Our young steering group has hatched…

Hive’s new young writers’ steering group met for the first time on Wednesday. It was so lovely to have great conversation with young and emerging writers that have come into Hive via every route in and have benefited in different ways and taken different paths, and are now wanting to help shape and support Hive’s next steps! Thank you all for coming and contributing to a great discussion. New plans are hatching!

Introducing the Hatch programme

From September 2018, we are so pleased to have been granted funding from Arts Council England to pilot a new programme – Hatch – offering a number of next step opportunities for young writers from 18 to 30, including training and development opportunities and an enabling fund allowing emerging writers to progress their practice, explore new skills and experiences, and shape content, audiences and approaches to producing and accessing writing.

We’ll also be working with community partners on new projects and kicking off a Yorkshire-wide magazine/journal online that with involve young writers as guest editors and creative journalists, and of course be open to all (14-30 years) for submissions at key dates during the year.

Watch this space!

Hive South Yorkshire is funded by Arts Council England
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Moor Mother & Hive young writers

What better way to kick off the autumn than with the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival in Mexborough!? And we’re very excited that 10 young writers from Hive will be performing alongside the amazing Afro-futurist, Moor Mother, all the way from Philly USA for this Friday’s opening event.

Our performers are: Danaë Wellington, Salma Lynch, Warda Yassin, Dominic Heslop, Georgie Woodhead, Sile Sibanda, Vertaa Lune, Ali Hosin, Kiran Malhi-Bearn (also of Verse Matters) and doing a longer set just before Moor Mother we have 16 year old spoken word artist and rapper Fionn McCloskey, aka Hythyn.

It’s going to be a great weekend so come and join us in Mexborough – a quick hop on the train from Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham. Click here for the full programme.

Where: Mexborough Business Centre, College Road, Mexborough, S64 9JP
Friday 7 September -6.15pm – 9.30pm
Tickets: £5 (general admission) / £3 (student & under 25 years). A limited number of weekender tickets are also available at £15 (includes Friday & Saturday night performances and one workshop). To reserve your place, please book through our TicketTailor event page

Moor Mother is an international touring musician, poet, visual artist, and workshop facilitator from Philadelphia, USA. She has performed at numerous festivals, colleges, galleries, and museums around the world.

As a soundscape and visual artist, her work has been featured at Baltic Biennale, Samek Art Museum, Vox Populi, Pearlman Gallery, Metropolitan Museum of Art Chicago, ICA Philadelphia. As a workshop facilitator, she has presented at Cornell University, MOFO Festival, Moogfest, Black Dot Gallery and others. Moor Mother is co-founder and curator of Rockers Philly Project a 10-year long running event series and festival focused on marginalised musicians and artists spanning multiple genres of music.

Her debut album Fetish Bones was released on Don Giovanni records to critical acclaim. Fetish Bones was named 3rd best album of the year by The Wire Magazine, number 1 by Jazz Right Now and has appeared on numerous end of the year lists from Pitchfork, Noisy, Rolling Stone, and Spin Magazine. Moor Mother was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 artists to watch in 2016 and named Bandcamp’s 2016 artist of the year. Moor Mother released a 2nd LP called The Motionless Present commissioned by CTM X VINYL FACTORY 2017. Moor Mother has appeared in the Quietus, Interview Magazine, The Guardian, Crack, Pitchfork and others. Moor Mother’s schedule has included Berhaign, Borealis, CTM Festival, Le Guess Who, Unsound, Flow and Donau Festival, Rewire, Boiler Room and MOMA PS1.

As a durational performance artist she has been commissioned by Moog Festival, Vox Populi Gallery, Icebox Gallery and others. Her first book of poetry called Fetish Bones was released on The AfroFuturist Affair small press. As a member of Black Quantum Futurism Collective (BQF), she has been a part of two literary works and several zines.

Top image courtesy of jazzrightnow.com

Poetic narratives for performance with Andy Craven-Griffiths

Poetic narratives for performance – with poet & playwright Andy Craven Griffiths
Hive Young Writers’ Day in partnership with Off the Shelf
Sat 6th Oct – 10.30am – 4 pm | Venue: Sheffield Institute of Education, Charles Street, S1 2ND
Open to young people aged 14 – 25 years from across South Yorkshire

Write poetic narratives for performance with poet & playwright Andy Craven-Griffiths. Learn how to write work to be spoken as a satisfying story, and how to deliver with rhythm and (optional) rhyme. This is a workshop for writers of any form, at any level of experience, wanting an opportunity to explore different ways of getting their writing into a live context using poetic performance. Previous Glastonbury Slam Champion and Verb New Voice, Andy is currently re-writing his one-person play about kindness, Joygernaut, for a second tour: www.joygernaut.com

Supported by Off the Shelf & Sheffield Hallam University Faculty of Development & Society

Tickets: only £5/£3 concessions, including refreshments (but not lunch)
Discounts: Hive is particularly keen to encourage young people who wouldn’t normally access this type of opportunity, and there are always discounts available for a number of tickets to support individuals who may be unable to pay in full, or to support travel costs within the region. Get in touch ASAP before places fill up if that sounds like you.

