Sheaf Poetry Festival

Starting Friday 17th May until Sunday 26th May it’s the Sheaf Poetry Festival 2019 – a new poetry festival for Sheffield and nearby – and Hive is delighted to be part of it! Well, in so much as some of the young poets in our network and groups are going to be taking part.

“We’ve been working hard to programme a vibrant combination of poetry, spoken word and cross-disciplinary events for all poetry lovers to enjoy, and a friendly festival atmosphere in which that can happen.”

Foyle and Cuckoo winner, 16-year-old Georgie Woodhead from Sheffield Young Writers is proud to be young poet in residence for the festival alongside established Poet in Residence, Mark Pajak. She will be reading with Mark at the Friday 17th opening event.

On Saturday 18th May, Warda Yassin, who attends Hive’s Saturday Poetry group and has been part of the network since 2012, will be reading with fellow New Poet 2018 winners selected by Kayo Chingonyi in the run-up to the launch of their winning Poetry Business pamphlets which we’re so excited for.

And on Sunday, we’ve got a showcase of talented Hive young and emerging poets from Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham reading from 1-2pm (free) in the Performance Lab at Sheffield Hallam University.

Aside from all this goodness, there’s a brilliant range of free and affordable happenings, workshops, readings, even a ghost walk! If you’re a poetry enthusiast or occasional dabbler, and near to Sheffield, come and dip your toes in (or maybe a whole foot!)

All details at

Pop Up Portraits

Recently, at Hive Young Writers’ Festival, Warren Draper, with help from assistant Cameron, photographed writers of all ages, backgrounds and interested asking one single question – give me a word you’re into right now and why? Here’s the result! (p.s. We’re sorry if your photo isn’t here. We believe a few might have gone awol!)

Scribble, Doodle, and Draw

FREE workshops: 13th & 27th June & 11th July [Thursdays] 10.30 to 12.30pm [Refeshments provided] | All welcome 18+
Open to adults of all ages. No experience needed, just a keeness to try something new!

Book through reception at The Point or 01302 341662 or email:

Scribble, Doodle, and Draw: Taking Time and Noticing the Bright
Lydia Allison Poet in Residence Doncaster Community Arts

Scribble, Doodle, and Draw has been running for just over a month. In the run-up to devising some new workshops, I paid it an enjoyable visit. The first thing that hit me was the bright and welcoming atmosphere (not unusual for DARTS!) and the sense of fun. You are greeted by mounted posters and comic-style pages, a mix of front cover style, and strips to standalone pieces. Comics are all about characters and there are tons in this exhibition, from the finely draw and small, to the big and bold.

The main gallery space is striking; the walls have been transformed into three comic book pages. The first is the old woman who swallowed a fly, the second an all-too-real satire of baby shark and life with a young child, and the third a particularly ‘charming’ tale of Prince Rattypants.

Each of the walls tells a story and sets a mood using minimal words and bold images. The black and pink scheme also adds to the striking but ultimately calm atmosphere and the big cushions you can sit on make it easy to simply enjoy being there. in a sense it’s a continuation of the feeling of buying a Saturday morning comic; sitting, reading, enjoying. It’s also a pleasure to see a mix of young people and adults coming through.

The nostalgia continues as you travel up to the mezzanine, where there is a selection of comic books and graphic novels. This is the perfect stop to sit and zoom in flicking through new highlights and old favourites. For me this had to be the Beano’s Bash Sreet Kids, but there’s something for everyone! I think it would be great to explore old favourites in our writing sessions and to use some of the existing characters and images to make something new.

Back downstairs, you can also spend time in the second gallery space, which houses a large table covered in an enormous colouring sheet. It calls to the child in you, the one who knows the value of sitting and doing something just for the pleasure of it. There are coloured pens and seats so anybody can take some time out for themselves and make their mark.

I started gathering ideas for unusual ways to approach writing. I’d like to use a bit of a combination of image and text, but am very excited to see how others want to approach this balance. The overriding feelings were of fun, but also calm – and this is something I want to maintain in the creative writing sessions. There are many ways for stories to be told and I look forward to exploring them!

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From 9 March to 20 July, The Point’s gallery is home to a new exhibition: Scribble, Doodle & Draw.
The gallery has transformed into a giant comic strip!

With characters to meet, stories to follow and opportunities to learn how to draw like a comic artist, this exhibition is perfect for losing yourself in an imaginary world. It features original pieces from published artists Jim MedwayEd Syder and Tor Freeman who have painted directly onto our gallery walls. There are plenty of opportunities to create your own artwork and be exhibited alongside the professionals!

School/group visits are welcomed. You can lead your own visit or we can provide an artist-led session for your group: please find more information about group visits to our gallery here. If you would like more information, you can call 01302 341662 or email

t of the Hatch programme – Next steps for young writers in South Yorkshire. Supported by Darts (Doncaster Community Arts)

Thank You! Hive Young Writers’ Festival 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.

The panel on routes to publication was excellent. Not only were the panel members engaging and approachable with questions, they seemed genuinely interested in answering and discussing the questions as best they could. This was the most informative panel on such a topic that I have attended, and it was well-balanced between representatives of independent presses and writers. (SurveyMonkey feedback)

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.

I feel like events like this are important in keeping writing alive by inspiring and showing people that things are possible and also to make sure that new and diverse voices can be heard in the future. (SurveyMonkey feedback)

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.

I loved the comedy workshop. I felt my work was getting a little repetitive and it was great to explore how to be more out there and delve into different themes. (SurveyMonkey feedback)

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.

The session on writing for video games really gave me a confidence boost to pursue my ambition and revealed that the industry isn’t as closed-off to people in my position as I thought it was. It really did give me the hope and inspiration I needed to rethink my plans and work harder to achieve a dream I didn’t think was possible. (SurveyMonkey feedback)

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.

Thank you all so much!
Vicky Morris & Hive
Meeting authors is a truly eye-opening experience. Can’t really explain in words how much it has helped and inspired me (SurveyMonkey feedback)

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! 


Georgie Woodhead – Young Poet in Residence at Sheaf Poetry Festival

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:
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.

Ian McMillan interviewed by Eloise Unerman

Hive Young Writers’ Competition Results

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

‘Winning 1st & 2nd place is an amazing experience, especially since this has been the first time I’ve sent out fiction. It’s incredibly rewarding to be recognised by such amazing judges too. Thank you!” Georgie Woodhead

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 Henna
Ravjibhai: ‘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

“I’m absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to write for such a thought-provoking competition and even more delighted to have won. I’m so grateful there are organisations like Hive which make it possible for young people to express themselves in writing and be recognised for it.” Eve Thomas

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

“This is surreal! I’m so grateful to the judges for believing in my work while I was struggling. You don’t have to be fancy and fabulous in your writing – your truth is good enough.. It’s your poetry and you mustn’t be afraid of that.”  Danae Wellington

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.’

Commended 20-25
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.

About Hive Young Writers Fest 2019

Hive Arvon retreat bursaries

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.

Kindly supported by Arvon, Arts Council England and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation

Part of the Hatch programme – Next steps for young writers in South Yorkshire.

Hatching a Cinema For All…

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