Illustrator Wanted

Wakefield Youth-Led Lit Fest is for young people 14 – 25 and aims to showcase young talent in and around Wakefield. 

Look out for opportunities throughout March and April on our social media channels. 

OPPORTUNITY to Get INVOLVED

Are you aged between 18 and 25 years old and interested in illustration, looking for a challenge, wanting to get your artwork seen by others? 

This opportunity is for you! 

Wakefield Litfest will publish a Zine online and in print as part of the festival. As part of this process we are looking for a young artist who is interested in making illustrations that can accompany the publication. 

The Illustration Challenge is to produce up to 5 illustrations that will accompany the publication inspired by the written content.

The illustrations will not be specific to each piece of writing but will capture the feel of all the content. 

The commissioned artist will receive a fee of £200 

How to Enter!  

Please enter by email including: 

  • Your name
  • Your age
  • Your Postcode 
  • A 500 word explanation of why you would like your illustrations to be showcased as part of the project. 
  • Example of at least 3 illustrations you have already created (these don’t need to be on the same theme) 

Entries need to be submitted before 12pm on the 11th of April 2022

Email address to send your entry: sarah@yew-tree.com 

Wakefield Youth LitFest is funded by Wakefield Council

Zine Submissions

Wakey Litfest are looking for your writing for the festival zine from young people aged 16 – 25! These are paid opportunities for biography-style articles about people or inventions related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Wakefield and the surrounding area.

To submit you must either be over 18 years old, or over 16 and have parental permission.

How the zine works: 

The zine will focus on the theme of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in Wakefield and the surrounding area. It will include 12 articles which highlight the achievements of local figures or inventions who contributed to Yorkshire industry. For example, is there a historic figure you know of who was a trailblazer in their field? Or perhaps you’ve found out about an invention from Wakefield that kept workers safe. Anything like that – we want it! And feel free to be creative in your links to STREAM. 

The articles will require some background research to form the basis of your article. If this is something you want support in, send us a message!

There are 12 paid opportunities for article writing available that will be paid £50 for its inclusion. Submission should fit somewhere within the genres of non-fiction, biography or journalism writing and be around 800 words.

So, if this sounds up your street, please submit your work to sarah@yew-tree.com! Happy writing! We can’t wait to see what you make.

Skills Exchange Journalistic Writing Workshop

Join us on on Saturday 2nd April at 12pm in Wakefield Library to talk about journalism and research in a peer skills exchange workshop.

Hosted by Wakefield LitFest, a literature festival for and by young people, this is an opportunity for young people to share their knowledge and get to know other young writers in the community.

The workshop is a part of Wakefield LitFest’s current project to to create a zine that celebrates the relationship between the arts, technology, and Wakefield. It would be particularly beneficial for anyone looking to submit their writing to the zine, but is open to all 14 to 25 year olds who would like to join.

It will be hosted in Wakefield City Centre, and we will confirm the location soon.

You can reserve your free spot here.

For more information you can find us on social media. We’re on Twitter @WakeyLitFest on Instagram @WakefieldLitFest and you can search for us on Facebook.

This project is funded by Wakefield Council.

An Invitation to watch ‘Hunt’

Eliana Grundy is a part of the cast for Hunt by Finnoula Kennedy. In today’s blog post, she talks about the play and why you should book a ticket.

Hunt is a play about a group of teenagers playing their version of Hide and Seek – the rules of this familiar playground game apply, but the difference is that players need to “borrow” items from their neighbours’ gardens to score points and win. The more random the item, the higher the point gain. The group must avoid being caught both by the chosen Hunters from the group, as well as the neighbours they’re taking from. The game goes horrifically wrong though, forcing the gang into an unpleasantly memorable final game together before they go their separate ways. 

Synopsis

Hunt is a play that is part of the National Theatre’s Connections portfolio 2022 and is one of the six new commissions gathered this year. Hunt was written with the intention of having a cast of young actors and, as always, was written with the input of young people.

LitFest usually shares opportunities for young writers to be able to develop their craft, but seeing Hunt will allow both hopeful playwrights and authors alike to develop their own skills in storytelling and character creation. The play isn’t centred around one specific character, meaning everyone is given the opportunity to explore their character’s growth and relationship with other members of the ensemble.

Not only would watching Hunt benefit you as a writer, you would be supporting young people on-stage who help bring stories to life.

If you’re interested in watching Hunt, there are 4 combined performances over the 12th and 13th of March at Thomas à Becket School (WF2 6EQ) at:

12/03 – 16:00

13/03 – 11:00 / 13:30 / 16:00

Tickets can be saved on Facebook by clicking this link!!!

A World We Can Explore

A couple of weeks ago, a group of us from Wakey LitFest went to Wakefield WordFest’s display in the WX building. We talked to lots of the visiting children about what they could see in the space around them – with an enchanted forest, a giant inflatable whale and a bunch of activities, there was a lot to choose from –  and I turned their ideas into a poem. 

Child. 
You run through the world,
Barely taking a moment to stop 
To look  and see - 
A wandering deer, a pile of books
All things at home in these woods.  
You step so fast over a strange seesaw.
Oblivious to how out of place these things are.