Booking: To book a place on this Writers’ Day, email kate@hivesouthyorkshire.com
Where: The Institute of Education, Charles Street Sheffield. This is just off Arundel Gate and Arundel Street, 5 minutes from Sheffield train & bus stations.
Someone will be there to greet people at the reception from 10.15am. Charles Street Building info here
Google map info here: 133 Charles Street, Sheffield S1 2ND
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.

Hive Young Writers’ Days are open to young people 14 to 25 (this changes sometimes). If you don’t quite fit, but you’d like to come, get in touch with: kate@hivesouthyorkshire.com)
For more about our writers’ days click here.

Andy Craven-Griffiths is a writer, rapper and performer based in Leeds. He has performed poetry across the UK and abroad. He has also had work published in various poetry journals, broadcast (Radio 1, Radio 4, BBC 2), and commissioned by the Arts Council and Rethink mental health charity. In 2016 Andy was one of Radio 3’s Verb New Voices and made work for Oxford University Press as an animator. He has run poetry workshops for over 25,000 young people, and has a chapter in the Bloomsbury book Making Poetry Happen.
See Andy in poetic action here.

halfway smile – young writers anthology

We are excited to say, halfway smile is here and available to buy! This wonderfully moving and diverse anthology showcases 73 works of poetry, short story and flash — the work of a whopping 69 young and emerging writers in the region including award winners Warda Yassin, Eloise Unerman and Georgie Woodhead. It also celebrates the winners of our inaugural Hive Young Writers’ Competition, open to young writers from across the region.

A wonderful gift for fiction and poetry lovers and a snip at £6.00!

“An astonishingly vibrant, varied and accomplished collection — a real treat awaits the reader here.” Kate Long


“This is writing that bubbles with promise, that shows real application of the craft of writing, and that gives the reader a sense of exhilaration at the ways in which these young writers manipulate language, play with it, and make it jump through hoops. Read and enjoy!” Ian McMillan

Buy halfway smile

You can buy halfway smile in Sheffield at the wonderful All Good Stuff at Butcher Works on Arundel Street (near the uni and train station). Or if you can’t get to the shop, we can deliver by post. You can pay by internet bank transfer or Paypal.

If by post, drop us a line to halfwaysmile@hivesouthyorkshire.com with: 1) the amount of copies you’d like 2) how you’d like to pay (Paypal or bank transfer). We’ll get back promptly confirming the amount with details of how to pay.

1 copy £6.00 + £1 pp (total £7)
(If you’d like to purchase more copies, do contact us for a price)
Why is it so cheap you might ask? Because we want it to be accessible to everyone, young and old. Proceeds go back into the project. 

This is a limited edition, not-for-profit publication in part funded
by Arts Council of England |www.hivesouthyorkshire.com

Readings – Eloise Unerman Ledbury Festival 2018

At the end of June, Barnsley young poet, Eloise Unerman, who attends Rotherham Young Writers, had the exciting opportunity to be young poet in residence at the Ledbury Poetry Festival.

As the winner of the young person’s category of the Ledbury Poetry Festival Poetry Competition 2017, Eloise was asked to attend the 2018 festival and write a poem especially for it, and talk about her inspirations as a poet. She also gave a reading of some of her work.

Phillippa Slinger, Festival Manager said: I can’t tell you how lovely it was to have Eloise here. She read beautifully at the Launch event featuring Young Foyles and all visiting poets including international stars Jackie Kay and Major Jackson. Eloise joined in many other events, and even came to the poets’ supper and got to mingle with loads of national and international poets. It is so much the aim of the young poet in residence scheme to allow young poets to develop in whatever way they can, and she really made the most of all her opportunities here. We are immensely grateful to Eloise for spending her time so fruitfully here.

Eloise reading 04.53 to Bristol (her winning poem) at the Ledbury Poetry Competition Winners Event

Eloise reading various poems at the festival launch event

Eloise talking about her inspirations as a writer & performing her poem Ledbury, specially written for the festival

Ledbury Poetry Festival do a wonderful job of bringing poets into the festival family and supporting them and encouraging them back again in future, and we just want to say a massive thank you to the festival and to Phillippa Slinger for their ongoing support of young and emerging, as well as established, writers.

