Leave a Comment · Posted on April 16, 2019
Hive Young Writers Festival 2019 saw an impressive 160 young writers, 25+ industry professionals and a heroic team of front of house staff and volunteers come together at Sheffield Hallam University on 13th April for a transformative and memorable day of all things writing and words.
Young creatives aged from 14 to 30 traveled from as far as Nottingham, York, Birmingham and Cumbria. Many lovely comments and feedback from the day are starting to come in now, particularly about the aspects that really sparked, moved and inspired people. We’re heartened that so many seen and unseen fires were lit!
We know it won’t have been the exact perfect balance of a day for everyone, but it’s rare to have that much choice and support under one roof, so we hope it was varied and affordable enough to be worthwhile and inspiring for all who came.
And now for the thank yous, of which there are many (as you might imagine for an event this size!)
Firstly, we wouldn’t have been able to keep tickets so affordable and the day so varied without funding from Arts Council England, and without the incredible support of our partners, Sheffield Hallam University, who hosted the festival in the amazing state-of-the-art Institute of Education.
From the Hallam English & Humanities team in particular – Katharine Cox, Susan Anderson and Kaley Kramer who have been so brilliant, accommodating and enthusiastic about what Hive does, and who saw the potential of this event and helped us realise it. The inspiration that is Maxine Greaves from the Faculty of Development and Society. Maxine has been a key member of the Hive’s steering board since its inception, and Hive wouldn’t have achieved what it has without the support she has given, and through Hallam, over the last few years.
Also from Hallam we’d like to thank Dan Judge (technician and lovely bloke), and Tim, Debbie, and Maggie, Hallam building, mail and security people, for their last-minute kindness and support.
Next up we’d like to thank all the amazing writers and professionals for coming and giving so generously of themselves and their knowledge, insights and craft through workshops, panels, talks, advice 1-2-1s and performances – many of whom, as with front of house, very kindly gave their time and skills for a reduced rate or entirely for free to make the day possible. In no particular order, and in salute to all: Sharna Jackson (Site Gallery), Simon Bestwick, Oz Hardwick, Dave Windass, Tom Knight (supported by Ubisoft), Stan Skinny, Dan ‘Loops’ Bernard, Justine Gaubert, Yvonne Battle-Felton, Stacey Sampson, Louise Wallwein, Kate Fox, Dan Ingram Brown, Bambos Georgiou, Desiree Reynolds, Kate Garrett, Nik Perring, Jen Booth, Kevin Duffy (Blue Moose Books), Eleanor Kent (And Other Stories) Becky Cherriman, Michelle Scally Clark and Steve Dearden (The Writing Squad) – And to the latter, Becky and Michelle for accompanying members of Ilkely and Bradford Young Writers (and Erica Morris at Ilkley Literature Festival for making that happen), and to Steve Dearden for enthusing members of The Writing Squad to join us for the day, and for his ongoing support of Hive.
And then there are the front of house heroes, headed up by the unflappable Kiran Malhi-Bearn. We really couldn’t have functioned without you lovely folks! Zoe Cox, Marcus Wrindlewald, Jane Armstrong, Tom Robbins, Kate Woodhead, Anas Kabar, Helen Angell and Liz Morley.
To poet Gav Hudson for managing advice session sign up, Brian Lewis from Longbarrow Press for manning an excellent extensive bookstall for the day, (and northern publishers: Blue Moose, And Other Stories, The Poetry Business, Dead Ink & Valley Press for sending their fine books and pamphlets to sell), Sile Sibanda for her general support and encouraging and enthusiastic hosting, Warren Draper and apprentice Cameron for their fine photography, to Spleeny and Sez for Write Radio podcasting, to Michele Beck for travel support, to Andy Hill from First Story for run up solidarity, and to all the individuals and organisations who have supported this event whether by enthusing young people, or helping to spread the word. Competition prizes were supported by several wonderful bodies – our partners Arvon (thanks Joe Bibby), Nick Sidwell, the Literary Review and the Reading Agency.
