Carol Clerk, Northern Ireland’s first outstanding music journalist, will be honored with a new scholarship that will support future journalists from the north.

The Carol Clerk Fellowship will provide £3,500 for professional equipment and resources for a future music journalist (female or non-binary with a connection to Northern Ireland).

There will be additional mentorship, feedback and training, with printed commissions paid. Carol, from Belfast, wrote her first story for Melody Maker in 1974 while still at school (“Bombs, Boredom and No Bands”).

Eventually, she became editor of Melody Maker and wrote respected books on The Pogues, The Damned, Madonna and Ozzy Osbourne. Carol won the PPA Journalist of the Year award for her coverage of Live Aid in 1985. Sadly, Carol died of cancer in 2010, aged 55.

This initiative was developed by Dig With It magazine, in partnership with the Oh Yeah Music Centre, Belfast’s dedicated music hub.

The Carol Clerk Scholarship is launched with the blessing of her daughter Eve. Applicants will reside in or were born in Northern Ireland.

They will be invited to submit two pieces of music journalism for consideration. The online application for the scholarship is here:

The scholarship will be awarded by a panel of working music journalists, some of whom are former colleagues of Carol. A series of articles by the winner will appear in future issues of Dig With It magazine. It will be a paying job.

Mentors will also help guide the writer to other music and arts publications. The pilot year of the Carol Clerk Fellowship will be partially funded by a major source.

At the end of 2021, the Oh Yeah Music Center received a rare acetate of “Happy Xmas” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono to be auctioned off.

There were only 50 copies of this acetate manufactured, on the occasion of the 50e anniversary of this remarkable song.Register here:

Quote from Stuart Bailie, Dig With It magazine. “Carol Clerk was an excellent journalist and a wonderful, generous person. I met her often during my time as a music writer in London and she was always encouraging and enlightening about her work.

It will be an honor to help celebrate Carol’s work by supporting a new generation of talented writers. Quote from Charlotte Dryden, CEO of the Oh Yeah Music Center “We are thrilled to launch this important scholarship in partnership with Dig With It.

It’s a crucial part of our work to support people with ambition to work in music through development and mentorship, but also to help seek out opportunities, find pathways and steer them in directions like this- this.

To be behind the development of an emerging music writer is exciting and on behalf of Carol Clerk, it is an honor.

The Carol Clerk Scholarship was launched at the Women’s Work Festival in Belfast.