Monday, 1 June 2015

Yorkshire Writers Newsletter

Here is the latest Yorkshire Writers Newsletter, featuring competitions and events:

Writing Yorkshire


Yorkshire Writers' Newsletter

June 2015


Writing Yorkshire News & Events

Writing Yorkshire provide regular workshops, writing groups, masterclasses and open mic sessions throughout the Yorkshire area, here's a brief list of current sessions that we are running and further details can be found within the newsletter or via the links.

Get Writing with Writing Yorkshire - Writing Group - Sheffield. More info HERE
Onwords and Upwords - Writing group - Barnsley. More info HERE
Doncaster Church View Writers - Writing Group - Doncaster. More info HERE
Rotherham Riverside Writers - Writing Group - Rotherham. More info HERE
The Tom Treddlehoyle Sessions - Open Mic - Barnsley. More info HERE
Laugh Away your Inner Critic - Masterclass - Leeds. More info HERE

We welcome your details of events, writing groups, courses, workshops, open mics, in fact anything to do with creative writing. If you have anything that you would like us to publicise then please send the details to us at this address:  - we'll be happy to pass the details on via the newsletter or our website. If you know of anyone that you think may be interested in the newsletter then please do forward a copy on to them.


Writing Yorkshire Masterclass - Laugh Away your Inner Critic - Leeds

Andrew Leigh – Writing Yorkshire

Aarrgh! That horrible inner critic voice! At its worse it can seem relentless – nagging and whispering – sowing self-doubt, fear and an urgent need to vac the living room.
It’s a serious challenge for so many of us and hardly surprising that procrastination, writers’ block and uncertainty are such frequent and unwelcome companions.
Thankfully inner critics aren’t nearly as invincible as they’d have us think. There are plenty of effective ways to beat them. This 3 hour workshop with writer and life coach Andrew Leigh will show how laughter and irreverence can send your horrible inner critic running for cover – leaving you the freedom to be the productive, creative person you deserve to be.
We’ll look at your inner critic’s sneaky tricks and the way it hates the idea of risk, mistakes and even success. We’ll explore some handy tools to shift your negative thoughts and boost your positive ones. And we’ll introduce a new and powerful friend to your internal landscape – so say a big hello to your Good Inner Critic.
While the approach may seem light the results can seriously change the way you think, feel and react to that horrible inner critic.
Andrew Leigh is a member of the Writing Yorkshire coaching team. He is a full-time life coach with over a decade’s experience of helping people achieve powerful, positive change. Andrew is founder and chairman of The Sheffield Coaching Exchange.
Prior to qualifying as a coach Andrew taught English and Creative Writing at Barnsley College and headed the college’s Creative Writing distance learning course. Andrew has an M.A. in Writing and for four years was Chair (or co-chair) of Sheffield Hallam University Writers’ Group.
When: Saturday, 20 June 2015 from 14:00 to 17:00
Where: Venue: Alumni Room, 1st floor, School of English, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 9JT
More info and to book please click HERE

How to Write Your First Song - Course

Get a practical introduction to the mechanics of songwriting and meet established songwriters with this free online course provided by The University of Sheffield.
Ever wanted to write a song, but not known how? This free online course will give you the practical and theoretical understanding you need to create a finished song of your own.
Over six weeks, we’ll be exploring the basic musical concepts that underpin successful songs. From the fundamental elements of melody, rhythm, harmony, metre and key, to the relationship between words and music.
We’ll uncover the tools and techniques that songwriters use to create effective melodies and discover how chords combine to give shape and structure to your songs. We’ll also learn how giving your song a musical form or structure can help to make it captivating and memorable.
As well as experts in music and psychology at the University of Sheffield, we’ll be talking to established musicians to find out what makes their songs successful.To help get you started, we have commissioned Sheffield poet Matt Black to write some song lyrics. Each week, we’ll be using these lyrics to build up a song and encouraging you to do the same: setting the words to rhythm; writing a melody; harmonising the melody with chords; and structuring your ideas into a satisfying musical form.
More info and to enrol click HERE

Launch of Verse Matters: a Feminist Arts Event
(Including a reading by poet Helen Mort and performance by playwright and actress Dina Mousawi) 

