We work with local partners to recruit young people less likely to take part in the arts and invite them to become Local Reviewers. A Voice Co-ordinator runs a series of workshops which support young people to explore the arts in their area and share their views with each other and through short reviews. Some groups combine this with achieving an Arts Award. Voice negotiates free or discounted tickets and arranges workshops and interviews with local artists and media professionals.
‘It’s a great experience to build up your confidence, learn and see new things’Holly, Local Reviewer at Blaze Arts, Burnley
‘I usually hate writing but I looked up how to write reviews on the Voice website, including tips like `how did it feel to be at the event?’ and used these to interview the others in my group. Writing the reviews came easily because they were short!’Toni, Local Reviewer at Redditch YMCA
Young people can then progress to join the Voice Reviewers network to cover events further afield and get the opportunity to join Voice Reviewer groups covering major arts festivals, such as Edinburgh Fringe, Brighton Fringe and Manchester International Festival. Voice Reviewers get press tickets, work to Voice’s reviewing guidelines and have to publish their review within 48 hours of seeing a show.
‘Since joining the Voice Reviewers I have developed my creative writing style and skill in having a more critical eye’Maya, Voice Reviewer, Worcester
‘We’ve been very impressed with the quality of the reviews and would love to have a young reviewer at upcoming performances’Marketing Officer, Theatre Severn, Shropshire
Aspiring journalists can apply to join the Voice Contributor programme which offers 3-month training and work experience followed by paid commissions and other opportunities. We support 20 Voice Contributors each year, focussing on those who may not otherwise find internships and supporting them to develop strong portfolios. We also provide short placements for 10 media undergraduates, working with four universities. Many of our trainees go on to gain bursaries or jobs.
Meet Voice Contributors or sign up
‘The experience and increased understanding of what it’s like to be a professional journalist has definitely been the highlight for me. Before, the idea of getting published felt inaccessible to me, but during the scheme I really feel like I’ve improved not only my writing but also my confidence for reaching out to people when writing articles.’Mystaya, Voice Contributor, Shrewsbury
‘Getting an insight into what journalism entails, working in a professional environment which made me feel responsible about time management and learning how to use my own voice are all things I really enjoyed during my time with Voice.’Maryam, Voice Intern, London