Sam Brookes Rockhaq Interview

Meet Rockhaq Student: Sam Brookes

This year we’re running a joint writing competition, featuring last year’s short story writing exercise and a music review writing task for all you young, budding music journalists out there!

The music reviews competition is running thanks to the input and support of award-winning local journalist Michelle Dhillon. Michelle has donated a £255 prize pot to award to the best music reviews. She is also the founder of the Rockhaq student music journalism community, which has recently been relaunched after a successful pilot a few years ago now, involving colleges in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Meet the Rockhaq Students

Some of the original Rockhaq students from a few years ago have been very keen to return to the community, after a gap of three years. One of these original students is Sam Brookes. Sam was studying A Level English Literature at Regent College when he was first introduced to the Rockhaq community. He has since graduated from Leicester’s De Montfort University, worked as a teacher and is now a writer and editor of his own blog.

Sam credits the Rockhaq student community with inspiring him to pursue writing as a career. He also has agreed to act as a judge on this year’s music review writing competition for ArtBeat Festival.

In the meantime, Rockhaq founder Michelle Dhillon caught up with Sam to ask what he’s up to now and what impact the Rockhaq community had on him from 2012 through to 2016. Hopefully this and seeing Sam’s latest reviews on the Rockhaq community will give you all some inspiration to start writing your own music reviews. Good luck!

The ArtBeat 2016 writing competition entries are now open!

Enter the ArtBeat Writing Competition Today!

Great news scribblers: entries are now open for the Gareth Carnall Short Story Competition and Rockhaq Music Review Writing Competition.

Writing Competition Prizes

Thanks to our very generous sponsors, we have some fantastic prizes for you this year.

The Rockhaq Music Review Writing Competition has a £255 prize pot (donated by Michelle Dhillon of Rockhaq.com) to be divided up between the winners of each category. The three categories are:

  • Best music review (min. 350 words)
  • Best live review (min. 350 words)
  • Best opinion column (min. 350 words)

You can enter whatever categories you want – but only two entries in total per writer, please.

The ArtBeat Short Story competition has cash prizes for the winners in each category.

Runners-up in the under 11 and 11-18 categories will receive a book voucher kindly donated by Penny Luithlen of Luithlen Agency.

How to Enter our Writing Competitions

If you’re keen as mustard to get writing, then head over to our writing competitions page. Here you’ll find out the entry categories, competition rules and how to submit your lovingly crafted music review or short story.

Writing Inspiration

If you need a little something to stimulate and inspire, click over to the Rockhaq website or read our interviews with 2015 Short Story Writing Competition winners, Alison Duthie and Martha Yeoman.

Summer in Clarendon Park - Short Story Writing Competition

It’s Writing Competition Time!

We received some fantastic entries for the Gareth Carnall Short Story Writing Competition last year, so we’re planning to do it all again for 2016 – only bigger, and better!

Rockhaq Student Music Journalism CommunityAs well as the opportunity to flex your fiction-writing muscles, we also have a brand new writing challenge: the Rockhaq music review writing competition. Huge thanks to our partners Rockhaq, the online student music journalism community, for arranging the competition and to journalist and founder Michelle Dhillon for donating a £255 cash prize pot.

Think you might like to enter? Need some inspiration to get started? Then read on.

Short Story Writing Competition

The theme for this year’s competition is “Summer in Clarendon Park“. Whether your characters spend a day in the shops and cafes on Queen’s Road, exploring the allotments or enjoying the Clarendon Park Summer Fair, there’s inspiration wherever you go.

The short story writing competition has three categories this year:

  • Young people aged under 11 on the closing date. A story of any length up to 1500 words.
  • Young people aged 11-18 on the closing date. A story of any length up to 1500 words.
  • Adults aged 18 and over on the closing date. A story of any length up to 2500 words.

Rockhaq Music Review Writing Competition

Michelle Dhillon, journalist and founder of the Rockhaq student music journalism community, hails from Clarendon Park and is on the lookout for young Leicestershire music journalists to award cash prizes of up to £255. The Rockhaq music review writing competition has three categories:

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

This competition is open to anyone aged between 10-20 who attends school or college in Leicestershire. Just write about any music you like, make sure your work is at least 350 words in length and published on the Rockhaq community. You will need to register to join the community  to get started. Full rules are coming soon on the Rockhaq ArtBeat competition page.

For a flavour of other reviews, head over to the Rockhaq website.

Competition Entries

Both our competitions are open for entries from Tuesday 1st March 2016. Entries must be submitted on or before the closing date of midnight on Monday 6th June 2016.

Full competition rules, the entry form for the Short Story Competition and details of how to enter the Rockhaq Music Review Writing Competition will be published on Tuesday 1st March 2016. Until then, get scribbling.