Verse Matters is a new feminist arts event in Sheffield. Verse Matters provides a platform for poetry, spoken word, storytelling, puppetry, music and comedy, showcasing the work of talented women in a friendly, supportive environment. Come and join us for our launch, and see two extremely talented artists: the wonderful Sheffield-based poet, Helen Mort, and the fantastic performance poet Victoria Garbutt. Events are open to all. There’ll also be an open mic with six performers (5 minutes each). Some of our performers tell stories that have been erased by society: refugees, detainees, prisoners. Others might read a page of their favourite book, speaking in public for the first time. Others are experienced poets, dramatists and performers. All are respected and appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you to Verse Matters!
More info: Click HERE or contact Rachel Bower
Where: The Hide, Scotland Street, Sheffield, S3 7AA
When: Thursday 9 July 2015, 7.30pm (and then every first Thursday of the month)
Cost: Pay what you can. Suggested donation of £3. Free for anyone taking part in the open-mic. All door profits split between featured performers.

Toad Tales Revisited - Get your short story/verse published, Larkin 25

Larkin with Toads was a huge hit in Yorkshire – and indeed with visitors from further afield - back in 2010. Marking the 25th anniversary of the death of Philip Larkin, 40 giant Toads appeared on the streets of Hull and East Yorkshire, each individually decorated, each with its own story. Five years on, the Larkin Toads are back - for a limited time only. To mark this, we are looking for new short stories and verse aimed at children, to appear in new book later this summer, published by Wrecking Ball Press. 'Toad Tales' will tell the stories of what the toads have been up to since 2010. Stories or verse must be 750 words or less, aimed at 5-10 year olds.
Closing date - 14th June, 2015
More info HERE

There are lots of groups out there, all waiting to welcome you. To find out the details just click - here - this will take you straight to our group listings on the Writing Yorkshire website where you'll find all of the information that you'll need. Here are further details of some of our groups.

Writing Yorkshire Group -
Get Writing with Writing Yorkshire
- Sheffield

A group for all writers, experienced or beginners who want to experiment with different forms.
Facilitated by experienced writer and teacher, Beverley Ward, the group offers writing prompts and exercises to generate new writing and provide space for writers to share works in progress.
Dates: Every Wednesday, 11.00 am-1.00 pm.
Venue: Mugen Tea Rooms, The Hide, Scotland Street, Sheffield. S3 7AA
Cost: Pay what you can afford (recommended price £5 per session)
Please email: to register or for more information.

Writing Yorkshire Group -
Doncaster Church View Writers

This group meet monthly on Tuesday evenings, 6.30 pm, at Church View, opposite Tesco, next to St George's House (Minster).
Members are mostly people already busy in various aspects of the creative arts who want to extend their existing skills but the group is open to all who are interested.
More info: Ray Hearne *Please contact Ray to confirm the latest dates & times
Tel: 07903 24 1947 / Email:

Writing Yorkshire Group -
Onwords & Upwords Group
- Barnsley

If you have health issues, or perhaps feeling stressed, then the Onwords and Upwords group is for you. It's a friendly and supportive writing group, which meets up in Barnsley town centre to explore both ideas for getting started and ways of developing creativity and imagination.
New members are always welcome to join the group, the sessions and refreshments are all free.
Venue: The Civic Theatre, Barnsley, Mondays 1.00 - 3.00pm
Dates: June 1st, 15th and 29th & July 6th (Writing On Location Day Trip-all welcome).
More info: Email Sue Shaw, Writing Yorkshire -

Writing Yorkshire Group -
Rotherham Riverside Writers

A writing group for all writers, all styles, all levels of experience and all welcome.
When: Fridays, 2.00 pm
Where: Rotherham Central Library @ the Riverside, Main Street, Rotherham.
More info: Ray Hearne *Please contact Ray to confirm the latest dates & times
Tel: 07903 24 1947 / Email:
Words Like Cries Group
Are you grieving for a loved one?
Would you like to join a Sheffield/Derbyshire-based monthly support group focused around writing about your grief in a confidential peer support setting?
If the answer is yes, please get in touch with Ingrid or Tricia at
Both our husbands died in summer 2014. We have got through the first months of our desolation by writing about it, both privately and online. We have started this grief writing group in order to meet in person with others who’d like to express their feelings through writing together and then, should we choose to, sharing what we write (although sometimes we might wish to write but not share it – this is a safe space where we can talk or not talk as we choose).
It’s not about beautiful or skillful or experienced writing but about finding ways to face and express the many emotions of grief and sharing with others in doing so.
You think that their dying is the worst thing that could happen. Then they stay dead”.
   (Donald Hall)

If you run a group that you would like us to mention then just send the details to us at: and we'll be happy to add them to our listings (thanks to those who have already sent details on to us).


