Aspiring writer, Laura Boyle, reaps an unexpected reward for her passion

The lights dimmed and the crowds in the arena suddenly quieted. Laura Boyle (’20) took out her phone and prepared herself to take note of the upcoming songs Ed Sheeran was about to perform. Her written review Sheeran’s Divide concert was due online at midnight, May 1.

At only 15 years old, Boyle writes reviews for concerts, movies and art exhibits for an online publication called The Upcoming. She received the job offer in April of last year and has been critiquing performances ever since.

Since Grade 5, Boyle has loved writing. “I had a really good writing teacher and she really inspired me to keep writing and as I got better I enjoyed it more,” she said.

Boyle’s passion for music began when she took piano lessons as a little girl and soon became interested in music theory. Growing up near San Francisco, California, Boyle was exposed to the music culture and industry at a young age and wanted to combine her passions of both music and writing.

A new sophomore this year, Boyle previously attended the International School of London for a semester where students are required to partake in work experience. Boyle wanted to continue her passion for writing, so for her work experience she decided to apply for The Upcoming. The company asked her to send in some samples of her previous work, and soon Boyle was offered a position as a staff writer.

Once Boyle received the job, she was asked to attend live concerts, movies and other events weekly. Her boss contacts her regularly with available tickets so she can write a review. Boyle has limited time to decide whether she can attend as she is usually notified only a couple days in advance.

Throughout her time as a writer for The Upcoming, Boyle has been given opportunities to see a variety of performers, movies and musicals. Some of her most memorable ones include Ed Sheeran, Adele and Birdy.

Boyle feels at times it is hard to balance her academic work, athletics, and this job because it is time consuming. Another challenge Boyle encounters while working is the lack of time she has to write a review and the pressure that comes with writing for a professional company. For most concerts Boyle attends she only has a couple hours to write, as the reviews are due at midnight.  “It’s really hard to have to write a review so quickly and have such a high standard being in a company with professional writers,” she said.

Boyle advises that to work in this industry one needs to be focused on the task at hand and have an open mind, especially when reviewing a band or person you don’t know about. Through this process Boyle has learned to be accepting.  “You have to learn everything you can about them and about their songs,” she said. “And it’s really cool to learn about a new style of music.”

Through these difficulties however, Boyle understands that she would not have accomplished what she has today without learning from others and her own mistakes. “I know I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning and I still do, and it’s ok to not be perfect all the time,” she said.


Written by Online Editor Maddie Sayre