The Hatch Podcast

We’re excited to launch our all new Hive Podcast Channel! We’ve migrated to a new platform and have been busy uploading all sorts of fab archive content from the last few years of Hive.

From interviews with inspiring writers, to projects, readings & performances The Hatch Podcast is a place for the hatching of new voices, new writing, and all things word! 

We’ll be uploading more content this autumn so do keep an eye on out!
Go to The Hatch Podcast or listen below to a selection >>

Birdlife – a poetry podcast project

We’re flapping our wings with excitement right now, to bring you….Birdlife – a truly captivating poetry podcast project that saw a flock of talented young poets explore the boundless life of birds in a set of commissioned poems.

Birdlife took us on a wonderful bird walk to Graves Park, Sheffield, with the guidance of the mighty Jim Clarke, ornithologist and all-round wonderfully engaging teacher on all things birds.

We were also lucky enough to have Alistair McGregor, sound specialist, recording the whole experience and picking up a truly spectacular dusk chorus.

Enjoy this wonderful audio podcast filled with so many fascinating facts, stories, folklore, beautiful poems, and endless, glorious birdsong!
(You can listen to specific poems via the time codes below but do keep in mind there might be a pre-story you miss that goes with the poem!) 

(For best sound quality play on a computer or via the podcast channel here)


Dave the Dunnock
Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith (4:40)

Love Me, Fight Me (a little tanka)
Lydia Allison (12:10)

Maia Brown (17:20)

When blackbird calls sound like wolf whistles
Ciah White (20:00)

Luke Worthy (30:45)

King of Birds (The Wren)
Vicky Morris (34:35)

Georgie Woodhead (41:20)

Seeking Goldfinch
Lydia Allison (44:15)

Bird Tour with Jim
Lydia Allison (46:35)

With special thanks to:
Jim Clarke – Ornithologist
Alistair McGregor – Sound production Specialist & co-director of Hybrid3
Vicky Morris – Poet & Facilitator
Poets (as above)

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Hive at Sheaf Poetry Festival 2020

From 19th to 23rd Nov it’s.. the Sheaf Poetry Festival 2020! And we’re very excited to be part of the action!

It was such a brilliant festival last year – we aren’t going to let the need to be online dampen things, after all poetry doesn’t need the real world to be heard, read and written.

We’re excited that Rotherham Young Writer and Hive poet, Lauren Hollingsworth Smith will be young poet in residence for the festival alongside older Poet in Residence, Gevi Carver. She will be reading with Gevi at the Opening events on 19th November. She’ll also be writing a new poem for the festival that will be posted on the website.

Also on 19th, it’s the launch of Matter 20 with Sheffield Hallam University and we’re excited to to have two Hive writers included this year, poet Maia Brown and Fiction writer Naomi Thomas.

On Saturday 21st November, we’ve got a Hive showcase of young and emerging poets from Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham reading from 1-2pm (free).

And on Sunday 22nd Nov, we have a rather exciting masterclass: Poetry about People with awesome Welsh poet, Jonathan Edwards! Jonathan is a master of writing about people and there will be a lot to discover and enjoy in this fast-paced writing afternoon (open to all young writers, whatever their experience level, from 14 to 25)

Aside from all this goodness, there’s a brilliant range of free and affordable happenings, workshops, and readings. If you’re a poetry enthusiast or occasional dabbler, come along – you don’t even need to be near Sheffield this year to attend!

Find out more at

Louisa Rhodes – Streetcake Prize Winner

Hive young writer Louisa Rhodes has been chosen by Jarred Mcginnis as 4th place winner in Streetcake’s Experimental Writing Prize (18-23 category) for her story heaven.exe_/run/. The announcement was made at Streetcake’s Awards ceremony on Zoom last week. Louisa’s story, along with all the other winners, is published in Streetcake’s Experimental Writing Prize anthology 2020, and available now We’re delighted! Congratulations, Louisa!

