Fringe Young Writers Award: a chance to be mentored by Scotsman critics

The winner of this year’s Fringe Young Writers Award will get a first-class introduction to professional arts journalism courtesy of Scotsman critics, writes arts editor Roger Cox

A dreich day on the Fringe PIC: Lisa Ferguson / The Scotsman
A dreich day on the Fringe PIC: Lisa Ferguson / The Scotsman

We make a lot of fuss about our hugely experienced Festival review team at The Scotsman, and rightly so. However, we're also aware that critics don't just magically appear out of nowhere, so for the last few years we've been running a mentoring scheme in partnership with the Fringe.

Since 2018, we've been offering the winner of their Fringe Young Writers Award the chance to undertake a series of mentoring sessions with some of our longest-serving critics, with a view to writing ten reviews for us the following year, paid at the going freelance rate.

In 2018, Flora Gosling won the award, and, following three mentoring sessions with Scotsman critics, joined our review team in the summer of 2019.

The 2019 award-winner Ariane Branigan was supposed to be reviewing for us in the summer of 2020, but then the pandemic intervened and we had to put the scheme on hold. This year, however, after honing her review style with our theatre critic Joyce McMillan and our film critic Alistair Harkness, Arianne is now out there in the thick of it, filing reviews for our daily Festival supplement and scotsman.com.

The 2022 Fringe Young Writers Award is open to anyone aged between 16 and 21, and is given to the writer of the best review of a Fringe show taking place this month. In the interests of making the award as accessible as possible, both published and unpublished work will be considered. The deadline for submissions is 4 September, and the winner will be announced on 10 September. Full details of how to enter this year’s award can be found on the Fringe website at https://tinyurl.com/ysfkybb5