Strut your Stuff at the 2015 Buxton Fringe

Writers, and especially those from community writing groups, are welcome to strut their stuff, through reading or performing their writing and promoting and selling their publications. These 3 free events, hosted by TheFED – a network of writing and community publishers, will take place from 2.30-5.30pm on 15, 16 and 17 July at the Buxton Tap House, George Street, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AT, as part of the celebrated 2015 Buxton Fringe Festival.
There is no charge to audience members, so people can just come along and listen, and there is no pressure to join TheFED but membership application forms will be available.
To book a slot, please telephone Louise on 07549862495 or email:
More info:


Creative Life-Writing Classes - Todmorden

 Two writing classes on creating poetry, prose or writing for performance out of personal stories and experiences with local writer and performer Emma Decent.
 These courses use writing techniques to connect you with your stories and get your pen moving. Every week writing exercises will draw new words out of you on different topics and themes. You will uncover tales you never knew you had, as well as discover new ways of expressing the old stories you know so well. We will look at how to turn the personal – rants, diary entries, etc – into something fit to share with others, and what’s more that others want to hear! The course will build confidence in sharing your work, and work towards opportunities to do so. All forms of writing welcome, poetry, prose, or ‘I-don’t-know-what-it-is’. The course aims to inspire an on-going writing practice that is personally fulfilling as well as creatively productive. All levels of writing experience welcome. Refreshments included.
6 week daytime class – £60.00
Tuesday 1pm-3pm – from 9th June to 21st July, no class 7th July
8 week evening class – £80.00
Tuesday 7pm-9pm – from 2nd June to 21st July.
Where: Todmorden Community Resource Centre, Lever Street, Todmorden, OL14 5QE
More info or to book a place mail:  

Here are two events taking place as part of the Broomhill festival in Sheffield - June 5th - June 21st - more festival info HERE

Sheffield Poets: Helen Mort and Ben Wilkinson

What: Carol Ann Duffy has described Helen Mort as 'among the brightest stars of the sparkling new constellation of British poets'. Her collection Division Street  was shortlisted for both the Costa and the T. S. Eliot Prizes.  She is the Poet Laureate of Derbyshire.
Ben Wilkinson's For Real won both the Poetry Business Competition and a Northern Writers' Award. He reviews for the Guardian and the TLS and works for the Poetry Archive.
When: June 13th, 1.30 pm - 3.00 pm
Where: The Beacon Methodist Church, Fulwood Road, Broomhill
Admission: Donations please to Festival charities

John Birtwhistle - Psalms for the Partisans

John Birtwhistle presents his new verse translations from Yannis Ritsos, one of the great poets of twentieth century Greece. These are poems of intense lyrical beauty which are also political statements about war and imprisonment. They have disquieting implications for us today.
When: June 16th, 7.30 pm
Where: The Beacon Methodist Church, Fulwood Road, Broomhill
Admission: Donations please  to Festival charities.

Writing Yorkshire Session
The Tom Treddlehoyle Sessions
- Barnsley.

All Writers and listeners are welcome to join us for an open mic session of poetry, prose and performance that, all done, will leave everyone with a smile on their face and words a-plenty! A welcome will be waiting for you so come along and be amazed by the Words Abound in Barnsley.
When: The last Tuesday of every month, 8.00 pm, next session June 30th.
Where: The Tom Treddlehoyle is at 73 Pogmoor Road, Barnsley, S75 2DX
More info: Phone Ray Hearne on 07903241947

Writers in The Bath

- Sheffield.
Monthly live literature at The Bath Hotel in Sheffield, with outstanding writers from around the north, second Tuesday of each month at 7.30 pm.
The Bath Hotel, 66 Victoria St, Sheffield. S3 7QL
More details: Cora Greenhill:


Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster Young Writers Groups are always open and welcoming to new members (13s to 19s), here are some details. 

Writing Yorkshire Groups
Writing Workshops for young people aged 13-18 in Doncaster.