Louisa Rhodes is a member of the Hive network and an alumnus of Sheffield Young Writers. She writes fiction and poetry and has won or been highly commended in several competitions over the last few years. She’s had work published in various anthologies including Hive’s Halfway Smile & Surfing the Twilight.

2020 judges and mentors:

Sascha Akhtar (ages 18-23)
Astra Papachristodoulou (ages 24-30)
​Jarred McGinnis (ages 18-23)
Nik Perring (ages 24-30)

“Streetcake are the archetypal best of the UK’s innovative and literary poetry scene – magazine and platform who have been tireless in their support of new and upcoming writers for over a decade. Their consistency and singularity have made them a go to publication for 21st century UK poets, offering encouragement where it’s needed.” SJ Fowler, patron

Hive Young Writers’ Competition Results 2020

Comings soon! 🙂

Mixing Roots – for young voices of colour

Are you a young person of colour in South Yorkshire or nearby, aged 14 to 25 (or thereabouts)?
Interested in creative writing and the power of words? Mixing Roots is back! 

In August and September, award-winning Sheffield writer and poet, Warda Yassin (and guest writers & creatives Danae Wellington & Sile Sibanda) will be running a new Mixing Roots programme of free creative writing & inspiration workshops for young people of colour and dual heritage from across South Yorkshire.

Everyone is warmly welcome – from bookworms to the mildly curious!  And we’re particularly keen to hear from those who might feel a bit isolated right now with the world upside down. No experience is needed, and you don’t have to think you’re a great writer to attend – you just need an interest in words, a tablet or computer with an internet connection, and to virtually turn up and have fun!

Warda will help you build confidence in your own voice in a safe and supportive environment.  You’ll be encouraged to write about all kinds of things including what really matters to you, from the serious to the celebratory. You’ll also find out about writing and creative opportunities in your area that you might not know about, and get loads of great advice and tips about creative careers.

Beyond the programme, we hope to continue the project in the real world, and through working with partners like Nyara and the Lit Collective, bringing young people together from lots of different backgrounds and places in the region, and finding interesting ways to showcase and celebrate the voices of young people of colour.

We’re seeking partnership and funding support to enable us to take Mixing Roots further to help young people of colour reach their potential. We would like to produce a podcast and publication. We had a very successful Mixing Roots publication at the end of 2019 and would love to raise money to do this again.

Expect relaxed and fun sessions. And just to say, it’s not a requirement of the workshops that participants need to stay visible on video (or to use audio) after check-in/safeguarding considerations.

Start date: 27th August 1.30pm, and you’ll decide on further dates as a group.
In Oct there’ll also be sessions with:
*Sile Sibanda on Radio Presenting: Talk, Q&A and tips – From spoken word to spoken host – how I became a radio presenter and event host.
*Danae Wellington: Workshop theme to be confirmed – around stories and cultures from homelands, myths and beliefs.

To book, email: as soon as possible | Places limited, don’t miss out!
Warda is also running Creative Writing for bi-lingual tongues workshops as part of the Off the Shelf Festival of Words 27th Oct.

Supported by: Nyara School of Arts An African and African-Caribbean Performing Arts School based in Sheffield, celebrating the richness & beauty of the Black experience.
The Lit Collective (TLC) 
a book club in Sheffield for young womxn of colour (14-18) to read books by womxn of colour. This July they organised their first online festival dedicated to centring and celebrating womxn writers of colour. For more on their amazing festival visit

About the Mixing Roots writers & creatives

Warda Yassin is a British Somali poet and English teacher. She writes about her Somali heritage and community and in 2018 was a winner of the New Poets Prize. Her debut pamphlet Tea with Cardamom came out with The Poetry Business in 2019. Warda has been a part of the South Yorkshire writers network (now Hive) for 8 years and recognises from her own experience, how it can support young people to reach their potential.

