Festival thank you!

We just want to say a massive thank you to all the wonderful writers, partners, volunteers, creative professionals, and young writers that made Hive Young Writers festival a truly wonderful day on Saturday 14th April 2018.

Hive Young Writers Festival was a jam-packed day of word-based happenings for young writers (14-25) from across Yorkshire and the North attracting 100+ young writers. There were workshops, panel discussions & advice sessions with a wide range of writers, novelists, poets, playwrights and industry professionals.The festival was a chance to network, hear from professional writers, meet like-minded young writers, perform & of course, write!

This list of thanks may take some time because there were so many wonderful people in the mix, and every one of you helped to make a very special day happen!

Firstly a shout out to all the morning writers doing workshops, talks, or speaking on the panel, or doing both! (some of whom were also afternoon writers), to Dan Powell, Testament, Suzannah Evans, Steve Dearden, Lydia Allison, Dan Loops, Desiree Reynolds, Reece Williams, Kate Garett, Kirsten Luckins and Helen Johnson.  And then joining us for the afternoon – Clare Fisher, Andy Craven Griffiths, Billie Meredith, Bobby Anderson, Tim Leach, Stacey Sampson, Adam Lowe, and Laura Lindsay. What a smorgasbord of workshops and talks you offered! We know it’s rare to have that much choice under one roof, and even though nobody could be in several places at once, we hope what many young writers experienced has motivated you/them to seek out future opportunities to build skills and experience new insights into writing.

For the panel, lots of people asked questions I wouldn’t think of. The workshops were brilliantly led, with examples and stimulus. Hearing others inspired me so much, especially knowing that we all came from different backgrounds. 18, Doncaster

A huge thanks to all the writers who gave advice sessions on the day, to Desiree Reynolds, Kate Garrett, Stacey Sampson, Dan Powell, Kirsten Luckins, Apples & Snakes producer in the North (who also kindly chaired the morning panel), all for being so generous with your time, and to all the other writers who fitted chats in around workshops and lunch – and that was pretty much every writer who was there. You all cared so much and we thank you. Everywhere you looked young writers were sat talking to, and learning from, established writers and it was a joy to see.

Big thanks also to the advice and insights from our publishers Suzannah Evans (representing The Poetry Business), Jamie McGarry (Valley Press), Adam Lowe (Vada Magazine and Doghorn Press), & Brian Lewis (Longbarrow Press)

Further and massive thanks to Brain Lewis for manning a fabulous bookstall for the day and for somehow keeping track of it all with writers and publishers dropping books through the day and keeping a perfect tally of it all. Creatively energising thanks to Charly Calpin (Freehand) for her wonderful zine chill out zone, which was a lovely haven for some thinking and musing time.

Big thanks to the media people buzzing around, to broadcast journalism student Xanthe Palmer, Doncaster young writer, Isabelle Osborne (who managed to bag an interview with journalist Helen Johnson off the cuff on the day!), to young photographer, Caitlin Taff, and to the wonderful Spleeny, Sez and Evie from Sheffield Live FM’s Write Radio (hopefully there’s a show to follow).

I really enjoyed the workshops, they put me on the spot and made me write in a way I never have before. As someone who is new to creative writing (although I am nearing the upper age bracket), I found it very inspiring and motivational to see all the younger people expressing themselves, and at how skilled they were at their craft!  24, Hartlepool

Heartfelt thanks for the continuing support of our partners Grimm & Co, and to Steve Dearden and The Writing Squad for contributing funding and background support for the festival. Also to Andy Hill from First Story for run up support, and to Ilkley Lit Festival, and Apples & Snakes for letting us have Kirsten Luckins for the day! And just to say – If you missed the chance to go and experience Grimm and Co at the festival, do get in touch as they are keen to hear from young writers and creatives wanting volunteering experiences (see here).

And to the team of amazing staff and volunteers who were the backbone of the day – Core staff were the mighty Kiran Malhi-Bearn (front of house), with Vicky Morris, and Nik Perring (hosting), and their amazing team –Dominic Heslop (who also manned a wonderful warm and encouraging finale open mic), Zoe Cox, Michele Beck, Jen Booth, Marcus Grindlewald, and Mark Innes (who kindly manned the advice session timetable). All of you were an amazing and awesome support and as cliché as it sounds, yes it’s true – it simply couldn’t have been done without you!

I think it’s important because it has given me the advice I will need to start my career, and it has really inspired me as a young person. An event like this would awakens and helps out so many young people. Also, I think it’s great that there are no more opportunities for people in the north.   16, Ilkley Young Writers

Thanks also to Dan Ryder, Megan McCart, John Greaves (Rotherham Libraries), John Stocks, and Bri Staton who were on standby as support volunteers, and to Don Jenkins (Born Lippy open mic Newcastle) who came and supported last minute! Thanks also to the schools, colleges, individuals and young people bodies who encouraged young people to come along who might not have come without that encouragement.

Oh dear, who have we missed?! There is bound to be someone, because as is evident, many hands made this day and we do hope nobody has been forgotten! For more details on the writers and creative bodies who supported the day, click here.

Last but not least! – a gigantic thank you to all the young writers who attended bringing so much energy, creativity, curiosity, determination and bravery (particularly those reading their words to an audience for the first time). Congratulations again to all our competition winners who received prizes at the festival (look out for the Hive anthology they’re in soon!), and thanks to our partners at Arvon for anthology book donations.

It was also so wonderful to have young writers from further afield join us on the day include from: Bradford Young Writers, Ilkley Young Writers, Manchester’s Young Identity, Dove Cottage Young Poets (all the way from Cumbria!), and White Peaks Writers – thanks for the efforts you made to come and be part of the day.

Hive is a small project, so, to say a final time, we couldn’t do an event like this without the generous support we had from so many people. Many writers and professionals did the event voluntarily, or for a small fee, and we can’t thank you enough. All of you are aware of the impact of enthusing a future generation of young writers. The day was a celebration and coming together of the energy, diversity, happenings and talent abound among young writers and supporting bodies in the north and we salute every single one of you and hope the day has generated something positive in you all!

We’ll be adding a photo gallery below. See Facebook gallery here 🙂

Hive South Yorkshire is funded by Arts Council England
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