Sheffield Year of Reading 2020

Hive are delighted to be supporting Sheffield Library’s Year of Reading 2020 as part of its young people’s strand of activity including the Hive New Writer Prize – for 14-19 years and part of the Love Sheffield Writing competition

Sheffield Year of Reading 2020 is a 12 month, citywide celebration of creativity and the written word. Reading is the key that unlocks the door to life’s riches. It helps us feel better, discover more, and unleash our individual creativity.

This year people from across our city will come together in libraries, pubs, schools, living rooms, museums, parks, and many other venues to share the simple joy of words. It will be literary and silly, it will be big and small, it will be on the page and in the streets. In fact, it can be whatever you want it to be. There are lots of ways you can get involved, no matter what your experience, or ability is.

Watch this space for how you can get involved.
More on Sheffield Year of Reading

New Writing North’s: Hachette Writing for Children Roadshow

As a young aspiring novelist, when Hive told me about New Writing North’s Hachette Writing for Children Roadshow event in Sheffield, I was very keen to go along.

I’m currently working on my second novel and all the information I’ve previously learned about publishing has come from writers. The opportunity to hear from and ask questions of an agent and writers further on their journey was very much appreciated. I only found out about the event the day before, so went into it with very little clue what to expect. Given that it took place at Sheffield Hallam University I envisioned a lecture theatre and big crowds. Instead, it was a much smaller affair, allowing far more contact with the speakers.

There were three panels, all of which were incredibly informative. The first was with Chloe Seager, an agent from the Madeline Milburn agency. The panel gave an invaluable overview of what the process of querying agents is like from the agent’s perspective—for example, short, snappy queries are always appreciated because agents sometimes have to wade through 400 in a week. Also, November-December are slower periods, so tend to be good times to submit.

The next panel was with the editorial team at Hachette Children’s Group. Before this event, I had no idea what happens once a book is accepted by an agent and goes on submission to publishing houses, but this panel gave clear information about what the process is like. Industry professionals who really know their stuff will support your book to be the best it can be, and tailor publicity appropriately. It also reassured me that, while publishing is very competitive (for an idea of how much winnowing takes place, publishing houses only get sent about 1% of what agents receive), it’s not as cutthroat as I had been led to believe.

The final panel was made up of previous winners of the Hachette Children’s novel award. It was really interesting to get insights from them too. I missed the sign up for one-to-one but that was possible too.

The event was focused on children’s writing for New Writing North’s related award but they offer plenty of other awards, for both adults and young writers. The deadline for the awards in February each year. There are lots of great things on offer, including grants, mentoring and development opportunities, talent nurturing, even support you to publication.

All-in-all, this was a fantastic event, and I recommend keeping an eye out for anything run by New Writing North and Hachette in the future.

May Norwood is a member of Sheffield Young Writers. She mainly writes fiction, both short stories and novel-length works, and has recently branched out into poetry. Her work often draws from her experiences as a young disabled woman, and she seeks to combat the lack of disabled representation in popular fiction. She also runs a writing blog,

For more information: |

Poetry Edit Surgery

Crafting a great poem isn’t just in the writing, it’s often in the editing (and sometimes even more so!) Part workshop/edit tips and tricks session, part working on editing your own work with support – join poet, Vicky Morris, for a session open to all young and emerging writers who want to polish their poems for gleaming arrival into the world!

Open to young poets 16+ in South Yorkshire, keen to take their work to the next stage who have at least 1 or 2 poems ready to edit. If that sounds like you, email:

Saturday 15th Feb 1 to 3.30/4pm with refreshments break
Cost £3
Where: Sheffield Hallam University (near Sheffield bus and train stations)
Vicky Morris is a widely published poet, mentor, editor and facilitator. She won a Northern Writers Award in 2014 and is currently an Arvon/Jerwood Mentee for poetry 19/20.


Hive Young Creatives Barnsley Half term sessions

Tue 18, Wed 19 & Fri 21 Feb 2:30pm – 5:30pm (let us know if you can’t make all)
The Civic Barnsley The Gallery @ The Civic, Hanson Street, Barnsley S70 2HZ

Are you aged 14 –21 and interested in creative writing, contemporary art or design? If so, this series of free workshops is for you!

Work with professional writers and artists and have a go at generating creative writing (and maybe even drawing) inspired by current exhibitions (by Mark Evans & Paula Chambers) at The Civic Barnsley exploring mental health, portraiture and domestic rebellion through sculpture, photography and drawing.

No experience necessary and you don’t have to think you’re a great writer to come along. All you need is an interest in being creative and trying something new.

Participants will be given the opportunity to submit work to a print publication launched later in the summer, and you’ll find out more about opportunities with Hive and Barnsley Civic for young creatives.

Sessions are free, friendly and relaxed, but places are limited. To avoid missing out, book your place soon by contacting

What you waiting for? Come and be creative this half term!

Dates/times (these might change slightly so get in touch soon!)
Workshops: Tue 18, Wed 19 & Fri 21 Feb 2:30pm – 5:30pm (let us know if you can’t make all)

In partnership with Hive South Yorkshire & The Civic Barnsley (working with Esmee Fairbairn)
Hive young creatives is a programme of workshops working with partners to inspire creative thinking and writing through artistic and cultural exploration.

Photos: Mark Evans Exhibition & top, Paula Chambers Exhibition (Shoplifting in Woolworths and Other Acts of Material Disobedience)

Young Poets Writers’ Day: Putting together a pamphlet

Young Poets Writers’ Day: Putting together a poetry pamphlet for submission
Saturday 8th Feb 2020 – 10.30 to 5pm at The Poetry Business, Campo Lane, Sheffield
Application deadline: Midnight Friday 10th January 20120

Are you a young poet in Yorkshire or Derbyshire between the ages of 17 and 30?
Do you have a number of strong poems that you’d like to shape into a pamphlet submission for the New Poets Prize, the Poetry Business pamphlet competition or another submission, but feel unsure how to go about it?

Hive have teamed up with purveyors of fine contemporary poetry, The Poetry Business, to offer a writing and editing day for young poets in the region at a stage where they would like to take their poetry further.  This is an exciting opportunity to help you shape a body of work and receive expert advice and tutoring from poet and co-director of The Poetry Business, Peter Sansom. The intensive day will involve looking at previous pamphlets, discussing existing poems, and writing new work. You’ll be given an introduction to The Poetry Business and tips on strengthening and building on a potential pamphlet submission.

Participants will receive a free Poetry Business Pamphlet in the run-up which they will be asked to read to feedback on as part of the day’s activities.
For more about the New Poets Award (deadline 1st March 2020), click here.

Who can apply?
Priority will be given to poets aged 17 to 24 years of age on 1st March 2020 (the deadline for the New Poets Prize), and living, or with a home address, in Yorkshire (if that’s not you, but you live elsewhere in the North and are interested in this opportunity, do drop us a line anyway in case there is a spare place or we can signpost you to further opportunities in future). We’re also happy to hear from poets 25 to 30 (again subject to space).

If you are unsure whether you’re at a stage where you’re ready to apply, drop Vicky a line to discuss at:

Cost: The day costs just £10 (we can reduce this for a number of places if it’s in any way a barrier), included refreshments (but not lunch), and a free Poetry Business Pamphlet worth £5/£6.  Please mention in your application if so. Places limited. We are always keen to hear from young writers from diverse backgrounds, and those who feel they wouldn’t normally access this kind of opportunity.

To apply:
Send 5 to 7 of your best poems of any length (in one word document), each starting a new page, with a statement of interest on the first page – no longer than 400 words, to include why you would like to be considered for this opportunity, your experience of poetry so far, any writing aspirations you’d like to share, and anything else you’re like us to know. The applications will be looked at by Peter Samson from The Poetry Business.

Send your application to by midnight 10th January 2020

peterThe New Poets Prize is a pamphlet competition for writers between the ages of 17 and 24 (inclusive). This prize runs alongside the renowned International Book & Pamphlet Competition organized by The Poetry Business, which has now been established for 34 years. Previous winners of te New Poets Prize have included several Yorkshire young poets including Warda Yassin who’s part of Hive’s poetry collective.

The Poetry Business publishes books, pamphlets and audio under the Smith/Doorstop imprint, and new imprint The New Poets List. They also publish literary magazine The North, and run Writing Days, the Writing School, and the international Book and Pamphlet Competition.

Peter Sansom is a poet and tutor, and co-directs the Poetry Business along with his wife, the poet Ann Sansom.  He has published six books of poetry include On the Pennine Way (Littlewood, 1988) and Careful What You Wish For (Carcanet, 2015). He is also the author of the influential book, Writing Poems (Bloodaxe 1994).  Peter co-edits The North Magazine and Smith/Doorstop Books. His poetry commissions include work for The Guardian, The Observer, Radio Three, and a billboard in the centre of Lancaster.

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Hive Poetry Sessions

Although this is cancelled until further notice, please get in touch if it sounds of interest!
Hive Poetry is a monthly poetry workshop for young people 17 to 30 yrs from across Sheffield, Rotherham, Doncaster & Barnsley (who don’t attend another Hive group in South Yorkshire)

Write poems, read poems, get ideas, build skills, learn from feedback, hear about opportunities and be inspired by others who buzz off the same thing in a relaxed atmosphere. Be it hobby interest, serious career or portfolio focus, join us to stay in your creative groove! 

The group is run by widely published poet, editor and mentor, Vicky Morris, and is open to all levels and interests.

Where: Sheffield town centre venue,
When: currently 12.45 to 3pm on a Sunday
£1.50 suggested minimum donation, £3 ideal!
Come along 12th Jan 2020

Interested? Email
Why so cheap? Sessions are subsidised to encourage younger writers to travel from across South Yorkshire to attend. If travel costs are an issue, let us know.

“I really look forward to these sessions and the supportive atmosphere and people.” Warda Yassin – New Poets Prize Winner 2018

surfing the twilight Hive anthology is here!

We are excited to say, surfing the twilight is now available to buy (best Christmas present ever!) This wonderfully moving and diverse anthology showcases 78 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, Lauren Hollingsworth Smith, Ciah White and Georgie Woodhead. It also celebrates the winners of our 2019 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 (post +pp & £6.50 shop)

“A wonderful anthology – imaginative, sensitive, surprising, lively and positively bursting with fresh new voices. I couldn’t put this book down, to read it is to be captivated by astounding talent in the making. These are writers I know we’ll be seeing books by in the future. It’s a joy to read them.” – Angela Readman


“From grandmothers to snow, a girl who lives in a jam jar to a skate park at twilight, the poems are varied in their subject matter and united in their excellence. Moving, imaginative, exciting, this writing makes clear that the future of poetry is in very safe hands.” – Jonathan Edwards

Buy surfing the twilight
You can buy surfing the twilight in Sheffield at the wonderful All Good Stuff at Butcher Works on Arundel Street (near the uni and train station, here on streetview) for £6.50. Or if you can’t get to the shop, we can deliver by post (payment by internet bank transfer or Paypal)

If by post, drop us a line to with: 1) the number 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.

At All Good Stuff:  £6.50 | Post: 1 copy £6.00 + £1.50 pp (total £7.50)
(If you’d like to purchase more copies, do contact us for a price. We’re happy to do a discount)
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. 

surfing the twilight is a limited edition, not-for-profit publication in part funded
by Arts Council of England |

Congratulations Lauren Hollingsworth Smith winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award!

Huge congratulations are in order to 17-year-old Lauren Hollingsworth Smith of Rotherham Young Writers – one of the 15 winning poets of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year 2019!

“If poetry is the language of being human, here we have poets speaking in every cadence possible.” – Jackie Kay and Raymond Antrobus, Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award judges 2019

On 2 October 2019, the top 15 poets and 85 commended poets who are winners of this year’s Foyle Young Poets Award were announced at a glitzy ceremony at Southbank Centre, London. The top 15 poets read their winning poems to an excited room of young writers, parents, VIP guests and established poets. Following their reading, they heard from and had a chance to ask questions of this year’s judges Raymond Antrobus and Jackie Kay, as well as Foyle Patrons Ellie Kendrick (herself a former winner) and best-selling poet Nikita Gill.

The winning entries were selected from over 6,000 poets and over 11,000 poems by this year’s poet judges Raymond Antrobus and Jackie Kay. Writers aged 11-17 entered the competition from 76 different countries, from as far afield as Vietnam, Romania, Mexico and Japan, as well as the four corners of the UK.

You can read all the winning poems here. And that’s a fab photo of Lauren’s winning poem ‘I want to stand naked in the school hall’ below.

Massive thanks to The Poetry Society for all you do to support and encourage poets of all ages! 

Lauren Hollingsworth Smith
Lauren Hollingsworth Smith is a young writer from Rotherham and a member of Hive’s poetry collective and Rotherham Young Writers. She was one of 15 winners in the international Foyle Young Poet of the Year Awards in 2019, and was highly commended in the Young Northern Writers Award and Ilkley Young Writers Competition in the same year. Lauren volunteers as a writing mentor to children at Grimm & Co and is passionate about continuing to build her craft as a writer. She has been published in Hive anthologies, halfway smile and surfing the twilight, and was recently commissioned to write a poem for Hive’s Birdlife podcast project. She’s performed at various young writers’ events, and festivals including the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival.



Young Writers’ Open Mic & Anthology Launch 30th Oct

Young Writers’ Open Mic & Hive Anthology Launch
Wed 30th Oct | 7.30pm – 10pm (doors open 7.10pm)
Where: SHU Performance Lab  Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2LQ (4 minutes for Sheffield train station)
Facebook event here | Street view here
£1 minimum suggested donation / or whatever you can afford (We are asking for a little support to help us keep doing what we do)

We’re calling you … young people (14-30s) from across South Yorkshire. If you write poems or tell stories 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.
Come and enjoy positive and supportive 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 2019 competition.

Events are open to all, both new & experienced performers. Pre-sign up for the open mic is now closed until on the night. There will be a sign-up sheet at the table as you come in that you can put your name down on then, or if you decide later (as people often do once they realise how supportive it is) in the break. Slots limited. 

Hosted by Sile Sibanda
A partnership with Sheffield Hallam University Verse Matters

Georgie Woodhead BBC Short Story Award Congratulations!

Congratulations Georgie Woodhead!
Winner of the BBC Young Writers’ Award 2019

A massive congratulations to Sheffield Young Writer’s Georgie Woodhead, the winner and one of five shortlisted for the BBC Young Writers’ Short Story Award with First Story and Cambridge University

Georgie’s story Jelly-headed, described as ‘a comic, quirky and ultimately tragic story of two friends, a night out and a lightning strike that brings devastation. A story about guilt and the absurdity of life, this funny, subversive story is ultimately about searching for meaning or connection’, has rather excitingly been recorded by a professional actor for BBC Radio 1. You can listen to it here.

The shortlist was announced on BBC Radio 1 on 22nd September, and all five teenagers attended the exclusive BBC Short Story Awards ceremony with their families on Tuesday 1 October 2019, when the winner was announced live on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row. There, they met high-profile authors, publishers, agents and broadcasters at the award ceremony.

You can hear an interview with Georgie here (16mins in)with Paulette Edwards on BBC Radio Sheffield.

Congratulations also to the following stories and shortlisted:
‘Insula’ by Eleanor Clark, 16, from mid-Devon
‘Another Pair of Eyes’ by Tallulah Howarth, 17, from Macclesfield
‘The Blue of Spring Violets’ by Isobel Paxton, 17, from Edinburgh
‘Allotment’ by Rowan Taylor, 16, from Reading
The five shortlisted stories are available to read and listen to on the Radio 1 website. They are also available on BBC Sounds as part of the Short Works short story podcast.

For the first time, a love of poetry and a desire to experiment with the short story form has been mentioned by each of the shortlisted writers, with 2018 Foyle Young Poet Georgie Woodhead featuring on the shortlist. The five stories – many deeply personal – range from the comic, to the lyrical, to the tragic, and are written by an all-female shortlist of young writers aged 16 and 17 years from across the UK.

Showing a fearless confidence in form and tone, the stories explore divorce, coming of age, mental illness, loneliness and the meaning of life, and range from the meditative to flash-fiction. Whether it be the brutally evocative story of kinship found in hospital as a teenager battles anorexia; the implosion of a young girl’s family life told through the change of seasons on her father’s allotment; the tragi-comic story of a freak accident on a nightclub roof; a search for the meaning of home via a journey from island to city; or the funny and tender story of an introvert archivist and his connection to an exhibit – each finalist has shown a fresh, sophisticated and unique approach to their subject.

Katie Thistleton is joined on this year’s judging panel by former teacher and Betty Trask Award winner Anthony Cartwright; Waterstones Prize and YA Bookseller Prize-winning writer Patrice Lawrence; winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year children’s author Kiran Millwood Hargrave; and writer, rapper and world-record breaking human beatboxer Testament.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave, judge and author, says:

“This was one of the most stimulating and collaborative experiences of judging I’ve ever had and we’ve emerged with a shortlist to be proud of. The writers demonstrate all the skills I look for in any piece of writing, from immediacy of voice to sensitive pacing, and most of all an emotional connection made with the reader. I think the way a story is told is just as important as the story itself, and these writers have each paid attention to language as well as plot.”

Dr Sarah Dillon, Faculty of English, Cambridge University, says:

“In a modern world in which the pace of life so often outstrips our ability to process it, these wonderful stories all show how words can create a bubble of calm in which to feel, remember, laugh and cry. Our shortlistees represent a new generation of writers whose concerns and use of form both link them to the past and yet depart from it. The University of Cambridge is delighted to celebrate these young women shortlisted for the BBC Young Writers’ Award with First Story and Cambridge University, who will shape the future of writing just as Cambridge alumni such as Zadie Smith and Helen Oyeyemi have done before them.”

Georgie Woodhead is 16 years old and lives in Sheffield. She is an avid writer and greatly enjoys the creative process. Georgie is also a skilled poet and won the esteemed Foyle Young Poet Award, was highly commended in the Cuckoo Northern Writers Award, and was the runner-up in the young people’s category of the Ledbury Poetry Competition, all in 2018. Georgie likes to read novels and short stories, mainly contemporary fiction, from writers such as Etgar Keret, Kafka, J.D Salinger, and Arundhati Roy. In the future, Georgie hopes to continue to develop her writing work, and to travel.

ABOUT THE AWARD: This is the fifth 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 (2015), Lizzie Freestone (2016), Elizabeth Ryder (2017) and Davina Bacon (2018).
Partners: BBC, First Story & Cambridge University