Danae Wellington is a Jamaican British writer, poet and advocate for healing through the creative arts, specifically through the fusion of poetry, storytelling, music and theatre. She’s been published in several anthologies and has performed widely at places like the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival and Sheaf Poetry Festival. In 2018 she set up Nyara School of Arts, a project aimed at creatively supporting young people from African Diaspora backgrounds.

Sile Sibanda is a British Zimbabwean poet, spoken word performer, and radio presenter. As well as being an active part of the Hive community, she has hosted open mics and events for Hive over the last few years and is loved by everyone for her warmth and encouragement of young voices. Sile hails from Rotherham and in 2019 she won the BBC Radio Sheffield ‘This is Me’ presenting competition and subsequently became the host of The Vibe on BBC Radio Sheffield.

Naomi Thomas BBC Short Story Award Congratulations!

A massive congratulations to 17-year-old Sheffield Young Writer’s Naomi Thomas, one of five shortlisted for the BBC Young Writers’ Short Story Award 2020 with First Story and Cambridge University

‘The Battle of Trafalgar Square’ by Naomi Thomas: Described by judges as ‘a punch in the face of a story, in the best possible way,’ an ordinary commute on a crowded tube train is transformed into a surreal and darkly, comic experience when a woman has an unexpected and shocking accident. Written as practice for Naomi’s English Language GCSE, the story exposes both the good and bad in human nature via a short story that highlights the power of the form to ‘give us a complete literary experience in and of itself’. An avid short story writer, Naomi was Highly Commended in the Young Northern Writers’ Awards 2020.

Open to 13 – 18-year-olds, the aim of this Award is to inspire and encourage the next generation of short story writers and is a cross-network collaboration between BBC Radio 4 and Radio 1. The shortlist was announced on Radio 1’s Life Hacks on Sunday 20th September 2020. The winner will also be announced on 6th October on Front Row on Radio 4.

You can listen to The Battle of Trafalgar Square below (read by The End of the F***ing World actress Jessica Barden!) and all of the shortlisted here:

Congratulations also to the following stories and shortlisted:
‘Winds that Travel Across’ by Maleeha Faruki
‘Three Pomegranate Seeds’ by Mei Kawagoe
‘Bingo Tuesdays’ by Ben Marshall
‘The Changeling’ by Lottie Mills

Giving voice to the ‘othered’ and reclaiming narratives dominates a ‘deeply impressive’ shortlist for the 2020 BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University, announced live on BBC Radio 1’s Life Hacks today (Sunday 20 September).

From the tender relationship between a boy and his grandmother inspired by family experience of Alzheimer’s, to a feminist reclaiming of the Greek myth of Persephone; from the memory and stories of a first-generation Indian immigrant, to a celebration of ‘otherness’ and the transformative power of difference, via a darkly comic exploration of humanity in a crowded tube carriage: the five sophisticated stories, penned by writers aged 15 to 18 were praised by the judges for their ‘startling confidence’ and ‘deeply impressive’ range of subject matter and style.

Practising for GCSE English Language papers inspired two finalists to write, with one, Ben Marshall, never having written a short story before outside of the classroom. The shortlist also sees the return of 2018 finalist Lottie Mills – a second-year English Literature student at Cambridge University – for her ‘genuine triumph’ of a story inspired by her #OwnVoices experience of disability and her frustration at how difference is represented.

Katie Thistleton, Chair of the 2020 BBC Young Writers’ Award Judging Panel, says: “Congratulations to our five shortlisted writers and thank you to everyone who entered the 2020 BBC Young Writers’ Award. This year has been an unsettling one for young people and writing has proved a powerful way to explore complex feelings and emotions. Gaining insight into the minds of teenagers and what they care about through their writing has never seemed so vital. I hope this year’s entries will inspire others.”

The five shortlisted stories, each under 1000 words, will be read by actors including Hollyoaks and Derry Girls actor Dylan Llewelyn, The End of the F***ing World actress Jessica Barden, and comedian and actress, Nimisha Odedra and broadcast by BBC Radio 1 and available on BBC Sounds. They will also be available to read on the BBC Radio 1 website. The winner will be announced live on BBC Radio 4 Front Row on Tuesday 6 October.

