The programme of events, curated by the Department of Humanities, will see talented staff and graduates from the University leading talks about their latest works coupled with special masterclass events which will offer budding writers tips for success.
Novelist, creative writing MA graduate and nominee for the Women’s prize, Cherie Jones, will talk about her new book "How the One-armed Sister Sweeps Her House".
Set in Barbados, the novel focuses on four people each desperate to escape their legacy of violence in a so-called “paradise”.
Sheffield Poet Laureate, English and History graduate and Women’s Poetry Prize winner in 2020, Warda Yassin, will unveil her new poem, as part of the Text in the City programme which has poems mounted in public places across Sheffield.
Northern Gravy, a literary magazine set up by three recent graduates from the MA creative writing course, will showcase a new film about how they aim to give courage to those who want to try their hand at writing.
Senior lecturer in Creative Writing, Conor O’Callaghan, will discuss his highly acclaimed new novel, “We Are Not in the World” whilst fellow academic Chris Jones will lead a workshop on how to write poetry.
For those looking to brush up on grammar, senior lecturer in English Language, Jodie Clark, will also lead a free session on how to embrace grammar in your writing in “Grammar for Dreamers”.
We will also welcome poet, Kim Campanello, who will discuss her haunting poems about mother and baby homes in Ireland, whilst several highly acclaimed poets will also discuss their recent anthology “Poetry and Covid-19”.
Visitors to Sheffield Central Library and Millennium Gallery during the festival will also have an unexpected and innovative invitation to read through Short Story Dispensers.
These are in place all around the world from San Francisco to Melbourne, Paris to Philadelphia and now you can find them in Sheffield.
The Dispensers offer short stories and poems on different themes and allow readers to select how long they want the story or poem to be.
Former Mayor of Sheffield City Council and climate and race activist, Magid Magid, will discuss forms of “disruptive” publishing with Dr Tom Payne, senior lecturer in performance studies and Dr Julia Udall, senior lecturer in architecture, about how creative and disruptive acts of publishing might enable critical voices to be heard.
Hallam students also feature significantly in the programme too, with acting and performance students performing the family-friendly show “Awakenings” in the Crucible Studio and illustration students set to capture the essence of the festival by drawing images from different events that will be published on the Off the Shelf website.
The 50th anniversary of the building of the iconic Crucible Theatre will also be marked with a new podcast, the first two episodes of which will be released as part of the festival.
Deputy head of the Department of Humanities, Ashley Barnes, said: “It is with great pride that we are sharing some of the best creative writing work of our staff and graduates in this year’s festival, as well as encouraging others to take up their pen and to develop their own voice.
“Our aim is to be the world’s leading applied university so it’s going to be really exciting to hear from our successful graduates and industry-engaged staff. We are proud of our place in the region and our relationships with key cultural institutions, such as Sheffield Theatres.”