Lacey wins the Matthew Hale Award

Huge congratulations to Lacey Williamson of Barnsley Young Writers who has won the Matthew Hale Northern Writers Award 2021. Lacey has had a difficult few years and this is such a boost to her confidence and growth as a young writer. She will receive a package of support from New Writing North to help develop her writing.

Lacey Williamson is a 16-year-old poet from Barnsley. Writing has always been a form of therapy to her. For longer than she can remember, she’s always been drawn to reading books and writing short stories and poems. Lacey joined Barnsley Young Writers through Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services after struggling with ill mental health. Through CAMHS and Barnsley Young Writers, she’s gained the ability to channel her ever-changing emotions into poetry.

Lacey feels lucky to have found her tribe and hopes there are more opportunities in the North for young writers to flourish these days. She hopes that those who also struggle with their mental health will find comfort in connecting with others who like to write, and in reading great poetry. Her favourite pamphlet is Phoebe Stuckes’ Gin & Tonic.

Lacey’s confidence and positivity has grown massively since joining a young writers’ community. She’s had her work published in anthologies including Hive’s ‘Surfing the Twilight’ and she’s performed at open mics. She also spent a weekend writing at Ilkley Literature Festival summer camp.

Lacey never leaves the house without a pen and notepad, as inspiration strikes with no warning wherever she goes!

More about the Northern Writers Award
Established in 2000 by New Writing North, the Northern Writers’ Awards supports work-in-progress by new, emerging and established writers across the North of England. The Awards support writers creatively as they develop their work towards publication, as well as helping them to progress professionally and navigate their way through the publishing industry.

New Writing North is the reading and writing development agency for the north of England, and is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. It works in partnership with regional and national partners to produce a range of literary and performance activities including flagship projects such as the Northern Writers’ Awards, Read Regional, Cuckoo Young Writers, the Gordon Burn Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and Durham Book Festival. www.newwritingnorth.com

About Northumbria University
Northumbria University, Newcastle is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. Complementing its work with New Writing North and Channel 4, the University works with a range of high profile cultural partners, including BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Live Theatre, Great North Run Culture and Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums providing students with industry exposure and live project opportunities.  We were awarded the Times Higher Education Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts in 2012, as well as the Journal’s Culture Award for Best Arts and Business Partnership in 2013. Northumbria University’s Art and Design courses were ranked Top 10 in the UK for Research Power following the Research Excellence Framework 2014 and the University was ranked Top 50 in the UK – its highest ever league table position – in the Guardian University League Table 2017. www.northumbria.ac.uk