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
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 HennaRavjibhai: ‘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
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
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.’
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.