Vicky is a British/Welsh poet, teacher, editor and occasional short story writer. She grew up in Abergele on the North Wales coast and is based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. Her debut pamphlet If All This Never Happened (Southword Editions) was a winner of the Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition and was shortlisted for Best Poetry Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards 21/22. She is the founder of Hive Young Writers and works as a teacher of poetry and fiction, and a mentor and editor of established, young and emerging poets who have received accolades such as: the New Poets Prize, the Young Northern Writers Award, and Foyle Young Poet of the Year.

Vicky is the editor of six books of poetry and fiction written by emerging young writers and countless others for community arts and creative writing projects. She also writes content for creative projects and promotional literature. Vicky was an Jerwood/Arvon mentee for poetry (2019/20), working with poet Hannah Lowe, and was shortlisted for the Mairtin Crawford Award for Poetry 2022.

Northern Writers Awards
Northern Writers Awards 2014

The Poetry Review, New Welsh Reader, The Rialto, Obsessed With Pipeline, Magma, Atlanta Review, The Interpreter’s House, Poetry Wales, Butcher’s Dog, Under the Radar, The North, And Other Poems, Matter, Brittle Star, Write Where We Are Now project (Carol Ann Duffy/MMU), Slim Volume, Pieces of Me, Wild Poetry, Silver Birch Press, Café Writers Magazine, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Prole, Southwords, Myslexia, and anthologised in Verse Matters (Valley Press 2017), Not in the Plan Vol4 (Carers UK 2017), Mancunian Ways (Fly on the Wall Press 2020), Poems about Love (Fragmented Voices 2020), The Untangling (Arvon 2020) Yorkshire Anthology (Green Teeth Press 2021/22), NeurodiVERSE (Flapjack Press 2022) The Brain Charity Liverpool Poetry Prize Anthology (2022), A Republic of Poetry: 100 Issues of The Rialto Anthology (2023), forthcoming The Waxed Lemon, Poems About Hope (Anthology, The Samaritans) & Heroines Anthology Vol. 5 from Neo Perennial Press

Writing Accolades, Awards & Happenings:

  • Shortlisted for the Heroines Women’s Writing Prize 23/24
  • Winner of The World’s Wife monologue challenge Issue 100 of Mslexia Autumn 2023
  • Shortlisted in the Bridport Prize 2023
  • Shortlisted for the Ironbridge Poetry Competition 2023
  • One of five shortlisted for the Mairtin Crawford Award for Poetry 2022
  • If All This Never Happened shortlisted in the Saboteur Awards for Best Poetry Pamphlet 2022
  • Highly Commended Liverpool Poetry Prize 2022
  • If All This Never Happened was a winner of the Munster Literature Centre’s Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition 2021
  • Shortlist Wolves Lit Festival Poetry Competition 20/21
  • Contributing Editor – Poetry Wales Jan to June 2021
  • One of ten shortlisted in the Magma Pamphlet Competition judged by Mary Jean Chan 2020
  • First Prize in the Aurora Poetry Prize 2020
  • Arvon/Jerwood Mentorship for poetry working with Hannah Lowe 2019/20
  • Runner-up in the Mother’s Milk Poetry Prize 19/20
  • Recipient of The Sarah Nulty Creativity Award 2019 – in recognition of 20+ years developing young writers and creatives in South Yorkshire
  • BBC Creative Champion Award 2019 – in recognition of 20+ years developing young writers and creatives in South Yorkshire
  • First place in the Prole Laureate Poetry Competition 2019
  • Laureate’s Choice Poet for the Barnsley Hear My Voice project chosen by Ian McMillan 2018
  • Highly commended in the Carers UK Poetry Competition 2017
  • Longlisted in the Yorkmix Poetry Competition 2017
  • Longlisted in the Yorkmix Poetry Competition 2016
  • Shortlisted by Mona Arshi for the Arvon/Jerwood Mentoring Scheme 2016/17
  • Pick of the Month Ink, Sweat & Tears 2016
  • Winner of the Arvon Northern Writers Award (for fiction) in 2014

Writing Teaching/Facilitation & Mentoring  – bodies include:

    • Hive Young Writers Network
    • Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre of Wales
    • Arvon
    • The Poetry Society
    • The Poetry Business
    • NHS Foundation Trust
    • Apples & Snakes
    • Off the Shelf Festival of Words
    • Wakefield Literature Festival
    • Sheffield Hallam University
    • University of York
    • Poetry Wales
    • The Writing Squad

Writing-related Commissions (not including projects):

  • Social Care: a poem for future hopes commission working with members of the public via Zoom – ESRC Festival of Social Science 2020, the University of York
  • Yorkshire Day poem: Our Rotherham, working with Rotherham Young Writers (RMBC 2020)
  • Small Pleasures Project poem: Inventory of Small Pleasures (Dina 2020)
  • Women’s suffrage centenary celebration poem: Five Suffragette Ghosts I saw
    on Sheffield Streets
    (Apples & Snakes Jan 2018)
  • Dyslexic and Loving Words: a 40-minute documentary exploring what it means to be a dyslexic writer, encouraging dyslexics to pursue a love of words through interviews with well-known dyslexic wordsmiths such as Benjamin Zephaniah, and highlighting word-related difficulties faced by people with dyslexia. (Off the Shelf Festival of Words 2013)

Vicky has collated and edited many publications for creative projects over the years including six anthologies of poetry & short fiction featuring many award-winning writers: After Hours (2023) Dear Life (2022) Surfing the Twilight (2019). Halfway Smile (2018), Wild Poetry (2017), Everyday Hymn (2014)

Various including – The Writing School (guest reader), Seren launch of Flamingo by Kathryn Bevis, What We Read Now (with Kate Fox & Joanne Limburg), Cork Poetry Festival, Poetry Wales, Verse Matters, York Explore, Off the Shelf Festival of Words, Apples & Snakes, Harland Works, Rotherham Open Mic Performance, Gorilla Open Mic, Dina Sheffield, Writing East Midlands, Words Aloud & The Shipping Forecast.

See Facilitation and Projects for more about her work as a writing facilitator and projects relating to writing.

Photos : Covers of anthologies edited 2014 to 2023 | an interviewing Shonaleigh Cumbers for Dyslexic & Loving Words