We're delighted to announce the launch of the inaugural Edinburgh Festival Fringe emerging critic's programme

Reviews are a critical tool for Fringe artists, for both raising their profile and encouraging audiences to seek out their work. Over the last few years, the level of arts coverage delivered by media titles across the UK has reduced dramatically compared to pre-pandemic. Our new pilot project aims to promote arts journalism as an attractive and viable career choice for emerging talent.

Through the 2023 emerging critics programme, we will recruit up to nine emerging writers who will be supported through a learning programme, culminating in attending the festival in August to review shows and see their work published. The titles supporting this pilot include Broadway Baby, Chortle, Fest, the Herald, the List, Neurodiverse Review, the Scotsman, the Skinny and the Wee Review.

Following an open recruitment process, successful applicants will be placed with one of these titles. Each emerging critic will meet with a media mentor before spending a week at the Fringe, where they will be officially accredited as 2023 media, watch performances and file reviews with their title.

Lyndsey Jackson, Deputy Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said: ‘We’re excited to launch this new project, which is an important step in encouraging young writers to consider culture and the arts as a future career. For many artists, a great Fringe review can make their show, and the importance and impact of reviews during August cannot be underestimated for the sector overall. We hope this year’s pilot creates a catalyst for future critics to come and develop their craft here at one of the greatest festivals on earth. 

‘We’d like to thank the media titles supporting us in delivering this project over the summer. Their passion and commitment to covering the Fringe every year is testament to the power that this amazing festival has and I’m delighted to see them actively engaged in supporting the next generation of talent.’

Comments from participating titles: 

'A core part of The List's ethos is to continually search for the next generation of arts writers, and the Fringe's emerging critics programme feeds perfectly into this'. Brian Donaldson, The List

‘At The Wee Review, we're delighted to have had two winners of the Fringe's Young Writer Awards and proud to have given many more their first step on the ladder. In fact, lots of our year-round team originally joined us for the Fringe. It's a tough but hugely exciting atmosphere to be reviewing in and we look forward to meeting and supporting some new critics as they find that out for themselves!’ Robert Peacock, Wee Review

'We are very excited to be supporting a disabled critic who will be able to bring a much-needed perspective to work at the Edinburgh Fringe'. Simon Jay, Neurodiverse Review

‘Comedy’s an incredible art form and we’re delighted to be part of this project to widen the pool of informed critics who can give it the considered analysis it deserves at the Fringe, the world's most extraordinary gathering of comic talent’. Steve Bennett, Chortle

'Supporting emerging talent is the very heart of what we do at Radge Media, as it is at the heart of the Fringe. We're delighted to be involved in this partnership to continue developing the next generation of arts critics and look forward to seeing what new voices emerge.' Rosamund West, Radge Media (The Skinny and Fest)

How to apply

Applications are open now, and will close on Wednesday 28 June 2023, with interviews scheduled for the week commending 03 July 2023.

Apply for the emerging critics programme 2023

Thumbnail photo credit: David Monteith-Hodge.