Some autumn best bits…

What a busy autumn it’s been! A few highlights as we head towards December… There have been lots of lovely Hive happenings during the Off the Shelf Festival of Words again this year including a showing of the Ear to the Street film installation at the Millennium Gallery in Sheffield. The film, which I had the privilege of putting together with tech queen Kitty Turner includes the words and voices of over 40 young people from across South Yorkshire. Details can be found in a post below. It was so great to have it showing in a public place, but I’m so pleased it will be available to watch online soon too.

Also as part of Off the Shelf, I was a proud mama mentor of three Hive alumni poets: Danae Wellington, Warda Yassin & Sile Sibanda, who launched their joint mini collection ‘Spit Out the Myth’ with the Poetry Business and Off the Shelf Festival of Words. Such a lovely event, and it was great to smile at the queue out the door when it came to the end book signing. Congratulations to these wonderful human beings!

And also in October, I got to take a group of Hive poets to the Forward Prizes award showcase in Leeds for the inaugural Young Poets Summit, alongside other young writer initiatives including the Barbican Young Poets, Young Identity and the Writing Squad. The Hive poets found it a really inspiring and insightful day. It was great to stay into the evening for the awards and readings, and for them to meet some of the poets. We even had a chat with Simon Armitage. Everyone had studied him at GCSE, so it was quite the moment!

And for much of autumn, I’ve been putting together Hive’s 2023 anthology: After Hours. My, my it’s a belter! There’s some absolutely stunning work here. I really can’t wait for it to launch in a few weeks and imagine the buzz for so many young writers, many of whom will be being published for the first time. Such an important and validating moment for them as writers. More on the anthology soon 🙂

And I’m very proud of three Hive writers: Luke Worthy, Freya Bantiff and Safia Khan who were commissioned to write pieces for the Northern Dreaming anthology as part of Leeds 2023. Every child in Leeds born in 2023 will receive a free copy of the book spanning work for the different ages of childhood and written by both emerging and established writers. More details here.

And I almost forgot, I’ve a poem accepted for Irish journal Southwords early next year, and a short story/monologue in the 100th Issue of Mslexia which I’m so thrilled about (and I’ve always wanted to be in Mslexia and great for it to be fiction for a change!)

I hope this finds you wrapped up warm and enjoying the hibernation time of year 🙂