This programme has ended, but you can read the texts authored by the six writers who participated here.

In what ways do photographs tell stories, exercise power, and offer resistance? Magnum Photos’ Emerging Writers in Residence programme is seeking 6 participants for an online course who are interested in photography writing and underrepresented in the field due to minoritisation resulting from race, sexuality, gender, class and/or disability.

On this FREE 5-week online course, take part in a programme of 7 virtual lectures, and research and produce a written text in the form of journalism, art criticism, oral history, and/or creative writing for publication on, and receive a £400GBP financial stipend.

Develop an idea, research images in the archive, produce your own text, receive editing support from guest experts, and have the work published on a website with a viewership of over 2 million.

The course makes a case for the importance of quality photographic writing and visual literacy for the photography industry from voices which have traditionally, and at present, had limited access. A varied forum that allows the consideration, appreciation, and criticism of images is crucial to the survival of a photography organisation that aims to question what it means to be “excellent” in its field. The course takes the photographic archive as its principal focus, but encourages a broad definition of what constitutes the archive.

Applications are open to individuals who identify as a racial, religious or ethnic minority, LGBTQ+, and/or disabled. UK applicants who receive a low-income are also eligible to apply.

This workshop offers:

  • £400GBP stipend for participation on the course
  • 7-part lecture series
  • Publication of written work on Magnum Photos
  • Feedback and editing support around work produced

All lectures and one-to-one sessions will be held online.

Week 1

  • Introduction to the Magnum photos archive: Jade Chao, Bayryam Bayryamali, Shannon Ghannam
    • Sunday 24th January 2021, 2PM to 4.30PM GMT
  • Archival research and oral history in photographic practice: Susan Meiselas, Sunil Shah
    • Monday 25th January 2021, 6PM to 7PM GMT
  • Archival research: Rianna Jade Parker
    • Wednesday 27th January 2021, 6PM to 7PM GMT

Week 2

  • Editorial writing/journalism: Bruno Bayley
    • Monday 1st February 2021, 6PM to 7PM GMT
  • Oral history writing: Kay Stephens
    • Tuesday 2nd February 2021, 6PM to 7PM GMT
  • Creative writing: Clav Mag
    • Wednesday 3rd February 2021, 6PM to 7PM GMT

Week 3

  • Art criticism: The White Pube
    • Friday 12th February 2021, 6PM to 7PM GMT
  • Ideas and Feedback
  • Research and writing time
  • First draft of text

Week 4

  • Receive feedback and editing support
  • Research and writing time

Week 5

  • Receive feedback and editing support
  • Research and writing time
  • Final texts delivered

Apply following this link. (You must register for or have an existing Google account.) Deadline to apply: 4th January 2021.

This project was made possible thanks to support from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.


Susan Meiselas received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.A. in visual education from Harvard University. Her first major photographic essay, Carnival Strippers, focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs. She photographed the carnivals during three consecutive summers while teaching photography in the New York public schools. Meiselas joined Magnum Photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since then. She is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America, which were published widely throughout the world.  In 1997, she completed a six-year project curating a 100-year photographic history of Kurdistan, and integrating her own work into the book entitled Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (Random House, 1997; reprinted by the University of Chicago Press, 2008). Meiselas then created the website,, an online archive of collective memory; as well as an exhibition that launched at the Menil Collection in Houston, and traveled for eight years to several venues in the United States and Europe.

Sunil Shah is an artist, curator and writer based in Oxford, UK. He is Associate Editor of American Suburb X Photography and Visual Culture Platform and PhD candidate at Central St Martins, London.

Rianna Jade Parker is a critic, curator and researcher based in South London where she studied her MA in Contemporary Art Theory at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Previously a Tate Collectives Producer, she is a Contributing Editor of frieze and a founding member of interdisciplinary art collective Thick/er Black Lines.

Kay Stephens is a cultural worker specialising in oral history. They are currently project managing Tsunagu/Connect, an oral history project exploring the lives of Japanese women in the UK since 1945. Kay is also a co-founder of daikon* zine and organises with Remember & Resist.

freya and gab founded clavmag at the start of 2020 to create a space for queer, trans and non-binary people to experiment with creative writing. clavmag is an antidote to the publishing industry with roots in the DIY scene, prioritising talent and accessibility over follower numbers and esoteric language. they provide an editorial feedback service in exchange for proof of donations to BLM charities, and will be publishing their one-year birthday issue in January 2021.

Jade Chao is Deputy Editor of the magazine on She is interested in archiving, zines, and the concept of ‘doing-it-yourself’ in a creative context.


Bayryam Bayryamali is the Magnum Learn Coordinator supporting the Magnum Education Team with programming for all products and services. He originally joined Magnum as part of the New Museum trainee programme. Previously, he worked as an Event Assistant for The Mosaic Rooms responsible for the management and delivery of public programming offered by the gallery. After graduating in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication, Bayryam has continued his own photography practice, as well as working with Tate Collective Young Producers and volunteering for ‘BP or not BP?’. He is also facilitating various training and workshops in collaboration with Sofia Platform in Bulgaria that explores the collapse of communism and its consequences.

Shannon Ghannam is the Global Education Director at Magnum Photos, responsible for the celebrated agency’s educational programming globally, including the recently launched online learning platform Magnum Learn Shannon sits on the Senior Management team at Magnum and is also responsible for Learning and Development within the organisation. Previously she managed Content Strategy and Development at Reuters, working to showcase on multiple platforms the agency’s multimedia content. Shannon has collaborated on numerous photographic books, international exhibitions and multimedia projects including the Emmy award winning photojournalism app Reuters The Wider Image. Shannon has worked in various roles during a 20 year career including Screen Labs, Night Contact photography and multimedia festival, Australian Associated Press (AAP), The Australian Photojournalist Journal, The National Archives of Australia as well as developing a year long collaborative portraiture project with refugee communities for the Australian Red Cross. She studied at the Queensland College of Art in Brisbane, Australia where she graduated with First Class Honours in Photography.

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