Interested in creativity, imagination, words, images and objects? Want to explore new starting points, develop ideas, tell stories, create characters and meet other young writers? Then come to The Point Community Arts Centre (16 South Parade, Doncaster),  on the following Thursdays: June 4th, 11th and 25th; July 2nd, 16th and 23rd.
We Meet up in the cafĂ© area at 4.45. and share our writing between 5.00 - 7.00 pm. Workshops are free and refreshments are provided.
More info: Sue

And if you're in Sheffield or Rotherham ............
Are you aged 14 to 19? Then we have groups for you as well! You don't have to think you're an amazing writer to join, you just need an interest in creative writing and having a go. The groups are very supportive, relaxed and informal and everyone is welcome. Workshops are generally once a fortnight, 5 to 7 or 5.30 to 7.30 with a munchies break in between  As well as writing workshops, we let groups know about other writing happenings like competitions, events and festivals. If you're interested or you know someone who is, say hello to Vicky:

If you're too old for a group but want to know what's happening in Yorkshire for under 25s, drop Vicky a line too.

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award - 31st July, 2015

The Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award is for poems written by any young poet aged 11-17. Since it began 15 years ago the Award has kick-started the career of some of today’s most exciting new voices. It is the largest competition of its kind and is free to enter.
Each year 100 winners (85 Commendations and 15 Overall Winners) are selected by a team of high profile judges. The winners receive their awards at an annual prize-giving event on National Poetry Day.
More info: CLICK HERE 


Words in the City, Bradford, 6-7 June 2015

With everything from emergency poems and edible poetry to masterclasses and a Mushaira Words in the City is a weekend of exciting events taking place in Bradford. Tony Harrison and John Hegley headline the weekend and there are also readings from Don Paterson, Jo Shapcott, Imtiaz Dharkar and Zaffar Kunial as well as FREE events for the whole family.
More details HERE

The 2015 Festival of Writing - York
4th - 6th September 2015
A complete creative writing course for all writers.
More info: Click HERE to visit the website.


Wanted - Poems about the Sea

The Emma Press has launched an open call for submissions to a sea-themed poetry anthology due for release in October 2016.
The independent publisher, based in Winnersh, is inviting poets to send in up to three poems by 21st June 2015. According to the publisher's rules, all people submitting must be a member of the Emma Press Club, whereby they must either have bought a book/ebook/set of postcards from the publisher's website in 2015 or already have been accepted into an Emma Press publication.
The brief for submissions states: 'We want poetry to bear witness to the ocean's harvest and wreckage, and writers to record the sea that leaks into their lives. […] We want to read verse that follows fishing trawlers and perilous crossings, charts the Middle Passage and the Bermuda Triangle, and to hear how coastlines differ for islanders and the land-locked, migrants and the lost-at-sea.'
The Emma Press Anthology of the Sea is the latest in the publisher's series of themed and illustrated poetry anthologies, more details and submission requirements HERE

The National Poetry Competition 2015 is open for entries! 
This year's intrepid judges are David Wheatley, Esther Morgan and Sarah Howe and the prizes are £5,000 for the overall winner, £2,000 for the second, £1,000 for the third, with seven commendations of £200! The top three winners are also published in the Poetry Society's leading international journal, The Poetry Review, as well as having the possibility of reading at some of the UK's top literature festivals. Get your entries in before the deadline of the 31st October online or by post for a chance to be the 2015 champion! 
Since its launch in 1978, the Poetry Society’s National Poetry Competition has marked a milestone in the careers of many of today’s leading poets. Previous winners include Philip Gross, Jo Shapcott, Tony Harrison, and the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.
More info HERE

Writing Yorkshire  Website 
If you'd like to find out more about the full range of services that Writing Yorkshire offer, including mentoring, writers advice sessions, and membership then click here.

If you want to send us an item for inclusion please email it to: with "Newsletter" in the subject line.
Writing Yorkshire provide information about writing events in the region, and run a variety of writing activities throughout the Yorkshire area. If you would like more information please email or ring Geoff on 0114 3830456 (answerphone, but we will ring you back).

Thanks to all who provided information posted here. We will always endeavour to make sure that the information included is accurate but apologies in advance for any errors or omissions which may occur, any corrections or suggestions will be welcomed.
We hope that you enjoy the newsletter.

Writing Yorkshire is a limited company incorporated in England and Wales under company no: 7475298.
For more information about all of our work, visit our website:
Tweet us @Writingyorks or find us on Facebook

To be kept abreast of writing events and activities in the region or to let us know about events that you're running, please subscribe to our mailing list via the website, by emailing or phone us on 0114 3830456 and leave a message.


Contact Details and information to:
Geoff Briggs - Office & Information Manager
Writing Yorkshire
Bank Street Arts, 32 - 40 Bank Street, Sheffield, S1 2DS.  
Phone: 0114 3830456. (Answer Machine)

Twitter:       @Writingyorks
or find us on Facebook:                                                                                              

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