I sincerely hope nobody has been forgotten here. If you have, it’s a temporary glitch! 🙂
We are certain, within the building on Saturday – whether quietly taking things in, or loudly on the mic – among those present were many of the creative movers and shakers, playwrights, poets, novelists, and spoken and written wordsmiths of the future – and we’re delighted we could bring you together and help to spur you along.
Here’s a very fine gallery of photos to enjoy courtesy of Warren Draper and a few others of the fly… We didn’t catch all of the open mic sorry. Also, pop up writers portraits coming soon! And both will be posted in Facebook galleries in the near future!
Leave a Comment · Posted on March 27, 2019
We are delighted to announce Georgie Woodhead as Young Poet in Residence during the forthcoming Sheaf Poetry Festival!
Georgie, of Sheffield Young Writers, is just 16-years-old and has already accomplished so much as a young poet since joining our network at the tender age of 13, including winning Foyle Young Poet of the Year 2018. Georgie will work alongside the Sheaf Poetry Festival’s poet-in-residence, Mark Pajak. Mark, has some wonderful poetry projects in the pipeline including ghost-walk poetry, video game haikus and poetry taking over public spaces during the festival week (17 – 25 May). Georgie will be getting involved and will be opening the festival reading with Mark.
Do check out the Festival! All details here: sheafpoetryfestival.com
Thanks to Suzannah Evans at Sheaf Poetry Festival for helping us to make this happen.
Georgie Woodhead is a 16-year-old writer from Sheffield who attends Hive’s Sheffield Young Writers group. In 2018 she was a winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year, one of two highly commended young poets in the Cuckoo Northern Writers Award, and 2nd place winner in the Ledbury Poetry Competition (young people’s category). Georgie has been published in the Hive anthologies, Halfway Smile and Wild Poetry, and by various places such as the Poetry Society and the Poetry Village. She’s performed widely at open mics and live events including the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival 2018, and has been a guest on McMillan’s The Verb on Radio 3.
Sheaf Poetry Festival is a new poetry festival for Sheffield and nearby with a vibrant programme combining poetry, spoken word and cross-disciplinary events for all poetry lovers to enjoy. The festival is spread over nine days, commencing on Friday 17 May with a festival launch event. The weekend will consist of a packed programme of readings, performances and workshops, and the following week includes an assortment of evening events, closing on Saturday 25 May with one of Longbarrow Press’s famous Sheffield poetry walks and a poetry film night with Elephant’s Footprint.
Mark Pajak’s work has appeared in The London Review of Books, Poetry London, The North, The Rialto and Magma. He has been commended in the National Poetry Competition, awarded first place in The Bridport Prize and has also received a Northern Writers’ Award, an Eric Gregory Award and an UNESCO international writing residency. His first pamphlet, Spitting Distance, was selected by Carol Ann Duffy as a Laureate’s Choice and is published with smith|doorstop.
Leave a Comment · Posted on March 19, 2019
We are delighted to announce the results of our 2019 Young Writers’ Competition!
Open to young writers aged 14 to 25 across the Yorkshire region, the competition spanned short story, flash fiction and poetry. We were amazed to receive a whopping 500+ entries – that saw young writers scribbling from the near and far reaches of Yorkshire.
Fiction judge, Angela Readman said: ‘It was a joy to judges this competition. The stories never failed to surprise me and the standard of writing was high. These are writers I know I’ll be seeing books by in the future. It was an honour to read their work and give them the encouragement they deserve.’
Poetry judge, Ian McMillan said: ‘The sheer exuberance, excitement and craft of writing by young people always delights and heartens me. In turbulent times we look to writers to be mirrors of society and imaginers of what that society could become, and there’s plenty of that on display here!’
If you entered the competition, and weren’t placed in the below list, don’t be disheartened. Keep writing! We’re looking forward to hearing from you again next time.
