Are you (or do you know) a secret scribbler, closet novelist or part time poet aged 14 to 19 in the Rotherham area? Or in fact aged 14 to 30? If so, Hive is a South Yorkshire wide young writers’ network running groups, festivals, projects and competitions supporting young people in the region to enjoy and follow their writing interests, be it casual hobby or career dream.
Along with groups in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Barnsley, Hive runs Rotherham Young Writers (RYW), which has been going an impressive 10 years supporting young people in the Rotherham area to access all kinds of creative opportunities.
RYW is free to attend and offers relaxed, fun, and informal creative writing workshops with professional writers, exploring everything from short story to poetry for young people aged 14 to 19. Members build confidence in their writing and get involved in wider happenings such as open mics, writers’ days with guest writers, and even submit their work for publication in books and magazines.
Writer Vicky Morris, from Hive, said: “Rotherham Young Writers is open to young people of all interests. You don’t have to feel you’re a great writer to attend, and the focus isn’t obsessing over spelling and grammar. We’re about sparking ideas, enjoying words, and freeing ourselves up to write without the worry of getting things ‘right’ all the time, which often takes the joy out of writing.”
Despite the emphasis on fun and creative community, many young writers in the Hive network, and from RYW, have won major national and international awards including, the Young Northern Writers Award, the BBC Young Writer of the Year and the Foyle Young Poet of the Year.
Recently, Lauren Hollingsworth Smith, who’s been a member of RYW for three years, won the prestigious New Poets Prize, at just 18 years old! Her debut short collection, Ugly Bird, will be published by The Poetry Business in 2021.
Vicky, who is also the founder of Hive, believes that writing is not only a great creative development tool for young people but a therapeutic one too. She said: “Words can offer so much to teenagers at what can be an overwhelming time in their development. They allow them to process and express their feelings and ideas. We aim to create a safe and supportive environment where this can happen.”
Hive’s writing groups are currently being run online until the autumn, and Hive’s Yorkshire-wide Young Writers Competition (for 14 to 30s) is open for submissions now.
If you’re a young writer, either 14 to 19, or up to 30 for other Hive opportunities, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with Vicky at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the Hive website at www.hivesouthyorkshire.com.