To hear all of the wonderful readings from this year’s festival, click here

The Young Poet in Residence scheme is supported by Foyles as part of the Festival’s Emerging Poets Programme which includes: Ledbury Emerging Critics (link), Voice Coaching residential workshop, 20 mins events and competition winners’ events.

Eloise Unerman bio

Eloise Unerman is a young writer from Goldthorpe, Barnsley who writes poetry and short stories. She is a member of the Hive Young Writers network, and recently joined The Writing Squad. 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 she’s been 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: Everyday Hymn (Writing Yorkshire 2015), Anthology of Young Poets (Paper Swans Press 2017), Introduction X (The Poetry Business 2017), Wild Poetry (Hive 2017), Cuckoo Press Issue 6 in NARC magazine in 2017 and Foyle Young Poets of the Year Online Anthology (The Poetry Society 2018).

Young Writers’ Open Mic & anthology launch

Young Writers’ Open Mic & Hive anthology launch
Fri 13th July | 7.30pm – 10pm
Where: Theatre Delicatessen, Theatre Deli, 202 Eyre Street, Sheffield S1 4QZ
Street view her: https://www.instantstreetview.com/@53.373614,-1.473716,249.95h,-0.38p,1z 

We’re calling you … young people (14-30s) from across South Yorkshire! Time to kick back, relax and start the summer! Come and enjoy positive and supporting vibes and the launch of our fab new anthology chock-a-block with amazing writing from young and emerging writers including the winners of our recent competition.
And if you write poems, tell stories, compose lyrics, spit bars, or have anything else to say out loud to a supportive audience, this is an evening to celebrate your words, ideas and talents in a warm atmosphere.

Hosted by Serin Thomasin from Verse Matters

Events are open to all, both new and experienced. Reserve a definite slot here, or put your name down on the night (slots limited).

A partnership with Verse Matters

Alternative Theatre with Andy Cook

Alternative Theatre – knocking down the 4th wall & other creative vandalism
Hive Young Writers’ Day in partnership with The Writing Squad
When: Saturday 3rd November – 10.30-4pm at Theatre Deli 

Does a play have to start with a huge script, or can one be written on the spot in less than 20 minutes? What happens if your actors don’t pretend they can’t see the audience? And how do you set a play in a staircase? Or down a phone? Or, what if your audience are the ones that have to do the acting!?

Questions…questions… join writer & theatre maker, Andy Cook of Forest Sounds Theatre, to explore some of these alternative approaches to theatre and what a ‘play’ might consist of using props, prompts, improv and more for a fun day exploring the answers.

This is a workshop for writers of any form, at any level of experience, wanting an opportunity to explore different ways of getting their writing into a live context using performance, sound, space and technology. Alternative theatre can be monologue, site-specific work, performance lecture, a tour, audio drama, interactive, projection, game-based, participatory or durational – and a lot of things that have yet to be invented!

No experience necessary. Open to young people 15 to 25 from across South Yorkshire

Tickets: only £3! including refreshments thanks to support from our partnerships, The Writing Squad
Discounts: Hive is particularly keen to encourage young people who wouldn’t normally access this type of opportunity, and there are always discounts available for a number of tickets to support individuals who may be unable to pay in full, or to support travel costs within the region. Get in touch ASAP before places fill up if that sounds like you.

Booking: To book a place on this Writers’ Day, email kate@hivesouthyorkshire.com

Where: Sheffield Theatre Deli, 202 Eyre Street, Sheffield S1 4QZ (in the small retail park at the bottom of the Moor next to Office World. For street view click here

With support from The Writing Squad & Theatre Deli

Andy Cook is a writer, performer and theatre maker. A graduate of The Writing Squad, his practice revolves around staging text in new forms and exploring new audience-performer relationships. He graduated with a degree in English Literature with Creative Writing from the University of Birmingham and has made work across the country in theatre, installation, digital, sound, film, image.

In 2013 Andy founded Forest Sounds Theatre, a company that make politically and socially engaged work. The Stage said they’re a company that “breaks spine-bristling new ground”, and their five-star reviewed show ‘The Church of Jim’, has been shown in Sheffield, London, Bristol and Edinburgh.

Congrats Georgie!

We are delighted that Georgie Woodhead of Sheffield Young Writers is one of two highly commended young writers in the prestigious Northern Writers –  Cuckoo Award 2018! Georgie had just turned 15 when she applied for the award, which is open to young writers from 14 to 18 from across the North of England. Her whole portfolio had been written at just 14!)

