Critical Writing Prize - Call for submissions
We invite our 2020 graduates and all students across ECA to submit entries to the Critical Writing Prize, to be awarded at the end of the Summer 2020 showcase. Both ECA 2020 graduates and current ECA students, at all levels, are welcome to enter, including students on joint degrees.
To enter, you should submit a piece of critical writing focused on any aspect of the 2020 Show. All shortlisted submissions will be published on the 2020 Show website and the winning piece will also be published by The Skinny Magazine*.
1. TOPIC: you can write about any aspect of the 2020 show, in any discipline. It could be an individual work, the collected works of an artist, or designer, or architect, or the experience of the show in general. Whatever you do, focus: be clear about what it is you are writing about.
2. LENGTH: Anywhere between 300 and 700 words, which is to sit the normal length of a published cultural review in the mainstream media, or a blog post.
3. FORMAT: Text only, with NO footnotes or references. This is a piece of criticism, NOT a piece of academic writing
- 1st prize £500 and published by The Skinny Magazine*
- 2nd prize £300
- 3rd prize £200
5. PUBLICATION: all shortlisted submissions will be posted on the 2020 Show website after moderation.
4. SUBMIT all entries by email to email@example.com by Friday 4th September, 5pm.
All entries will be anonymised before being viewed by judges.
- Dr Kirsten Lloyd - Programme Director, MSc by Research Collections and Curating Practices
- Henry Meyric-Hughes - Honorary President of International Association of Art Critics (AICA)
- Rosamund West - Editor-in-Chief, The Skinny Magazine
- Prof. Richard Williams - Professor of Contemporary Visual Cultures, History of Art
You can write about anything in the 2020 show, in any discipline - the topic is up to you. The most important thing is that it’s a piece of criticism, not academic writing. Leave out the footnotes, and bibliography and all the other apparatus of an academic essay. Focus on argument, and judgement. Imagine you’re writing for a broad audience, so avoid technical terms or jargon. You can be as subjective as you like, remembering that the job of a critic is to persuade - whatever judgement you make needs to be convincing.
For good critical models, look at the mainstream art journals and what they do - Artforum, Art News, Art Monthly, Apollo, Frieze etc. Also, look at mainstream newspapers and magazines that do criticism: Guardian, Financial Times, Times, Telegraph, Herald, Scotsman, New York Times, New Statesman, Prospect, Spectator - all easily available online. Remember that criticism is a broad category so if you normally read about art, look at architecture, music and food criticism too - there is a lot of overlap.
Most of all, enjoy it. The best criticism is serious, but also fun. Critics do it because they enjoy the debate and reaching as wide a public as possible. Good luck!
The new ECA Critical Writing Prize is brought to you in association with The Skinny Magazine.