Dear 2021…

We’re delighted to be holding a copy of… Dear 2021! – The Start of It, a Sheffield Year of Reading Project (Sheffield Library Service) in association with the BBC’s Novels That Shaped Our World and Hive South Yorkshire.

We’ve so enjoyed being part of this wonderful project and are proud to have supported the involvement of many young writers and voices. Through poems, letters, stories (even an email to a house plant!) this little book documents a key time in collective human history, a record of our hopes, dreams and wishes for the year ahead, and some reflection on the one we’ve just endured.

The book is a limited edition but will be available for a short period through Sheffield Library Service and available as an archive and for reading at local libraries (more info to follow)

Foreword by Nik Perring
2020 has been the strangest of years. For some, it’s brought space and peace, for others it’s been rubbish. And then, there are those for whom it’s been the worst imaginable. Whatever our experience, we all have a story within it, and people will look back on this time, as with all great crises past – wars, disasters, epidemics, and such, and ask: What was it really like to live through it?

Just as we read Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, in part, to see what life was like in the 1840s, this collection is something to be kept: a record, a time capsule of words, if you will, of 2020. And, like Scrooge on that fateful Christmas night, we’ve taken the opportunity to look both backwards at the year, and forwards in our hopes and wishes for the unknown one ahead.

I’m incredibly proud of this document – a representation of forty-four good people of Sheffield, and beyond. This year has given me, and Sheffield Library Service, the chance to reach new people, to give them a voice and, through this and the videos broadcast as part of this project, perhaps the most important thing of all – an audience.

Nik Perring
Writer in Residence

With thanks to: All at Sheffield Library Service’s Year of Reading; Libraries Connected; The Arts Council; the BBC’s Novels that Shaped Our World; Alexis Filby, Steven Johnson, Helen Fidler, Nick Partridge, Alex Holyoake, Nik Perring, Vicky Morris and all who took part.

Facilitation & Editing: Nik Perring & Vicky Morris
Collation and design: Vicky Morris
Cover illustration: Steven Johnson
(based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens)
The End of It is the title of the last chapter of A Christmas Carol.
The Start of It refers to us, and this coming year.
More about Sheffield Year of Reading here