And yet you see well
As you explore, following animal tracks,
Eyes glued to the floor 
You slow - 
And see the creeping autumn red
Making its way from the peaks of the leaves
To the green at their heart. 
You stand still and count the acorns, 
Seven you can see from here. 

You take note, and hurry off to explore, 
To find more. 
Armed with a compass you cannot use
And a machete to carve through the grass.
(Machete is the name you gave
To the penknife you nicked from your dad.) 

You emerge to the seaside 
With glorious glistening sea licking at the sand.
You stand - for a moment - and watch
As it dances in, prepared to reabsorb
The sandcastles glamorously adorned 
With shells borrowed from the tide. 

You explore on, 
Plunging into the ocean, 
Passing a stray leaf being battered on the shore, 
Beyond the swimmers you dive down, 
To meet the fish. 
You’re leaving sharks and dolphins in your wake, 
As you escape the land behind. 

You discover a supermarket in the depths, 
Catering - as a speciality - to the mermaids in the sea.
Mundane to them but you feel glee 
As you swim amongst the shelves filled
With fish for food and dancing crabs. 

Child, this is our world to explore, 
Tell me what you see. 

How Does a Writer Become a Writer?

Davina Jandu is a recent Media and Communications graduate from Wakefield. She is a Foyle’s Young Poet 2016 Winner, with a keen interest in feminist poetry. Her interest in poetry performances began when she would attend open mic nights, and expanded when saw her favourite authors perform. Here are some of her thoughts on writing.


Despite being a writer, I have to force myself to read. Isn’t it so ironic? Maybe I just prefer the sound of my own voice too much, and no one else’s. Or maybe there are only a select few who can capture my attention. Perhaps it’s the actual process of reading, it’s tricky for me.

Honestly, it is all those things. It can be tricky being a writer who doesn’t like to read, I’d argue there’s more pressure to find inspiration. But, like many writers, my relationship with writing was first initiated through need. Many people claim writing is great therapy, and they’re right, it very much is. I began writing because I wasn’t able to talk to anyone and this was such a relief for me, writing became my outlet.

I didn’t begin with poetry though; I simply began jotting down my feelings and thoughts so I could make sense of them. But the writing really came into play when I fell in love with a book.

I had been following Rupi Kaur on Instagram for a couple of years, when she announced she would be releasing a new book. I was so beyond excited, I already loved her work – much of it being concise and easy to read, accessible, and for me personally – this was my first real experience of poetry being so enjoyable and something different to its stereotypically stuffy Shakespearean image.

I was 15 when ‘Milk and Honey’ came out, and I remember I had used a Waterstones gift card from my birthday that I had been eagerly saving and when it was ready to collect, I rushed on the bus from school to pick it up on a cold, autumnal afternoon!

The feeling of holding it and reading it was so validating and exciting and I was just there on the high street in the dark, unable to put away this book that affirmed so much for me. That poetry about love didn’t need to be romantic, that I could write about my own experiences, and they didn’t need to look like anyone else’s. Kaur really opened my eyes, I was so inspired, excited and I just knew, I could never look back.

From that day, I was absolutely determined to begin developing my own style of writing, every day after school I wrote and wrote and wrote and threw away and threw away and threw away.

This is where my journey began.

Droplets by Korben Ferguson

This piece of poetry was written by Korben after a recent period of sombre weather. It was an attempt to push themselves out of their comfort zone to get more used to poetry as opposed to their more common writing method of prose. The piece was intended to capture the feeling of losing a significant other in whatever form that takes, either through death, a breakup, or simply having to endure a long distance relationship: as such this poem should be taken with a trigger warning for anyone who may have lost a partner one way or another and may still be affected.

Droplets,
Watch as they drip.
Watch as they race down the window,
As fast as my heart paces.

My soul is soothed,
As I turn to you.
A warmth rushes over me
as I curl into your arms:
I am home.

As the droplets continue to roll,
I whisper: "I love you."
And I am met with the calming
comforting echo of your reply...

Droplets,
Watch as they drip.
Watch as they race down my face,
As fast as my heart paces.

My soul is pained,
As I search for you now.
The cold settles over me
as I curl into the duvet we shared:
I am homesick.

As the droplets continue to roll,
I whisper: "I love you."
And I am met with silence.

An Attic View By Elizabeth Sykes

I wrote this poem as part of a course about 18 months ago. The challenge was to base a poem on the view from the nearest window. Mine was a skylight. 


An Attic View

I treat windows as mirrors

I see only sky.

An open patch of grey on grey

The sound of blinding light

An arrow pointing right

Beside, around, above me.

It is a sign,

A godsent omen

Of the hollow empty feeling

The cabin in my chest.

How much of that is loneliness.

How much just me?

I fill it anyway I can

With birds and words and tea.

The sunken coffee smell

Connects me to you

With a white trail, a straight cloud scar

Slashed the cheek of silver in broken two.

When I was in my falsest form

I would fly the metal bird

Up high, cased in recycled air

My corpse against the window,

Aching to get out, be there.

Instead I watch from down below,

Reaping what some others sow.

My bones are aching but to grow.

Growth is the flying feeling.

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