Igniting Passions: The Third K-Pop Writers' Workshop

I was thirteen when I started Pop Reviews Now. Fourteen when I realized that I wanted to write for a living. Fifteen when I branched out into writing for major Korean entertainment news websites. Sixteen when I decided to pursue a theory-heavy college major to learn proper art criticism. At seventeen I won my first Philippine Blog Award and was writing a weekly column for SOOMPI. I put together the First K-Pop Writers’ Workshop when I was eighteen. Six years later, at nineteen, music writing is still my passion.

And I know I’m not alone.

The past two workshops have been constant reassurances that there are so many extremely intelligent, talented and enthusiastic people writing critically about Korean entertainment. And why wouldn’t there be? K-entertainment is such a dynamic and fast-paced part of popular culture at the moment that it needs a community of writers that grows just as fast.

At the same time, running this workshop has made me realize how much I enjoy being in the middle of it all. That The K-Pop Writers’ Workshop is just as much my passion as writing about Korean pop music is -- and I know exactly why. Meeting people who I share interests and even aspirations with, learning from them, and reading all these great ideas presented in new ways are experiences I always look forward to. Seeing past participants continuously improving their craft outside of the workshop setting and even having a hand in some of that improvement is as inspiring as it is rewarding. Which is why with the Third K-Pop Writers’ Workshop we want to expand even more -- to help new writers to find direction, and give veterans reasons to stay.

We want to ignite passions, whether it be for the first time or the hundredth.

At it’s core, the workshop is a short-term program. We are only meant to supplement the writing experience you already have or give that first push you need to get started. Our system aims to provide a new environment with each workshop cycle by bringing together a new mix of writers from different backgrounds, with a wide range of strengths and opinions. We keep things fresh. While the cost is the short-term nature of the workshop, we see a need because no one else offers it.

However we know that as we grow, we have to put in more effort to strengthen the ties we've already made in the past. We want to build our community with each workshop, not change it. And we have found ways to do so, which are the new additions we are introducing this time around.

After the workshop we provide outside projects and long-term commitments to our participants. First because it serves as an incentive for participants to experience the workshop from start to finish, but more importantly because we want to contribute to the steadily-growing flow of Korean entertainment writing online. We want our participants to write for even bigger audiences than they already do, to expand their community as much as we are expanding. Because as their networks grow, so does ours.

This time we have teamed up with several of our alumni and core group members to provide even more post-workshop opportunities, both long and short-term. Our alumni will serve as a bridge, your bridge, to their experience and wide range of connections outside of the workshop. They will share their passions with you and show you the endless opportunities writing about K-entertainment opens up. They can also continue to mentor you outside of the workshop setting, something we want for any writer who passes through us.

As of now we are working with Asia 24/7, Dinoseoul, The Kpop Panel, Melismatic, and Pop Reviews Now. Further details will be provided to participants during the workshop period.

Having been around for less than a year though, we don’t have that many alumni yet. Despite this, we want to provide as many opportunities for expansion as we can. Which is why in addition to workshop alumni affiliations, we have added to our list of partner websites. We are prepared to recommend more participants to more major editorial teams. Last year we introduced merit-based recommendations to Beyond Hallyu’s editorial team for those who complete the workshop, and this year we are continuing that incentive. In addition to Beyond Hallyu, we will also be sourcing participants to The One Shots. Just like our alumni we want these two sites to be a vital part of our community, and we think they are great venues to publish writing.

The K-Pop Writers’ Workshop is primarily for writers with existing commitments elsewhere and so after the workshop they go back to them, hopefully bringing new connections and lessons. While past workshops have focused on building connections, now we want to solidify them and make them an integral part of the workshop experience. Because they should be -- improvement and networking go hand-in-hand as far as K-entertainment writing is concerned. Which is why through The Third K-Pop Writers’ Workshop we will show you our passions at work, the passions that have driven our entire community from the very beginning. 

And I sincerely hope that seeing our passions inspires you to stay in this community we're building together.

Workshop Head


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