We’ve been discussing this for a while now – we’re also ready to announce a UK-wide/international competition too! – and we’re finally launching a special Leicester ArtBeat Festival writing competition. Huzzah, etc. We’re working with Clarendon Park’s ArtBeat Festival who are kindly running their Short Story Competition in conjunction with our Rockhaq Music Review Writing Competition. So feel free to check out their competition too, if you fancy entering both!

What’s this all about and why Leicester? Well I’m straight outta Leicester and grew up in Clarendon Park, and it’s my unique way of giving something back to the place. This is where I went to school, read rather obsessively and went to my first gigs. They changed my life, made me who I am *violins* and this is why I ran a special Rockhaq workshop for ArtBeat Festival last year. I’m running another Rockhaq workshop at this year’s ArtBeat Festival too, so stay tuned for the final details on that coming very soon. Special thanks to Ciaran from ArtBeat Festival for the photo on this article 🙂

How it works

So – what’s the Leicester ArtBeat Festival writing competition about exactly?

I’m putting together a judging panel to choose the:

  • Best music review (minimum 350 words)
  • Best live review (minimum 350 words)
  • Best opinion column (minimum 350 words)

we get from any school, college or university student in Leicestershire. These are the three categories.

This is open to anyone aged between 10 – 21 who attends school, college or university here. Just write about any music you like – as all Rockhaq students do anyway – and if you’re living in Leicestershire your work is eligible for this competition. We’re limiting the entries to TWO per writer, and you can enter just by posting on our Facebook page or on our Twitter account to let us know. That’s it! Full rules are below so you know exactly what to do.


What can you win? We’re being shallow and giving away cash! There’s no point in us giving away gig tickets as we know from past experience that everyone has wildly different tastes when it comes to music. And we don’t want to endorse any company or brand by giving away gift cards or vouchers. So cold, hard cash is what you’ll win.

There is a £255 prize pot (donated by me) to be divided up between the winners of each category. If there are no or no outstanding entries in a certain category, like say opinion columns, the prize pot gets split between the other categories. So there could be a sole winner of £255, three winners of £85 each or any number of winners each receiving a bigger or smaller amount. The winner can literally take all. You can enter whatever categories you want – but only two entries in total per writer please. Thankyou!!

By the way, if there are any sponsors out there who believe in encouraging kids to write music reviews, then you’re fully welcome to add to my prize pot or even be the sponsor yourself! We’re also running an awesome UK-wide/International competition soon you might like to be involved with. Just talk to me.

Leicester ArtBeat Festival writing competition:
  1. It is FREE to enter the Leicester ArtBeat Festival writing competition. You must however register to join the Rockhaq community and allow us time to vet your application (to make sure you’re real and age-appropriate). Registration is FREE and you register at https://rockhaq.com/join/
  2. All entrants must be aged between 10-21 years old, going to school, college or university in Leicestershire and a registered and active Rockhaq community member at the time of entry.
  3. Competition opens on 1 March 2016 and closes at midnight on 6 June 2016. You can start writing your entries at any time before the opening date, but can only place your published entries on our Facebook and Twitter pages from 1 March – 6 June 2016.
  4. You enter by writing a review, live review and/or opinion column that is published on the Rockhaq.com student music journalism community. Each individual review or column must be at least 350 words in length (excluding titles).
  5. Take the link of this published work and share it on either the Rockhaq Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/RockhaqFans or on the Rockhaq Twitter account at www.twitter.com/Rockhaq. Use the words ‘Here’s my first awesome entry for the Leicester ArtBeat Festival writing competition’ or ‘Here’s my second killer entry for the Leicester ArtBeat Festival writing competition’ on Facebook. On Twitter you must @Rockhaq with the words ‘First awesome music review for @clarryparkfest comp’ or ‘Second killer music review for @clarryparkfest comp’
  6. Only TWO entries per writer allowed. If you enter more than two, only your first two posts on the Rockhaq Facebook page or Rockhaq Twitter account will count.
  7. All entries will be judged by an independent judging panel, to be announced shortly. For the purposes of this competition, independent means the panel themselves cannot enter the competition. Please don’t try to influence or bribe the judging panel at any point, or your entries will be automatically disqualified.
  8. All work must be 100% original and written by yourself. We will know if they’re not and will disqualify entries that we strongly believe are written by an adult. The best way to make sure we know your work is real is to just keep writing on the Rockhaq student music journalism community too.
  9. Entries will be shortlisted by the judging panel, and the shortlist will be announced on 12 June 2016.
  10. Prizes for the Leicester ArtBeat Festival writing competition will be awarded at a special joint prize giving ceremony with the ArtBeat Short Story Competition on Sunday 19 June 2016 at Fingerprints Cafe on Queens Road, Leicester. All entrants are invited to the ceremony whether they have been shortlisted to win or not.
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