The prize giving will take place at Hive’s Young Writers Festival Day on Saturday 13th April in Sheffield. Join us for an inspiring day of all things words!
Big thanks to: Our judges Ian McMillan and Angela Readman, the photographers who allowed us to use their images as writing inspiration, and also thanks to the wonderful Reading Agency, Arvon & The Literary Review for prize donations. Also, thanks to all how encouraged young people to enter from schools to youth clubs to unis!
14-16 Age Category
1st: Burger by Georgie Woodhead: ‘The serious subject matter was handled perfectly. The writer’s choice of details and description gave the work a surreal quality, as well as urgency.’
2nd: Before you were a surgeon by Georgie Woodhead: ‘I love the imagery in this, and the way the poem leads skilfully and beautifully to the last couple of lines.’
3rd: An Ode to Every Character I’ve ever Read by Anni Hodgkinson: ‘A complex song of praise to reading and how it shapes us.’
Highly Commended 14-16 (in no order)
Kaleidoscopic Spectacles by Lily Webb (& special mention, top 4): ‘The sense of rhythm was striking in this closely observed piece. The writer invites the reader to look around and think.’
Different by Isobel Harrison: ‘This story had such strong description. The reader could really see what the character saw and walk in their shoes.’
Breakfast by Naomi Thomas: ‘A highly imaginative piece that was fun to read.’
Earthquake by Sundus Yassin: ‘I like the tightly-packed language here, and the way that the lines are organised, giving the ideas and images extra power.’
Commended 14-16 (in no order)
You Did This by Julia Coyle:‘I love the excitement of the language here; the rhythm, the rhyme, the songlike quality.’
After the Fire by HennaRavjibhai: ‘The sense of character in this story was great. The work used all the senses to convey a place.’
A Night Fit for the Worthy by Sarah Tunsall: ‘Rich, luscious description, all the senses were really used in the writing.’
Run, Hide, Tell by Lily Collinson: ‘I like the fact that this poem is mysterious; it makes me think and work hard, which is what poems can do more than any other kind of writing for me.’
17-19 Age Category
1st: Bodies by Eve Thomas: ‘A wonderful story, the sense of defamiliarisation and feeling uncomfortable in your own skin was powerful.’
2nd: Dad by Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith: ‘Emotion and memory meet craft and skill in this superb poem.’
3rd: Rebellion by Bethany Wilson: ‘A moving story, sensitively written. The story ploughs forward with the pace of a march. The use of colour is particularly strong.’
Highly Commended 17- 19 (in no order)
Choose by Shannon Johnson (& special mention, top 4): ‘A chilling, powerful, visceral poem that won’t let you go.’
Winter’s Work by May Norwood: ‘Such a careful consideration of the seasons in this myth, the imagery was stunning.’
The Door by Luke Worthy: ‘A poignant and enigmatic piece. This is one to keep coming back to, the details provide a striking contrast to the confined perspective.’
The Lanyons by Eve Thomas: ‘This story showed a real understanding of plot and structure. There was tension throughout.’
Kappa by Luke Worthy: ‘The details were beautifully observed in this fairytale, whilst allowing the figure of the Kappa to remain intriguing.’
No-body by Beth Pearson: ‘I like the risks this one takes in style and punctuation; they made me look harder, read more closely.’
Fire by Ciah White: ‘I love the controlled anger in this one, lines doing the heavy lifting, forcing the reader to ask hard questions.’
Commended 17-19 (in no order)
The Frame-Headed Girl by Jade Beachell: ‘Such a visually striking story.’
Heaven Below by Ben Horton ‘An original story, described so precisely it was as clear as looking at a photograph.’
Broken Sonnets for H by Rory Sanger: ‘Wonderfully ambitious; the writer is fully in charge of the subject and the form.’
Right Thumb, Numb by Chloe Holland: ‘I like the exuberance of this and the way it tackles complex cultural and linguistic issues with a surefooted energy.
