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The Music Writer’s Lab Returning To BIGSOUND For 2023

9 August 2023 | 4:05 pm | Ellie Robinson

Expressions of interest are open now.

The Music Writer's Lab

The Music Writer's Lab (Supplied)

The Music Writer’s Lab – a program designed to bolster the skills and connections of budding Australian music journalists – will return to BIGSOUND next month for its second edition.

Developed in collaboration with MusicNT and the Australia Council for the Arts, The Music Writer’s Lab offers a unique opportunity to engage with the Australian music media landscape – as it’s explained in a press release, the program comprises “in-depth development sessions with some of Australia’s best and respected music journalists”.

Onground at BIGSOUND, participants will develop original content that it then published at a national level. Upon the program’s debut last year, articles were published here on The Music, as well as our sister sites Kill Your Stereo and Purple Sneakers, and several other leading music titles across Australia. Participants were mentored one-on-one by renowned writers and content creators like Marcus Teague, Rhianna Patrick and Tait McGregor.

Expressions of interest for this year’s program are currently open – you can apply to be a part of it here. Successful applicants will be provided set funding to cover airfares, accomodation and participation at this year’s BIGSOUND (which itself will run over September 5-8 in Meanjin/Brisbane). The program will kick off with a day-long session between participants and mentors, as well as an appearance from its first-ever international guest, Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos (whose profile portfolio includes the likes of Cardi B, Adele and Janelle Monae).

“I feel very honoured to have been invited out to Brisbane this year for The Music Writer’s Lab and BIGSOUND,” Spanos said in a press statement. “I can’t wait to get a taste of the excellent emerging artists Australia has to offer this September, but I’m especially looking forward to working with what I’m sure will be a stellar crew of writers. My hope is to impart as much knowledge, advice and inspiration I can possibly offer to this group.”

Also speaking at BIGSOUND will be acclaimed journalist Sosefina Fuamoli (herself a facilitator with The Music Writer’s Lab), who will conduct an “In Conversation” interview with Spanos.

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In a statement of his own, Mark Smith – executive director at MusicNT – said, “After launching the Music Writers Lab at BIGSOUND 2022 we are excited to return and continue to foster music writers and support the next generation of journalists to shine a light on Australia’s music and musicians. Again partnering with the Australia Council for the Arts we look forward to welcoming a new addition to the program with Brittany Spanos joining us from Rolling Stone USA alongside a new cohort of emerging writers.”

Adding to the sentiment was Kirsty Rivers, head of music at the Australia Council for the Arts, who said: “Australian music writing is an essential but endangered artform. Music critics help hone our experiences and support artists but they also provide visibility and platforms for discussion. We need to ensure our writers and journalists have a place on all platforms and their skills are recognised as an essential part of the music ecosystem. We are very proud to co-produce the Music Writers Lab for the third time with MusicNT and look forward to the BIGSOUND 2023 edition.”