Hive Young Writers Network 2016-

Roles: Founder, Coordinator & Lead Facilitator (2016 – ongoing)

“The opportunities the group has provided have been endless. Not only is Hive incredibly unique in what it offers, it’s a gateway into the writing world and supports you all the way.” – Louisa Rhodes

In 2016, after a year of cancer treatment, I decided to take the knowledge and experience I’d gained from my years of creative freelancing, to set up Hive South Yorkshire for young writers aged 14 to 30 in South Yorkshire and the nearby north.

7 years later, Hive has become a highly-respected & culturally-embedded network in the region, continually building success and momentum across all our activity. Through it, we’ve established a vibrant and diverse creative community with its own energy & impetus, and we’ve explored and offered many ways of working and developing young writers (14 to 30) spanning hobbyist through to career interests working with a wide range of partners to embed our work, and enable diverse young people to artistically flourish.

 “I’m overwhelmed to win the New Poets Prize! I wouldn’t be where I am now without Hive. It’s opened up so many opportunities and realised my dream of being a published writer.” Lauren Hollingsworth-Smith

Hive has an excellent alumnus of young writers, many of whom are winners of accolades such as the  BBC Young Writer’s Award, the Young Northern Writer’s Award, the New Poets Prize and the Orwell Youth Prize. They have gained exciting roles such as Barnsley and Sheffield Laureates and presenting on BBC Radio Sheffield. They run their own creative community projects and facilitate and mentor younger writers. Underpinning Hive’s work is a vibrant and diverse community of young creatives based across South Yorkshire and beyond.

“Hive is truly something special for young writers. We are thrilled to work with them year after year. It’s such an inclusive and forward-thinking project. And the talent – wow!” – Lesley Webster, Off the Shelf Festival of Words

Hive delivers high-quality, accessible writing activity across: artistic, developmental, cultural, therapeutic and social needs. We support young people to reach their potential through access to: guidance, skill-building, showcasing platforms, mentorship, wider opportunities, resources, professional development pathways, awards, publication, work shaped by diverse voices and experiences, and a vibrant young writers’ community. Our members are diverse young people from across South Yorkshire, much of which is considered a cultural cold spot and high on the indices of Deprivation (particularly Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham), and the nearby North (even more so since online adaptation through the pandemic)