Home Up & Coming Trailblazing Belfast music journalist honoured with the Carol Clerk Bursary

Trailblazing Belfast music journalist honoured with the Carol Clerk Bursary

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Carol Clerk, the first outstanding music journalist from Northern Ireland, is to be honoured by a new bursary that will support upcoming journalists from the north.  

The Carol Clerk Bursary will provide £3,500 towards professional equipment and resources for an upcoming music journalist (female or non-binary with a connection to Northern Ireland).

There will be additional mentoring, feedback and training, with paid, printed commissions.  Carol, from Belfast, wrote her first story for Melody Maker in 1974 when she was still at school (‘Bombs, Boredom and No Bands’).

Eventually she became News Editor of Melody Maker and wrote respected books on The Pogues, The Damned, Madonna and Ozzy Osbourne.  Carol won the PPA Journalist of the Year award for her coverage of Live Aid in 1985. Sadly, Carol died of cancer in 2010, aged 55. 

This initiative has been developed by Dig With It magazine, in partnership with the Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast’s dedicated music hub.  

The Carol Clerk Bursary is being launched with the blessing of her daughter Eve. The contenders will be resident in Northern Ireland or born there.

They will be asked to submit two pieces of music journalism for consideration.  The online application for the bursary is here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSemiTxzaMy1jyI-wiX6HI-Tc-gPrjE0RXg02Mz0BHq9Pk5miA/viewform  

The bursary will be awarded by a panel of working music journalists, some of them former colleagues of Carol. A series of pieces from the awardee will feature in upcoming issues of Dig With It magazine. This will be fee-paying work.

The mentors will also help to guide the writer towards other music and arts publications.  The pilot year of the Carol Clerk Bursary will be part-financed by a significant source.

At the end of 2021, the Oh Yeah Music Centre was gifted a rare acetate of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Happy Xmas’ to auction off.

There were only 50 copies of this acetate made, to mark the 50th anniversary of this remarkable song.Listed here:https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/284819587409?ViewItem=&item=284819587409&ssPageName=ADME:L:LCA:GB:1123 

Quote from Stuart Bailie, Dig With It magazine.  “Carol Clerk was a great journalist and a wonderful, kind-hearted person. I met her often during my time as a music writer in London and she was always encouraging and lit up by her work.

It will be an honour to help celebrate Carol’s work by supporting a new generation of writing talent.”  Quote from Charlotte Dryden, CEO of the Oh Yeah Music Centre “We are delighted to be launching this important bursary in partnership with Dig With It.

It is a crucial element of our work to support people with ambitions of working in music through development and mentoring but also to help seek out opportunities, find pathways and signpost them in directions like this.

To get behind the development of an emerging music writer is exciting and in Carol Clerk’s name it is an honour.” 

The Carol Clerk Bursary was launched during the Women’s Work Festival in Belfast.  https://www.womensworkni.co.uk/

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