Georgie says: “I’m so happy to have won this! It’s so great that there are opportunities like this. And without Hive and all the support it provides there would be young people everywhere oblivious to the importance of having a voice, and unaware of the power they have to use it.”

The Northern Writers Awards Scheme is a talent development programme recognising unpublished, work-in-progress by new and established writers from across the North of England. The scheme worth £43,000 and now in its 19th year, is run by New Writing North with funding from Arts Council England and support from Northumbria University.

Congratulations to all Northern Writer Award winners listed here. Photos courtesy of New Writing North.

Are you a young writer in South Yorkshire? Hive runs a network of young groups in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley & Doncaster and we are currently recruiting for new members to start from the autumn. Find out more here.

More about the Northern Writers Award

The Northern Writers’ Awards is an innovative and progressive talent development programme, which supports writers to achieve their creative ambitions at all stages of their careers. This year the awards attracted over 1,200 entries. The awards recognise unpublished work-in-progress by new and established writers in the North of England.

The Northern Writers’ Awards are produced by New Writing North with funding from Arts Council England and support from Northumbria University, Channel 4 and North East Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s awards are worth £43,000 in support, bursaries and cash prizes, and were judged by the literary agent Elise Dillsworth, authors Juno Dawson and Richard T Kelly and poet Clare Pollard. The editor and journalist Peter Wilby judged the Clare Swift Short Story Award and writers Debbie Taylor and Margaret Wilkinson judged the Andrea Badenoch Fiction Award.

Awards include development opportunities with partners including Channel 4, Lime Pictures, Bonafide Films, Oneworld Publications, The Poetry School, Arvon, The Literary Consultancy, and the Society of Authors, as well as cash prizes, which buy writers time to complete their work.

Northern Writers’ Awards have now been awarded to 254 writers since they were founded in 2000. This year’s cohort follow in the footsteps of successful previous winners including Chloe Daykin, whose debut children’s novel Fish Boy was published by Faber to great acclaim earlier this year; Mark Illis, whose young adult novel The Impossible will be published by Quercus this July; and poet Mark Pajak, who recently won a prestigious Eric Gregory Award.


New Writing North is the reading and writing development agency for the north of England, and is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. It works in partnership with regional and national partners to produce a range of literary and performance activities including flagship projects such as the Northern Writers’ Awards, Read Regional, Cuckoo Young Writers, the Gordon Burn Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and Durham Book Festival. www.newwritingnorth.com

About Northumbria University

Northumbria University, Newcastle is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. Complementing its work with New Writing North and Channel 4, the University works with a range of high profile cultural partners, including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Live Theatre, Great North Run Culture and Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums providing students with industry exposure and live project opportunities.  We were awarded the Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts in 2012, as well as the Journal’s Culture Award for Best Arts and Business Partnership in 2013. Northumbria University’s Art and Design courses were ranked Top 10 in the UK for Research Power following the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the University was ranked Top 50 in the UK – its highest ever league table position – in the Guardian University League Table 2017. www.northumbria.ac.uk

Warda Yassin wins New Poets Prize

We are so delighted that Warda Yassin is a winner of the New Poets Award 2018!

Along with three other young poets – Joe Carrick-Varty Tristram, Fane Saunders & Emma Jeremy, (congratulations to all!), Warda flies the flag for the North, and for both her Somali and English cultures which she combines so beautifully in her work.

Kayo Chingonyi on Warda’s collection, ‘Tea with Cardamom’
These poems struck me as wonderfully contemporary while gesturing towards something ancient in their frequent recourse to that which is passed down as well as that which we improvise as our own pathways unfold. The poems invoke a world within a world making for a multi-layered perspective on life in the UK at the present moment.

Bagging the prestigious and highly sought after award offers Warda mentoring to publication in 2019 through The Poetry Business.

Warda says: “The input and encouragement I’ve receive makes me feel anything is possible. I’d like to see more young Somali writers. I hope I can encourage that.”

Warda started her writing journey at the end of 2012 when she attended a set of poetry for well being community sessions in Sheffield with poet, Vicky Morris from Hive. From there, Vicky started offering opportunities to get involved in other projects and over the last few years, Warda has gone from strength to strength taking every chance to progress her writing and try new things. In 2016 she joined The Writing Squad and has recently been anthologised in Introduction X (The Poetry Business), and Verse Matters (Valley Press).

For more information, and to purchase 2017’s New Poets publications (hot off the press!) visiting The Poetry Business