20-25 Age Category
1st: Lessons from Mama by Danae Wellington: ‘Powerful and lyrical language that almost sets the page on fire; here is a poem for the eye, the ear, the mind and the heart.’
2nd: Me, Myself, I by Cherry-Mae Whitehead-Howse: ‘This is a fascinating story, vivid, clear and chilling. It was thrilling to read it.’
3rd: It Won’t Last Forever, Either by Joseph Whittaker: ‘I like the mixture of control and lightness of touch here, always moving away from nostalgia into areas of pure emotion.’
Highly Commended 20-25
Leaves by Louisa Rhodes (& special mention, top 4): ‘Beautifully written, sensitive, and moving. This story did so much in so few words. It was bold in structure, moving like falling leaves between different characters.’
A Plea for Future Winters by Beth Davies: ‘A beautiful poem of memory and personal history.’
Nanny’s Tupperware by Safia Khan: ‘Beautiful. I’m impressed by the way that line-endings and stanza breaks are used with real assurance.’
The Many Faces of You by Francesca Bone: ‘I loved this curious, disturbing and imaginative portrait of a relationship.’
A View from a Window by Frankie Speake: ‘The sense of character in this was astounding. The writing was so vivid the reader could empathize what it may feel like to be in their situation.’
There’s a Bird in the Garden by Lucy Finnighan: ‘A wonderful example of a writer cleverly using restraint and small details to reveal something so big we don’t feel able look at it directly.’
Shangri-la by Rosanna Hildyard: ‘Lively, fresh work, the voice and energy in this was spectacular.’
What the River Did by Rachel Gendi: ‘Right from the first line, this story drew me in. The language to describe the river was extraordinary.’
And Another by Sam Wood: ‘I like the ambition of this poem; some poems are small and contained and this one glories in its sumptuousness.’
Yearbook by Beth Davies: ‘I love the ending. ‘anecdotes become eulogy’ is very wise.’
Lessons from Mama by Danae Wellington: ‘Powerful and lyrical language that almost sets the page on fire; here is a poem for the eye, the ear, the mind and the heart.’
Ian McMillan is veteran British poet from, and still residing in, Darfield, Barnsley. He’s published over 30 books and presents The Verb on Radio 3. He’s been a broadcaster, commentator and programme-maker for over 20 years, appearing regularly on television and radio and contributing articles to national newspapers and journals.
Angela Readman is a short story writer and poet. She has twice been shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award. Her debut story collection Don’t Try This at Home was published by And Other Stories in 2015. It won The Rubery Book Prize and was shortlisted in the Edge Hill Short Story Prize. She also writes poetry, and her collection The Book of Tides was published by Nine Arches in 2016. Something Like Breathing is her first novel.
Leave a Comment · Posted on March 3, 2019
Are you an emerging young writer aged (18 to 30 in South Yorkshire) keen to transform your writing practice?
Hive have teamed up with leading creative writing charity Arvon to support passionate young and emerging writers to further their writing goals via a number of bursary awards for Arvon residential courses.
You can apply for up to a 90% discount on a course taking place between April and early September 2019. This is an exciting opportunity to develop your writing, work with celebrated writers (both through workshops and one-to-one tutorials), and immerse yourself in a week dedicated to your chosen writing interests while meeting other writers from far and wide.
Arvon have three writing centres in Devon, Shropshire and Yorkshire offering inspiring and transformative residential courses and retreats in beautiful surroundings led by highly acclaimed writers, spanning poetry to playwriting, song to screenplay, fact to fiction – from courses aimed at fledgling writers to the more advanced, and retreats offering focused time to write and finish manuscripts.
Who can apply?
Young writers with an interest in any creative writing form/s, from poetry and short story, to novel and script, all interests and starting points. You need to be at a point where you are committed to your writing, and have a portfolio that shows your development to date. This doesn’t mean you have to have been published or have a completely clear direction of where your writing is going. We are particularly keen to hear from young people from diverse backgrounds, and those who feel they wouldn’t normally access this kind of opportunity.
