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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!!!

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.

Maggots

Katherine Carr is a speculative fiction writer from West Yorkshire. Currently, her time is split between managing her religion degree, being a member of The Writing Squad, and working on her novel about Northern, working-class kids trying to be the hero for once in an Arthurian meets Peaky Blinders adventure. This piece is from the start of a new project exploring the horrors of white feminism against the backdrop of dark academia.


 ‘This is going to be a pain to keep out of the papers,’ Jude said, hurling another mound of dirt onto my lukewarm body.

      This was not how I imagined my first front cover going. For a start, there would be a better buffet and a Mayfair hotel involved.  

       ‘Another thing to sort out,’ Tabitha said. ‘Saying that, all we really have to do is cry in the right places and the police will be none the wiser.’

        ‘You’ve lost it if you think that’ll work,’

         ‘Elise wasn’t exactly known for being particularly streetwise, so really this was only a matter of time-’

        How charming.

         ‘-Who’s more likely to have done it: us or a football lad that didn’t get his way? Just say she’s an angel who got her wings far too soon and you’ll see.’’

          The air and I soaked up her words. Jude’s gaze pierced through me before she turned and grabbed her shovel again.

           ‘We’ll see,’

          A harsh slam rattled through me.

          ‘Really?’

          ‘Look, I’ve seen enough idiots waving their money as if it can solve all the world’s problems for it to just blow up in their face. Just because you’re a Howard doesn’t make you any different.’

          The air seethed. Tabitha strode over, the dried blood on her Burberry sleeves cracking as she twined them amongst her fingers. She grabbed Jude’s wrist and squeezed.

        ‘Look at me.’

         Jude didn’t.

          ‘Look at me.’

          Finally, Tabitha’s cherry lips coiled into a smile that didn’t quite reach her eyes.

          ‘What are you without me, hm? Nothing. But trust me I am so much more regardless if you’re by my side or not, so get your act together because you’re use is finite and you need to make it last, trust me.’

        Jesus.

        Christ.

       I stood between them eating every twitch, lick, and blink they offered, starved of such good drama in a long time. God, all the things I could have made off this; the whole uni would have been at my door to taste fraction of what I’d seen! Now, it was just another secret between me and the dead.

   ‘Okay,’ Jude snapped her wrist away. ‘Just let’s get this over with. You’ve got a seminar at nine.’

     As the dull thud, thud, thud, returned to the air, I took a seat beside my grave and took in the morning night.

Why Is Literature Important?

For our 2020 Zine, Elizabeth Sykes wrote about why literature is important to us as young people.

Why is literature important? That is a big question when starting a literature festival, and also a complicated question, because it seems as though everyone has different answers. Some people say that literature is a means for humans to understand the world around them, and fully comprehend different perspectives and ideas. Some say that literature is important as a creative outlet, for writers to find fulfilment through creation and process their own experiences. Others chime in and make the argument for literature as escapism, a space safe from reality where imaginations can run wild and one can forget about one’s own life for a little bit. Literature is all of those things. At Wakefield Litfest, we believe that literature is vitally important, as a tool to broaden our horizons and share our experiences, as well as being a source of entertainment and relaxation. Literature can do something for all of us, those who bury themselves in a hole of novels and poetry and only come out to grab snacks, to those who aren’t massive readers but are willing to learn more about the world around them. It is something that is everywhere, all the time, always available to consume and always open to discussion and interpretation. It makes up so much of what we consider to be our identities, that by examining, understanding, and celebrating literature, we are effectively examining, understanding, and celebrating ourselves.

But that’s all very vague. More importantly, why is literature important to us, the young people of Wakefield? We’re who Wakey Litfest is for, after all. Wakefield is often overlooked when it comes to the arts and culture, and therefore it’s doubly important to promote literature here, and showcase creativity that may not be seen otherwise. It is also relevant because we are in the north. A lot of mainstream representations of northerners are frustrating stereotypes, and developing a literature community in Wakefield enables us to share our stories in a place that doesn’t perpetuate the cliches so often seen in the media.

And, we also believe that it is important to engage young people in literature in particular, because in the modern world, there are so many pressures placed upon young people that creative pursuits can hopefully alleviate. We can offer fresh perspectives on the many and varied topics that impact us, and it is important that young people feel inspired to form the culture and society of tomorrow.

This year, Wakefield Litfest has given many young people the opportunity to explore and engage in all types of literature, from journalism to poetry to song writing, stretching the boundaries of what “literature” can actually mean. By talking to people who work in the arts through the workshops, more young people were introduced to careers and life paths that may have previously seemed closed to them, and the performance events meant that a platform was created for budding poets, song-writers and comedians to share their work and grow in confidence. The festival had its setbacks, but overall, it has opened many doors into literature, which it will hopefully keep doing for years to come.

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