Mixing Roots – for young voices of colour

Are you a young person of colour in South Yorkshire or nearby, aged 14 to 25 (or thereabouts)?
Interested in creative writing and the power of words? Mixing Roots is back! 

NEWSFLASH! We’re so excited Mixing Roots is back in the REAL world starting Sunday 11th July and running fortnightly.  It’s all things creative writing, open to young females (15+) of colour/diverse heritage, free and run but the lovely Warda Yassin, Sheffield Poet Laureate. The first session will run from DINA café near the Bus Station in Sheffield from 11 to 1pm Sunday 11th July. If you know anyone who’d like to come and check it out, all welcome, but do drop us a line asap at info@hivesouthyorkshire.com so we know you’re coming and can arrange to meet you. 

In June, award-winning writer and Sheffield Poet Laureate, Warda Yassin (and guest writers & creatives Danae Wellington & Sile Sibanda) will be running a new Mixing Roots programme of free creative writing & inspiration workshops for young people of colour and dual heritage from across South Yorkshire.

Everyone is warmly welcome – from bookworms to the mildly curious!  And we’re particularly keen to hear from those who might feel a bit isolated right now with the world upside down. No experience is needed, and you don’t have to think you’re a great writer to attend – you just need an interest in words, a tablet or computer with an internet connection, and to virtually turn up and have fun!

NEWSFLASH: Mixing Roots is currently running six-week programmes with Sheffield secondary schools. The next programme starts Sunday 30th May. If you’re a student at a Sheffield school, or a teacher with interested student/s, please get in touch asap to: info@hivesouthyorkshire.com

Warda will help you build confidence in your own voice in a safe and supportive environment.  You’ll be encouraged to write about all kinds of things including what really matters to you, from the serious to the celebratory. You’ll also find out about writing and creative opportunities in your area that you might not know about, and get loads of great advice and tips about creative careers. Check out Hive’s Young, Gifted & Black podcast below to see what emerging writers in the network are doing!

Beyond the programme, we hope to continue the project in the real world, and through working with partners like Nyara and the Lit Collective, bringing young people together from lots of different backgrounds and places in the region, and finding interesting ways to showcase and celebrate the voices of young people of colour.

We’re always seeking partnership and funding support to enable us to take Mixing Roots further to help young people of colour reach their potential. We would like to produce a podcast and publication. We had a very successful Mixing Roots publication at the end of 2019 and would love to raise money to do this again, but this time, as bigger, full-length book!

Expect relaxed and fun sessions. And just to say, it’s not a requirement of the workshops that participants need to stay visible on video (or to use audio) after check-in/safeguarding considerations.

Start date: 27th August 1.30pm, and you’ll decide on further dates as a group to September.
In Oct there’ll also be sessions with:
*Sile Sibanda on Radio Presenting: Talk, Q&A and tips – From spoken word to spoken host – how I became a radio presenter and event host.
*Danae Wellington: Workshop theme to be confirmed – around stories and cultures from homelands, myths and beliefs.

To book, email: wardayassin@hivesouthyorkshire.com as soon as possible | Places limited, don’t miss out!
Warda is also running Creative Writing for bi-lingual tongues workshops as part of the Off the Shelf Festival of Words 27th Oct.

Supported by: Nyara School of Arts An African and African-Caribbean Performing Arts School based in Sheffield, celebrating the richness & beauty of the Black experience.
The Lit Collective (TLC) 
a book club in Sheffield for young womxn of colour (14-18) to read books by womxn of colour. This July they organised their first online festival dedicated to centring and celebrating womxn writers of colour. For more on their amazing festival visit tlcsheffield.com

About the Mixing Roots writers & creatives

Warda Yassin is a British Somali poet and English teacher. She was awarded the Women Poets’ Prize 2020/21, and became Sheffield Poet Laureate in the same year. Warda writes about her Somali heritage and community and in 2018 was a winner of the New Poets Prize. Her debut pamphlet Tea with Cardamom came out with The Poetry Business in 2019. Warda has been a part of the South Yorkshire writers network (now Hive) for 8 years and recognises from her own experience, how it can support young people to reach their potential.

Danae Wellington is a Jamaican British writer, poet and advocate for healing through the creative arts, specifically through the fusion of poetry, storytelling, music and theatre. She’s been published in several anthologies and has performed widely at places like the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival and Sheaf Poetry Festival. She recently set up Nyara School of Arts, a project aimed at creatively supporting young people from African Diaspora backgrounds.

Sile Sibanda is a British Zimbabwean poet, spoken word performer, and BBC radio presenter. As well as being an active part of the Hive community, she has hosted open mics and events for Hive over the last few years and is loved by everyone for her warmth and encouragement of young voices. Sile hails from Rotherham and in 2019 she won the BBC Radio Sheffield ‘This is Me’ presenting competition and subsequently became the host of The Vibe on BBC Radio Sheffield.