Open to young writers living, based or with a home address in South Yorkshire, from 18 to 30 years of age (at the time of attending their chosen course), who have not previously attended an Arvon away residential (Arvon City courses are fine).
Deadline for applications: 11.59pm Friday 5th April 2019 (note – this date has changed from 2nd April)
All applicants will be contacted by email by mid-April.
To view the courses on offer, and to apply and download the application form, see below.
Travel costs not included. Advanced rail fares can offer return tickets from £20 from across the South Yorkshire region to Arvon centres. Note the Shropshire and Devon centres will be more expensive to travel to (but bargain tickets can still be found in advance).
Arvon is a national creative writing charity that produces residential and city-based creative writing courses and retreats for schools, groups and individuals. Founded in 1968, many of the UK’s most prominent writers have taught on Arvon courses, including Carol Ann Duffy, Malorie Blackman and Simon Armitage. www.arvon.org
Kindly supported by Arvon, Arts Council England and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation
Part of the Hatch programme – Next steps for young writers in South Yorkshire.
Leave a Comment · Posted on November 9, 2018
The wonderful Cinema For All have chosen young writers from Hive to become cultural film programmers, setting up inclusive film screenings for young people in Burngreave, Sheffield to inspire them to write.
The project, currently awaiting a name and led by young writer and singer, Danaë Wellington, will see Burngreave Library transformed into a cinema showing seminal liberation-through-the-power-of-words films including SLAM (Marc Levin/Saul Williams), Freedom Writers Diary (based on the true story of Erin Gruwell and her young Freedom Writers) and Straight Outta Compton (a biopic about west coast hip-hop collective NWA).
The project hopes to give out free writing journals and will support emerging writers to lead workshops exploring writing and poetry based at the library.
The Cinema For All initiative, Launchpad Hothouse, is providing training sessions, bursaries to cover the first film licenses, free-loan equipment, and Cinema For All membership for the year. Hive is supporting the young team through organising and marketing, and Danae Wellington through mentoring and delivering follow-on workshops as part of the Hatch programme – developing young writers for next steps.
It’s hoped that the project will join with another Sheffield Hatch project to showcase work in spring 2019.
Watch this space for updates!
Big thanks to:
Ellie Ragdale from Cinema For All who’s supporting the project, and to Marcia Layne and Erica Patterson at Burngreave Library
About Cinema For All
Cinema For All believes that watching films as part of a community can change lives. It supports grassroots, community, volunteer-led cinema and has an impressive 70-year history in the UK. Its office is based in Sheffield but it runs projects across the country. Traditionally community, volunteer-led cinema was found in more rural areas. These days, you’ll find it everywhere!
Find out more about Cinema For All at cinemaforall.org.uk
Leave a Comment · Posted on February 26, 2019
We’re delighted to launch Penistone Grammar School’s wonderful student anthology – Everything that ever happened. Students worked with author and Hive facilitator Nik Perring over four after-school sessions. Although this wasn’t long, it proved to be a wonderfully fertile time as you’ll see – there’s a wonderful variety of stories and poems to enjoy. You can read it here.
A huge thanks to all at Penistone Grammar School, especially to English teacher Miss Stokes who was wonderfully enthusiastic about getting this project off the ground, giving up her time and offered ongoing inspiration to everyone involved.
The Hidden War
Supported by Penistone Grammar School
Leave a Comment · Posted on February 8, 2019
We are beyond excited to congratulate young writer, performer, presenter and all-round creative talent, Sile Sibanda, who, at just 21 years old, has WON BBC Radio Sheffield’s THIS IS ME presenting job!!
This couldn’t have happened to a more humble, nurturing, positive and hard working young woman. Sile is a joy to work with. When we saw the job we knew it was made for her. Sile has hosted various events for Hive and it’s been clear each time, she has a natural and warm talent for engaging people.
