convener: Dr Chris Thurman
Panel discussion and public debate around the “why, what and how” of arts writing in South Africa.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Call for Critics Mentorship Programme 2012

Since the inception of SAAWCA we have been committed to attracting new writers to the arts writing and criticism sector.  The inaugural Critics Mentorship Programme 2012 is the first initiative in service of this objective and is made possible by a grant from the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT). The Development Programme is funded by Nedbank Arts Affinity and has been
designed to enhance the continued development of arts and culture in South Africa.

How does it work? The Mentorship Programme will see one individual spend a month under the guidance of a mentor before attending the National Arts Festival from 29 June to 8 July, where they will be expected to write reviews and interviews, which will be published either in the Cue Newspaper and/or in other national publications.
This mentorship period beings June 4 and would involve being exposed to the working life of a critic, which would include attending arts related events, interviews and other research activities with the mentor, as well as spending time at the offices of newspapers, and being exposed to the general running of a media organisation. During this period the mentor will set a number of writing assignments for the participant. They will be given detailed feedback for each assignment and if the standard of the work is high, these assignments may be considered for publication.
Who should apply? Any aspiring or young/new arts writer, critic with some basic experience in writing, either at university or through a journalism course or any other writing workshop or with a background in the arts. It is not a full-time programme but the participant will need to be available during some weekday hours.  The participant will also be required to travel to Grahamstown for the festival – travel and accommodation costs will be covered by SAAWCA. At this time the mentorship programme will only be available to Joburg based participants. Those who already have experience in arts writing and criticism will be considered. Ultimately we are looking to provide guidance to an individual who has already shown talent in arts writing but requires a close level of mentorship to develop their work further.  The participant will receive a substantial stipend.  

Criteria: A participant will be selected based on the strength of his/her writing abilities and knowledge or affinity for the arts

Deadline:  May 31, 2012.  Please send a copy of your CV, a short letter of motivation outlining which discipline or disciplines of the arts you are interested in, as well as two examples of your arts writing that are longer than 500 words. Please title your mail: Mentorship programme application. Send your applications or any queries to or

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Jazz Criticism Workshop

A Jazz Criticism Writing Workshop will form part of the Wale festival at Wits University

Date: Wednesday 9 May
Time: 10h15-12h00
Venue: Room 116 Wits School of the Arts
Convener: Lindelwa Dalamba

Experienced music writers and scholars associated with Wits will discuss the state of the art of music writing in South Africa. They will also conduct a workshop focusing on the techniques of the genre for aspiring writers and students.

For more information visit