The BBC Young Writers’ Award has a reputation for identifying the short story stars of the future. Shortlisting for this prize is a stepping-stone for writing success, with one of Lottie Mills’ fellow 2018 cohort, Reyah Martin, winning the 2020 Canada/Europe Commonwealth Short Story Prize aged just 20. In 2019, inaugural YWA winner Brennig Davies secured a place to study English Literature at Oxford University and won the coveted Crown literary prize at the Urdd Eisteddfod – a Welsh language cultural festival.

Antonia Byatt, CEO, First Story says: “Congratulations to the shortlisted young writers this year. What they have achieved is totally impressive – sophisticated dexterity, finely tuned sensitivity and a bold engagement with contemporary issues all stand out strongly in these stories. It’s warming, too, to see that creative writing in the GCSE curriculum has been a starting point for some of them, something it is important not to lose as schools concentrate on curriculum recovery this year. This years’ shortlistees are clearly all very committed writers and have great writing careers in front of them.”

Dr Sarah Dillon, Faculty of English, Cambridge University, says: “The BBC Young Writers’ Award is such a crucial way of identifying and amplifying the voices of some of the UK’s best young short story writers. This year’s shortlist reassures that the form is alive and well with the younger generation. The stories reveal how some of today’s most challenging contemporary issues are feeding these young people’s imaginations and how, through writing and reading, experiences of hate, horror, frustration and despair can be transformed into sites of hope, humour and aspiration for a future this generation want to create, not just inherit.”

ABOUT THE AWARD: This is the sixth year of the BBC Young Writers’ Award which invites all 14 – 18-year-olds living in the United Kingdom to submit short stories of up to 1,000 words. The award was launched as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations for the BBC National Short Story Award and aims to inspire and encourage the next generation of writers. Previous winners are Brennig Davies Georgie Woodhead (2019) Davina Bacon (2018) (2015) Elizabeth Ryder (2017) Lizzie Freestone (2016)
Partners: BBC, First Story & Cambridge University

Hive at Off the Shelf Festival of Words

It’s that time of year again – it can only be… the Off the Shelf Festival of Words! With both live and online readings, performances, workshops and talks, there’s an amazing line-up for this year’s festival (9th – 31th October). As always, Hive and Hive writers are honoured to be part of the action.

We were excited the festival fell at half-term this year as we hoped to tie it in again with one of our buzzing live literature events, but, sadly due to C19 this won’t be possible. No fear, there’s still a fab range of Hive-related happenings! You can browse the wonderful full programme array of events here. And read on for what we’ll be getting up to….

We’re so proud of Hive Poet Warda Yassin for all she’s achieving and this autumn she’s busy doing various events at the festival including a reading with UK Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage on 11 Oct. What’s more it’s a drive-in event – yes, book by the car!

On the 12th Oct, Warda’s also going to be in conversation with Sheffield’s former mayor Magid Magid and poet/rapper/philosopher Otis Mensah. At this event, rather excitingly, Warda will be introduced as Sheffield Poet Laureate for the next two years! We are so excited about seeing Warda representing the city and inspiring others!

And on 27th Oct, Warda will be running two Creative Writing for Bi-lingual Tongues workshops (1pm and 4pm) for young people of dual heritage aged 14-19 and 20-24 years. And they’re FREE!

Also on 27th Oct we’re thrilled two emerging young poets from the Hive network  – Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith, 18 and Georgie Woodhead, 17 – will be giving support readings of work from their forthcoming debut New Poets pamphlets alongside the mighty Roger Robinson.

On 30th Oct we have the festival’s annual Youth Word Up, but this year, a little different! Our usual live collaborative event at the festival, with its accompanying publication, has turned into… a podcast! This time around we’re working with the Young People in Care Council, Sheffield Young Carers, and Chilypep. They will be joined by emerging young writers from the HIVE network.

