Recipients of the Fellowships might be page, spoken word or interdisciplinary poets, work with new media or have interactive, visual or participatory practices. Successful artists receive a bursary of £15,000, and are matched with a core mentor with further access to a range of advisors and ‘critical friends’ to support their developing practice over the course of one year. There are no expectations of published work or a performed event as a result of the Fellowship. The programme runs biennially for three editions between 2017 and 2022 supporting a total of nine artists, three Fellowships per edition. The project aims to put together a culturally and creatively diverse shortlist of artists, looking to those who would not normally consider applying for development opportunities, awards or prizes.
Joy Francis is an experienced journalist, editor, lecturer and communications strategist, and a longstanding campaigner for inclusion in publishing, the media and the arts (both here and abroad). She is also Executive Director and Co-Founder of Words of Colour Productions, the only UK-based social business which primarily develops, promotes and champions writers of colour from the main professional writing industries. She is part of Spread the Word’s Writing the Future Advisory Group, taking forward the recommendations from the 2015 Writing the Future report.
In 2000, she launched the UK’s first paid national newspaper internship programme for black, Asian and minority ethnic journalism students with partners such as the FT, The Times and The Big Issue. The three year programme was recognised as a leading media diversity initiative by the Society of Editors, as a top 30 Europe-wide media diversity programme by the European Commission, and was adapted by Joy for Transport for London’s press office, leading it to win a national PR award. In 2011, Joy helped to establish and launch the innovative Diversity and the Media MA at the University of Westminster, the first of its kind internationally, in partnership with the Media Diversity Institute.
Joy has also written and broadcast widely since 1992, from The Voice, The Guardian and Channel 4 online, to BBC Radio 5 Live, ITV to Sky News. She has been a diversity adviser to the BBC on its current affairs coverage and community engagement, and was a script reader and competition judge for BBC Drama’s Get Writing Programme and the BBC’s New Writing Division. The former visiting lecturer in journalism at the London College of Communication is also the co-founder and head of Digital Women UK, which facilitates female creatives to showcase and promote their work on digital platforms and to develop themselves as creative entrepreneurs.
More information on the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships.