Barnsley Young Writers Programme

This is currently online (autumn 2020) get in touch! 

Aimed at young people who want to try creative writing outside of school or college, and find out about what opportunities are available for young writers in South Yorkshire and beyond.

You don’t have to think you’re a great writer to join us, you just need an interest in writing and a willingness to try new things. Everyone is welcoming, accepting and supportive of each other in the Hive network. It’s a great place to just be yourself and find out about further opportunities in the region and beyond. You can hear more about the group from young writers themselves here.

Try different writing forms like short story, poetry, novel tips, script, blogging, comedy, spoken word. And get great tips and advice from two professional writers running different sessions.

Note this programme runs from 23rd March to 4th May 2020, places limited so get in touch soon. If you can’t make every session, that’s fine, let us know. Running weekly (aside from an Easter break) on a Monday 5-7pm (sometimes earlier). Finishes before exams in May or June!

Who & what are our groups & programmes for?
We welcome young people of all interests, abilities and backgrounds who enjoy any form of writing. Our sessions are about sparking ideas and exploring the power of words through creative writing exercises and techniques rather than obsessing over spelling and grammar (although that’s something we can help with too if you like). They’re also about being a fun part of a young writers’ community and the opportunities that come with it.

Interested? Email us with your name, age, writing interests
See other current opportunities for South Yorkshire young writers here

Supported by The Civic Barnsley and Barnsley Libraries

Exploring Fiction

Open to all 18-30s interested in writing or publishing any forms of fiction
All levels and experience welcome | FREE
Wednesday 4th March | 5:30-8pm | Sheffield Central Children’s Library

Sheffield’s Year of Reading writer in residence, Nik Perring, shares tips, tricks, and industry hints, covering all aspects of writing fiction (short story, novella, novel). There’ll be exercises to generate ideas, ways to expand and improve what you already have, and how to make your stories last the distance.

By the end of this masterclass you’ll know about shaping a story into something editors and publishers want, or how to finish something you’ve started so it’s the best it can be. (Note: You may be asked to email a story you’ve been working on before the workshop but haven’t something isn’t essential).

To book:

In partnership with Sheffield Year of Reading 2020 | Sheffield Libraries

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 unleashes 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. Make it yours!

We are delighted to announce Nik Perring, author and short story writer, as our Writer in Residence for our Year of Reading. Nik, with over fifteen years’ experience teaching writing across all ages and venues – community hubs, schools, universities, the BBC and, of course, libraries – will undertake a programme of workshops across the city during the year, creating a platform for new writers, young and old, unpublished writers, and groups within the city. Through his residency Nik will support people to be heard and celebrated, boosting mental health and wellbeing through all things writing.

There will be loads of exciting events for all ages and abilities added throughout the year. Watch this space to see how you can be involved, and check the website [], for more details!

Nik Perring is the author of five books (for children and adults) and a prize-winning short story writer with work appearing all over the world. He’s also Writer in Residence for Sheffield’s Year of Reading 2020 and a key writing facilitator and mentor for Hive South Yorkshire. Nik edits and teachers writing for all ages and abilities in primary and high schools, universities, colleges, community hubs, the BBC and libraries.

The Perks of Young Adult Fiction

Although this is cancelled until further notice, please get in touch if it sounds of interest – we will be rescheduling!
Stay positive and look out for each other.
We’re hoping to do a bit more online writing stuff soon to keep pens in hands and creative muscles moving 🙂

Hive Young Writers’ Day
Writing young adult fiction that flies off the page – with award-winning Young Adult fiction writer Paula Rawsthorne
Date TBC  – 10.30am – 4.30 pm | Venue: Sheffield Institute of Education, Charles Street, S1 2ND [3mins from train station] Open to young people aged 14 – 26 years from across the region

Drawing on the strengths and driving elements of this genre, join multi-award-winning writer, Paula Rawsthorne, for a day of writing and exploring all things Young Adult fiction. From finding inspiration for stories to pitches and plotting.

You’ll think about the books you love and look at what distinguishes YA fiction from other forms and what to consider in the mix of a great YA novel, such as first-person narration versus third-person, creating characters, pace and story arches.

There’ll be exercises to get you writing and thinking, and Paula will give advice and tips to help you strengthen you own stories and ideas, and insights into how she wrote her award-winning books and got published.

This writers’ day has a focus on Young Adult fiction but will be of interest to young writers of any experience with an interest in any kind of fiction. You might have a story you’re developing on the go, or you might be looking for inspiration to plot a new one!

Cost: £6/£4 concessions, including refreshments (but not lunch)
Discounts: Hive is 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:
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

Paula Rawsthorne is a multi-award-winning writer of Young Adult fiction. She discovered that she could write when she won a national BBC writing competition and her comic tale, The Sermon on the Mount was read by Bill Nighy on Radio 4. Her dark stories for adults have been published in anthologies of contemporary literature. Her first YA novel, The Truth about Celia Frost, was a winner of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Undiscovered Voices. Published by Usborne, it was shortlisted for eleven literary awards and won the Leeds, Sefton and Nottingham Book Awards.  Her second novel, Blood Tracks, won the Rib Valley Book Award.

Paula’s short stories for teenagers have been commissioned by Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and published in an anthology of award-winning Young Adult authors. Paula’s third YA novel, Shell, (Scholastic 2018) won the North East Teen Book Award, The Derbyshire Schools’ Book Award and The Hampshire Book Award.  Her latest Black Mirror-esque YA novel, The New Boy, was published last year.

Paula is invited to do author visits in schools throughout the UK and is a writer in residence for the literacy charity, ‘First Story’. She lives in Nottingham with her husband and three children who are all much taller than her.

Find out more about Paula and her books: or on Twitter @paularawsthorne 

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 26 (the age range changes sometimes). If you don’t quite fit, but you’d like to come, get in touch with:

Supported by Sheffield Hallam University Faculty of Development & Society

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 Collective

We’re looking for new young poets to join us! (currently running on Zoom from 18th Oct)
Hive Poetry Collective is an every 2 or 3 weeks poetry workshop for young poets 17 to 30 yrs from across South Yorkshire (and nearby), who don’t attend another Hive group) While it’s currently online we are able to support young and emerging writers a little more further afield than South Yorkshire in the nearby north (so join us if you can!)

Write poems, read poems, get ideas, build skills, learn from feedback, hear about opportunities and be inspired by others who buzz off the same interests 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 & educator, Vicky Morris, and is open to all levels and interests. Over the years, Vicky has mentored many young writers who’ve won accolades such as the: New Poets Prize, Foyle Young Poet of Year & the Young Northern Writers Award. A good few competition-winning poems have been written in this group too including this gem from New Poets Prize winner 2020 Lauren Hollingsworth Smith.

Where: Zoom /And hopefully back to Sheffield city centre (near the train station) in the new year.
You are welcome to have your camera off after check-in 🙂
When: currently 1.30 to 3.30pm on a Sunday (every 3 weeks)
Cost:  £2-£5 per session
We’re particularly keen to hear from those who feel that they don’t have this kind of opportunity nearby.
Why so cheap? Sessions are subsidised to encourage younger writers with limited finances to attend.

Interested? Email

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

Vicky Morris is a poet, editor and creative educator based in Sheffield. She’s been published in places like The Rialto, Poetry Wales, The Interpreter’s House, Under the Radar, Butcher’s Dog, Brittle Star, and Verse Matters anthology (Valley Press). She won first place in the Aurora Poetry Prize 2020 and Prole Laureate Competition 2019 and was a runner-up in the Mother’s Milk Poetry Prize 19/20. Vicky has built young writers’ provision in South Yorkshire for many years, founding Hive in 2016. She won a Northern Writers Award in 2014, and in 2019 The Sarah Nulty Award for Creativity for her impact in the region. Vicky is a recent Arvon/Jerwood mentee 19/20 working with poet Hannah Lowe 

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 |