The Bookseller – News – Ilkley Young writers celebrate 10th anniversary with anthology and performance


A cohort of writers from the Ilkley Literature Festival Young Writers Group are celebrating 10 years of the writing program with a new anthology.

Launched in 2011 as a festival initiative, the group targets young writers and organizes workshops and lectures on prose, songwriting, monologues and poetry.

The work of several writers, aged 12 to 25, will be presented in hanging from the trees, which covers topics such as identity, love, fear, conflict and ancient myths. The anthology was edited by program creative leaders Michelle Scally Clarke, Becky Cherriman and Sai Murray.

Members past and present will read some of their contributions during the festival’s outdoor Summer Fringe – a series of outdoor nighttime performances by Yorkshire creatives, taking place every Thursday in August. The Young Writers’ Event will take place on August 25 at 6.30pm in the courtyard of Ilkley Manor House.

The anthology has been developed and compiled throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with writers meeting on Zoom with the groups’ creative leads to develop the book’s concept, title and themes.

Scally Clarke, a creative leader from 2011-2021, has worked alongside authors such as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Benjamin Zephaniah and Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

“This anthology is a celebration and a testimony, a voice, of young writers from Bradford and Ilkley,” she said. “This beautiful collection of poetry and prose leaves you inspired.”

Frankie Wills, a member of the band from 2015 to 2019, is currently finishing a BA in English at the University of Nottingham and returning to Ilkley to carry out his work alongside the cohort of young writers. She commented. “I know I wouldn’t have half the confidence I have today if I hadn’t decided to go for that first practice session. I will always be grateful for the wonderful memories.”

Tickets for the event are free and available to book now, and copies of the anthology can also be pre-ordered.


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