Mentor

statue at rievaulx

Between the mentor and the mentee is the work. As a mentor my interest lies in working with you to achieve your writing goals.

I will be a thorough and careful reader of your work; a supportive and empathetic communicator. Your work is yours – and my approach is to enable the growth of your work as you envisage it.

Maybe we won’t always work on the writing, focusing instead on your writing self, on your process, practice and resilience. I hope to help you learn to negotiate tricky periods in your writing life, so you feel more confident in your work and creative processes.

In the main, the mentoring meets will be monthly, face to face or virtually, to discuss your writing (the amount to be arranged between us) and if applicable other aspects of your work, such as time management, motivation, confidence, goal-setting etc.

At the end of the mentoring, you will have a clear idea of what you have achieved and a plan of where to go next.

What does it Cost? and Other Answers

I charge £150 per meeting, including the reading and research time.

Each meeting will be an hour and a half long. I’m based in the North West of England and if you can travel here, we can meet in person. If that’s not possible, for the same price I offer distance mentoring by email, phone or Skype.

I recommend monthly meetings, but this is negotiable.

I offer 10% discount to previous clients. If you feel you have a case for a lower rate, please get in touch.

I am also happy to advise you if you want to apply for ACE funding to support a mentoring project. Again, just get in touch.

Meeting and consultations cancelled with less than 48 hours notice are non-refundable. I’ll issue you with a contract before we begin.

 

Writing workshops

writing workshopsI have led writing workshops in adult education, prisons, primary schools, with undergraduates, for the  Continuing Education Department at Lancaster University,  on an annual week-long residential at The French House Experience, for the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) and The Poetry School (online) and many other short term and individual projects.

My particular interests lie in life and poetry writing. I have also led workshops on performance skills, writing from the body, self-publishing and editing.

I believe all workshops provide fertile ground for ideas and discussion and don’t expect people to produce final drafts or even work they may want to share. The workshop is precisely that: a place to explore, chisel and glue ideas. They offer the chance to hear what other writers write, read or think, to play and dip you toe into new waters and with any luck to leave stimulated, thinking thoughts you’d not had before, and confident in writing more.

What other people have said

Thanks for the talk. You were brill. All the students really enjoyed it and benefited a lot. So did I! It was really good to think about things in terms of what works for you individually.

Excellent tutor, fascinating subject!

One of the best managed/facilitated courses I have ever attended. Enhanced my listening to and respect of other people’s voices enormously.

I thought Sarah did a great job of keeping us on track and not preventing diversions. She clearly knows her stuff and how to deliver it.

Thank you, it has changed my life.

Sarah really is a genius. The way she got such a mixed bag of people to unlock their inner creativity was amazing.

Sarah, from the start, put everyone at their ease and used an amazing array of techniques and games to allow us all to tap into our own creativity.

Sarah was organised, approachable and clearly knowledgable about all aspects of creative writing and, importantly for me, the processes of creativity. I was inspired by the way she encouraged us to write for ourselves, be decisive and find our own meaning, rather than following rules, or relying too much on the opinions of writing groups.

Sarah Hymas is ingeniously clever as a creative writing tutor, and I thoroughly enjoyed her series of intense tasks and more informal parlour games, each a mind manipulation intent on making one use your imagination and freedom of expression. For me, Sarah was the perfect choice of tutor at the French  House Party Experience mini break, and would undoubtedly be equally ideal for all other such workshops.

Get in touch if you would like to discuss ideas for a workshop.
Email: sehymas at gmail dot com

Projects

For over thirty years I’ve worked in the literature world, in publishing, producing events and tours, on writing commissions, making artistbooks and zines for myself and others, and running workshops in a variety of environments, such as prisons, community centres, day-care centres, hospices, schools and universities.

Recent Projects


Past Projects

022-launch
Arc International Poetry Tour
A UK-wide tour international poets,
for Arc Publications.

 
Going Back a Bit

There are a few interviews with myself and Jo Brandon at Cadaverine magazine, and with Jenn Ashworth on the Lancashire Writing Hub.

I wrote call and response poems with Jo Brandon for Like Starlings, an online collaborative project that was enormous fun.

I was poet in residence for Calderdale Libraries, finding ways to encourage people to read more poetry. I organised events, ran reading groups, seminars and was involved in making a large book with two artists, John Lyons and Hafsah Naib, to display in the libaries to celebrate the joy of reading

Recent Work

spottydogsarah

Backfoot, a short story, featured as a Sunday short on Litro.

A version of ‘this wall’ is up at The Clearing. The complete piece features in melt, due from Waterloo Press in Autumn 2020. (A longer version of this was shortlisted for the 2019 Hinterland Competition).

In June 2017 Recovery was shortlisted for the Ivan Juritz prize for Creative Experiment. An artistbook of the piece is held by the Poetry Library, London.

”If / this is prophecy’ – considering futurity in the work of Jorie Graham’ is an article rising from my PhD thesis, appearing in Women a Cultural Review 

Extract from the melt sequence appeared in the Modernist Review,  2020

A couple of poems feature on And Other Poems, including one which was commended for the Forward Prize in 2019

 

I’ve had poems published in magazines including, New Writing 15, Magma, The Rialto, Poetry Wales, Warwick Review, Washington Square Review, Stand, Tadeeb, Keystone, Iota, Staple, Tears in the Fence, Rain Dog, The Leeds Guide, Orbis, Agenda, The Slab, Smiths Knoll, Shadowtrain, Cadenza, Raconteur.

 

My work has also appeared in multimedia exhibits, dance videos, theatre programmes, pamphlets, public installations and used as lyrics.