Off she went in December to the auditions at Rotherham’s New York Stadium along with 150 other people. And the standard, says Sheffield’s Lord Mayor Magid Magid, and presenter Toby Foster, was very high. Even shortlisting down to 15 they found it hard to pick the final 3, but there was Sile!
Since moving here as a young child from Zimbabwe, Sile has taken every opportunity with both hands. Always about giving back and enabling others, she has done tons of fab community work over the years particularly supporting younger children in her home town of Rotherham. Sile is exactly who BBC Radio Sheffield need on their team, and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to.
Massive congrats also to Matt Weigold and Abby Russell, both very deserving and talented (and also both spoken word poets!) Both were humble and gracious and thrilled Sile won. And really great of BBC Radio Sheffield, they are hoping to work with them both also in the coming months.
Tim Smith head of BBC Yorkshire & Lincolnshire said: “Although our teams are from all over, we do acknowledge that the BBC serves some more than others. There’s a lot of research been done and we can see the data now. Hopefully, by reaching out and recruiting beyond the usual channels, Radio Sheffield will be listened to by, and representative of, more people.”
Sile said: “I’m truly so, so thrilled. I can’t believe it. I said once, pointing to BBC Radio Sheffield, one day my picture’s going to be up there. And I didn’t know why, I just thought it might. And look!”
Sile, we’re thrilled for you…congratulations! 🙂
Photos: Sile with her younger sisters | proud mum & dad with Tim Smith from the BBC | with Matt Weigold & Abby Russell (the finalists)
Leave a Comment · Posted on September 16, 2018
Young Barnsley poet wins local accolade
Congratulations Eloise Unerman!
On 25th March, 19-year-old Eloise Unerman of Goldthorpe will be named Barnsley’s Young Poet Laureate in recognition of her ongoing literary achievements.
Eloise, who has attended Rotherham Young Writers since she was 14, has already achieved a huge amount of success including winning the Cuckoo Northern Writers Awards in 2017 and being young poet in residence for the Ledbury Poetry Festival earlier last year. Eloise has been apprentice poet for a while preparing for the role by writing poems inspired by Barnsley Museums’ collections and sites.
‘The exciting thing about poetry is that it’s a constantly evolving and changing art form, and it’s great that in Barnsley we have a new generation of poetry on the rise.” Ian McMillan
Visit Hear My Voice to book a place, and look out for a brilliant interview by Eloise with Ian McMillian posted after her appointment.
About Young Poet Laureate, Eloise Unerman:
Eloise Unerman is a young writer from Goldthorpe, Barnsley who writes poetry and short stories, and is a member of the Hive Young Writers network and a recent new member of The Writing Squad development programme. She was awarded the Cuckoo Northern Writers Awards in 2017, and her poetry has won first prize in the young people’s categories of the Barnsley Hear My Voice competition 2017 and the Ledbury Poetry Competition 2017. She has since been awarded young poet in residence for the Ledbury Poetry Festival 2018 where was was commissioned to write her first poem.
Eloise received a commendation in both Photofictions 2014 and Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2017 and she was shortlisted for the New Poets Prize 2016/17. She has been published in anthologies such as: Anthology of Young Poets (Paper Swans Press 2017), Introduction X (The Poetry Business 2017), and Foyle Young Poets of the Year Online Anthology (The Poetry Society 2018). Listen to her read at Ledbury here.
About the Poet Laureate, Ian McMillan:
Ian McMillan currently presents The Verb on BBC Radio 3. He also writes weekly columns for The Yorkshire Post and The Barnsley Chronicle.
Ian is Barnsley’s Poet Laureate and ambassador for Hear My Voice a Barnsley based programme of creative opportunities, activities and poetry-themed events, designed to engage, stimulate and inspire interest in the spoken and written word. Check out The Verb