New international bursaries for UK arts bloggers – apply now

Deadline: 29 November 2018
Published: Tuesday, 20th November 2018, 7:46am

Bloggers Bursary
Bloggers Bursary

The British Council are thrilled to announce a brand new opportunity enabling arts bloggers in the UK to have an international experience, discovering a performance scene in another country and developing their careers.

Afridiziak Theatre News editor and founder, Sophia A Jackson, is pleased to be a judge on the British Council’s exciting new bursary scheme.

The British Council’s International Bursaries for Bloggers will offer three winners the chance to travel to Lagos, Romania or to a country of their choice. They will be encouraged to follow their interests. We’ll ask them to produce some work about theatre, dance or performance inspired by their visit – to be published by the British Council, by themselves, or by another publisher.

    1. There are three different bursaries:
      Discover a project

      Experience Lagos during Lagos Theatre Festival, one of the largest performing arts festivals in West Africa. The British Council will give lots of support to plan the winner’s itinerary and someone local will guide them around the city’s arts scene.
    2. Explore a country
      Visit Romania and uncover its performance scene. The British Council will give advice to the winner to help them plan their trip.
    3. Follow your idea
      Create your own international journey of discovery, designing your itinerary and budget, with some quick tips from the British Council for the winner.

For more information see their At a Glance section below and download the application guidelines.

They will also give winners two hours of mentoring with a judge of their choice. The judging panel brings together a diverse group of experienced, respected writers and editors. The judges are: Lyn Gardner (The Stage), Thom Dibdin (The Stage,, Colin Hambrook (Disability Arts Online), Sophia Jackson (Afridiziak Theatre News), Arusa Qureshi (The List), Gary Raymond (Wales Arts Review), Sanjoy Roy (freelance critic) and Alice Saville (Exeunt).

“This is a valuable chance for talented individuals to broaden their horizons”

“Bloggers have been hugely influential in UK performance in recent years,” says Lyn Gardner, Associate Editor at The Stage and Lead Judge on the panel. “However, they are marginalised within the industry and they lack opportunities. This is a valuable chance for talented individuals to broaden their horizons and bring new inspiration and knowledge to their work.”

“At the British Council, we see every day how international exchange can inspire creative practitioners,” says Cathy Gomez, Theatre and Dance Programme and Marketing Manager. “We’re excited to share this opportunity with bloggers and see what they produce.

“Also, across our work at the British Council, we want to give a platform to groups under-represented in UK arts and media. The more voices we hear from different backgrounds, the more we all benefit. If you feel you can help us with this aim, we especially encourage you to apply.

“We hope these bursaries will help to raise the profile of bloggers and encourage others to support them. It’s also a chance for us – and the rest of the industry – to learn from innovative new communicators and follow their thinking.”

This bursary programme is a pilot from the British Council. If it’s successful it may continue – so watch this space!
At a glance:
How do the bursaries work and when do the visits take place?

There are three different bursaries:

    1. Discover a project
      Visit Lagos during the Lagos Theatre Festival, with support from the British Council to organise your visit and guide you around Lagos. We’ll arrange meetings with the performing arts community to fit your interests. The festival programme will be confirmed closer to the time but see the application guidelines for some background on the festival. It takes place from 25 February to 3 March 2019.
    2. Explore a country
      Travel independently to Romania to explore the performing arts scene based on your own interests. We expect you to do some preliminary research before you apply. See the application guidelines for an introduction to the Romanian scene. The British Council will advise the winner on local intelligence and useful contacts, enabling you to create an itinerary and budget. The visit should take place in spring 2019.
    3. Follow your idea
      Propose your own journey, travelling overseas to pursue your interests and develop your knowledge, skills and networks. You are responsible for designing your own itinerary and budget, although the British Council will offer the winner some extra advice. The country you travel to should have a British Council office – see the list of over 100 countries that we work in. This is so that we can add value to your experience and provide you with an emergency contact. You should also avoid going to a country that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against travelling to. Please check with us before applying if you’re not sure. Your visit should take place before the end of March 2019.

What do the bursaries cover?

We expect each visit to last three to six nights (including travel). We have a budget of up to a maximum £4,000 for each bursary. We expect this to cover costs such as:

  • Honorarium to cover your time at £150 per day of travel
  • Travel
  • Visa costs
  • Accommodation
  • Translation
  • Travel insurance
  • Perdiems at the British Council standard rate for each country
  • Tickets for performances or fees for conferences/training courses

Extra accessibility costs are available for d/Deaf or disabled applicants.

Who are the judges?

  • Lyn Gardner, Associate Editor at The Stage and writer, Stagedoor app
  • Thom Dibdin, The Stage,
  • Cathy Gomez, Programme and Marketing Manager, Theatre and Dance, British Council
  • Colin Hambrook, Editor, Disability Arts Online
  • Sophia Jackson, Founder and Editor, Afridiziak Theatre News
  • Arusa Qureshi, Editor, The List
  • Gary Raymond, Editor, Wales Arts Review
  • Sanjoy Roy, freelance critic
  • Alice Saville, Editor, Exeunt

Who is eligible to apply?

We’re looking for people who fit the following criteria:

    • Lives in the UK.
    • At least two years’ experience of blogging, writing, vlogging or podcasting about arts. This includes experience of self-publishing, producing work for student publications and contributing to online platforms for emerging writers. Applicants don’t necessarily need to have their own platform.
    • Does not write regularly for a national publication.
    • Has never had a single full-time job writing about arts.
    • Helps the British Council achieve our aim to give a platform to voices from groups under-represented in UK arts and media.
  • Able to create different kinds of content and to share their experiences with a range of audiences in a range of different ways.

How do I apply?

  • Read the application guidelines
  • Complete the online form

If you would prefer to complete the application form as a Word document, email

What if I have questions?

Please see the application guidelines first. If you still have questions, email, allowing a week for us to reply.

When is the deadline?
Thursday 29 November 2018 at 12:00 midday (GMT)