And on the last day of the festival, 31st Oct, we’ve got a real treat for you, a special Mastering Monologues – with the very talented John Rwoth-Omack (Far Gone), in a jam-packed two-part masterclass for young writers and actors – all experience levels welcome – from hobby to career interest. You’ll explore writing and acting tips and advice, from one-man-shows to nailing affecting monologues. Then you’ll collaboratively WRITE a monologue John will go on to perform in a follow on podcast. This could be your first production credit! Expect a warm, relaxed atmosphere and many insights from one of Sheffield’s finest actors.

For all events and happening click here and get involved!
For the full Off the Shelf programme click here

A huge thank you to Off the Shelf Festival of Words for their ongoing partnership & support year after year.

Warda Yassin at Off the Shelf Festival of Words in October

We’re so proud of Hive Poet Warda Yassin for all she gets up to and this autumn she’s very busy doing various events at Off the Shelf Festival of Words including a reading with UK Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage on 11 Oct. What’s more it’s a drive-in event – yes, book by the car!

On the 12th Oct Warda’s also going to be in conversation with Sheffield’s former mayor Magid Magid and Otis Mensah. At this event, rather excitingly, Warda will be introduced as Sheffield Poet Laureate for the next two years! We are so excited about seeing Warda representing the city and inspiring others!


And on 27th Oct, Warda will be running two Creative Writing for Bi-lingual Tongues workshops (1pm and 4pm) for young people of dual heritage aged 14-19 and 20-24 years. And they’re FREE!

Warda also currently runs Mixing Roots – writing workshops for young people of colour. More info here.

If you’re a young person who would really like to experience any of these events but don’t have the means or have any questions, get in touch.

Mastering Monologues – for young writers & actors

Join acclaimed actor, John Rwoth-Omack (Far Gone), in a jam-packed two-part masterclass for young writers and actors – all experience levels welcome – from hobby to career interest. Over two 90-minute sessions, you’ll explore acting and writing tips and advice, from one-man-shows to nailing affecting monologues.

You’ll then go on to contribute your ideas and writing to a real monologue John will edit together and perform in a follow on podcast! This could be your first production credit! Expect a warm, relaxed atmosphere (all experience levels encouraged) and many insights from one of Sheffield’s finest actors.

Date: Sat 31st Oct 11am (two 90 min sessions with a break)
Where: TBC – online
Suitable for 15 to 26 years – all experience levels and interests welcome across South Yorkshire & nearby
Places must be booked: Tickets £5
To reserve a place:
Facebook event

Organised by Hive South Yorkshire in partnership with Off the Shelf

John Rwoth-Omack is a Ugandan born, London trained, and Sheffield bred and based actor, director & playwright. He trained as an actor at Rose Bruford College of Performing Arts.

Since he has worked as an actor in the following; FAR GONE (Sheffield Theatres 2020 & Theatre Deli Sheffield 2019), H&P, On Missing, (The Cockpit Theatre, London 2019), Dr Bupe, Tales From the Playground, (Paper Finch Theatre, Sheffield 2018), Priest, The Devil in Mary (short film York, 2017), Witch Doctor, The Emporer Jones, (The Lost Theatre, London 2016), John Blanke, The Low Road, (Stratford Circus, London 2015).

John is the writer of the much-acclaimed FAR GONE which follows a young boy’s journey from childhood innocence to child soldier. In 2018 John debuted as a theatre director with the successful production of Paul Sirett’s Bad Blood Blues at Theatre Deli. As an assistant director, John worked with Gbolahan Obisesan on The Last King of Scotland. He also worked with Sheffield Crucible Theatre resident company Utopia Theatre on I am David Oluwale, Shadows in Different Shades and SoAfrica Festival.

Hive Young Writers’ Days
Hive Young Writers’ Days are a chance for young writers, whatever your interest and ability, to develop your writing with support from professional writers, while meeting other young writers, and getting involved in the Hive young writers’ network.