Firstly, let me say a huge thank-you to everyone who read or contributed to Voice in 2022.
In the tail-end of 2022, the team started putting together our plan for the upcoming year, building upon everything that has worked for us in the past but also posing the question, what more can we do for our readers? In light of this we kicked around some ideas, and one of our key outcomes was that we wanted to be more transparent with our community, get you more involved in the editorial process, and make sure we are delivering all we can for those who make what we do possible.
Some of this may be subject to change, and there is still some polish we need to apply in parts, but here is just a sneak peek at what we have lined up!
Content, content, content!
We’ve already been hard at work drawing up the editorial agenda for 2023, and we’re really excited about what we’ve got lined up. Continuing the theme of building upon what’s come before, we’re kicking off the new year with a return of our annual Winter Film Festival. We’ve got nine weeks of content being released, which should keep you entertained until we see a return of the sunshine!
In March, I’m excited to once again be handing control of the editorial agenda to Saskia for International Women’s Month. Every year we dedicate March to focus on the continued push for gender equality, and cover the pressing issues of the moment. The team always do an incredible job and I can’t wait to see what they produce this year.
Further ahead we also plan to do more festival coverage in addition to our usual Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe work. We’re also planning up a great programme of careers related content to support you at whatever stage of your professional journey you might be at. You can also guarantee that we will be keeping a keen eye on the arts world, celebrating young artists and exploring the latest in youth culture.
Community and membership enhancements
As the arts and culture sector continues to discover and redefine what it means to exist in a post-Covid world, one of our focuses is to build upon our existing relationship with our community, and to make your Voice membership as valuable an experience as possible.
I firmly believe that we are nothing without our community, and we are committed to constantly evolving what we offer to you. If you didn’t know, being a Voice member already unlocks you great discounts with our partners over at Benefits Cloud, who have a great host of deals, including up to 40% off of cinema tickets! We are actively exploring new discounts and partnerships for you to enjoy, and that is just the start!
We’re planning to start creating community only content, which will only be available to people who are signed in. We first did this last year with the release of our panel discussion The second step: helping you navigate the next move in your creative career, the full recording of which is only available to our members.
We are also planning some fun competition draws, where you have the chance of winning just by being an active member of the community. We’ll have more details on these as the year progresses!
Finally, if you haven’t already started following us on Twitter and/or Instagram, you definitely should! We will be hosting more polls and Q&A’s to get direct feedback on what you’re loving and hating, and these can directly influence our editorial agenda. We’re also going to be posting more callouts for stories and experiences that can be shared in our articles.
Hear from the editors
Just as we want to hear more from you, we want to give you the opportunity to hear more from us. You see Saskia weekly on our Instaview series (check out our Media on Voice for upcoming interviews) but the rest of the team are less visible, and you don’t see much ‘behind the curtain’ so to speak. We plan to run quarterly editor chats, where Saskia and I will hop online and talk about what we’ve done, what we’re working on, and generally give an insight into the day in the life of an editor at the magazine.
Additionally, we’re going to be making some changes to the weekly mailout. You’ll still receive a Voicemail every week as before, but on alternate weeks, Saskia and I will be penning a column talking through what’s on our minds – whether that’s on Voice or in wider society. As always, we’ll be looking for feedback, and you can reach Saskia or I via email or on our socials: @voicemaguk
More opportunities to get involved
If that’s not enough, and you’re looking for even more ways to engage with the site, here are just some of the ways you can do so!
The Voice Contributors is a three month training programme where you will get the chance to work as a team, tell exciting stories, respond to breaking news, and meet like-minded creators. You'll work with the editorial team to get your work professionally edited, allowing you to build up a portfolio to show off. You also get access to press tickets and can help shape the magazine’s editorial direction. There are monthly virtual editorial meetings and workshops, and you’ll even work on a paid feature at the end of your training programme. You’ll become part of the Voice Contributor Collective, meaning you can access our editors after the programme to ask advice, join our in-person meet-ups, and continue to contribute to Voice.
We will be opening applications for the next round of Voice Contributor’s in March, so keep an eye on our comms to know when to apply.
This year we plan to launch a new programme called Voice Reviewers. Building off the work we already do at Brighton Fringe and Edinburgh Fringe each year, and the work with our Local Reviewers programme, we want to build a team of young reviewers that attend events and festivals in their area as well as review digital content we’re sent by artists. You can find more details about the programme here: https://www.voicemag.uk/become-voice-reviewer
Post to Voice
Voice was built as an open magazine, and we have no plans to change that! We still love logging on every day to see what you’ve been posting to the site. With our recently launched Media on Voice area, and a refreshed Arts Award on Voice, there has never been a better time to share your art and opinions! Want to get started? If you haven’t yet registered, you can do so here, and if you’re ready to post, click the link below!
Support our work
If all of this sounds like an incredible endeavour, you’re right! We are fortunate to be in the position to work at this magazine and create content alongside our audience. None of this would be possible without Upstart Projects, the charity behind Voice.
We rely on donations and support from the public, and if you are in the fortunate position to be able to donate something to allow our work to continue, we would be exceptionally grateful. There are so many ways you can support us – not just financially! To find out more about how you can help make 2023 our best year yet, please visit the Support Us page.
This is just a sneak peek at what we’ve got lined up. Of course, everything is subject to change, as the joys (and challenges) of running an editorial publication means responding to things as they pop up. However, I can definitively say that the core of our focus this year is you, the audience. We want to make Voice as fresh and exciting for you as possible, and to make our community a place where you can do the best in creativity and culture. We will be trying things throughout the year, and gathering feedback from you about what’s working and what’s not. Let us know what you think on our socials: @voicemaguk on Twitter and Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Thanks for an amazing 2022, and I look forward to seeing you on the site in 2023!