 

 

 

 

Hymas&Lewis

wired in march 2012 2sm

Hymas&Lewis
         met in 2004 and have been mucking about, performing and cooking up eerie and immersive soundscapes, ever since. We’ve given performances around the North West, including at the Manchester Museum, Lost Voice, Liverpool, Manchester’s Green Room, Preston Harris Museum and The Barbara Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield , and at Literature festival including StAnza, Ilkley and Lancaster. 

Beaufort

A Sunder A Hymas&Lewis track, recorded at The Green Room, Manchester

What’s a choice to do nothing? A Hymas&Lewis track, recorded at Lost Voices, Liverpool. Audio only

Artistbooks

*all artistbooks should be available either through paypal.
If the button isn’t working, then mail me: sehymas@ gmail [dot] com

Press Play

Two non-lingual narratives spring and spill out in small interlinked square panels, of indigo brush and ink markings on deliciously tactile, white Parquemarque paper. Made for sharing joy in difficult times, these artistbooks come in pairs: one for you and one for a friend / colleague / relative / neighbour / someone who’d welcome a little joy in their life. When you order, just add the address of your designated playmate and any message you’d like (if you’d like) written in pencil on the reverse.
£10 (inc p+p) for two. Edition of 30.

postage options (please include the additional address)

Swallow

Simple A3 zine, cut and folded into an A6 sized-illustrated booklet,  unfolding into a spiraling repetition of swimmer image.
£5 +p&p Edition of 20.

This cautious response to the first three weeks of lockdown during the Covid19 pandemic attempts to balance fear with hope.

Sea of whiteness, as glacier

130mm square (folded) cartridge paper, waxed linen thread and blue triangular text elements.
£7.50 (+p&p) Edition of 40

A non-linear, three dimensional artistbook containing a poem inspired by Sara Ahmed’s ‘Phenomenology of Whiteness’, climate change, glacial retreat and the attempt to gauge an unfamiliar landscape. Where does the poem begin? How might a glacier be read? This artistbook explores the folds between human and ice, language and space, reader and world.

“‘Sea of whiteness as glacier’ is an intriguing concept. I like it as an artefact … and I like the fact that that there’s no obvious sequence – that you can read the snippets in any order that you want “

You can get more of a sense of the book here 

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Recovery

Lorenzo 120/95 gsm, hardbacked cloth covered. Edition of 5.
Please contact me directly with enquiries

An expanding artistbook based on the Ivan Juritz Prize (2017) shortlisted poem.  A co-worlding of human and ocean, Recovery operates across multiple timescales. A single tickertape line of oceanic time, following the breakdown of plastics across long pages of the book, is punctuated by foldout intervals of tidal time, documenting the collection of plastic debris from the shoreline. 

watch a short demo of Recovery here

How to be more than human
7x7cm square book with fold out pages, spine and waxed thread stitching/wrap
£7.50 (+p&p) Edition of 50

A how-to guide, a pocket survival manual for the curious and creatively adventurous among us. Playing between physical, image and text, this octobook celebrates that most extraordinary of creatures by attempting to emulate it. With eight fold-out pages, your book could be one of two colours, depending on its environment or mood. Illustrations made from paper cut.

And if you want to really immerse yourself, read it alongside This fascinating In Our Time (R4) on cephalopods

Octobooks are now sold out

Wild Swan

A3 illustrated concertina with belly band.
£5 (+p&p) Unlimited edition

The unofficial sequel to Hans Anderson’s fairy tale. Stories do not end. Humans have wings. This is a world that is both unfamiliar and deeply expansive, hopeful for how we might choose to live.

Wave Motion
An extended concertina of card and paper, with expanding spine.
£10 (&p+p). Edition of 40

Two companion sonnets on the function and beauty of waves, making distinct yet comparable the ocean and the plastic within it.

“… belongs in the outer reaches of the [pamphlet] format. Passport-sized and delicate, Hymas’s pamphlet opens out like a concertina when you grip its cover. The two sonnets on the pages that unfold describe standing in open water, waves sucking at the speaker’s legs … This is not the wholesome fish-bright water of travel supplements but a modern skew flaky with plastic…” Leaf Arbuthnot. TLS (2017)

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A Dock is not a Solid Thing
A Jacob’s ladder format of blue / white two tone card, ribbon and a steel fastener.
£10 (&p+p). Edition of thirty.

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Seven poems on docks, boatbuilding, maritime trade and lighthouses. The binding, a delicate and ingenious design, conveys the movement of water and precarious nature of maritime industries.

“I do especially appreciate it when a pamphlet comes along where the form reflects the content, where the theme is tightly bound, when everything from top to bottom has been considered when being crafted.” Read more of Claire Trévien’s review here

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There is no Night
(illustrated card, tracing paper sleeve cover with silver birch bark detail. Handstitched binding.) Reindeer image by Justus Raatikainen.
£5 each ( p&p).

there is no night

Set in a Finnish summer ‘There is no Night’ is a modern day fable on love and the troll within us all, while tracing the shifting borders of relationships and water. How do we love another and simultaneously ourselves?

This tender, lightly melancholic long poem plays with union and independence, absence and presence, turning ultimately hopeful.
Read more here
If you want one sending as a gift, please add  any personal message to your paypal instructions and the giftee’s (is that a word?) address.

Reader feedback: “Thank you for this. I’ve read it twice now but it feels like the kind of poem that will grow with every reading. I love the ‘vessel’ you have made for it – so clever. As you said on your blog – in the end it asks for simplicity – but that’s quite hard to achieve.

“As for the poem, I’m finding it hard to start spilling words about it, but I love the way it makes me feel – quiet and still, in the presence of mystery, sad and hopeful. It’s beautiful.” 

In Good Weather the Sign Outside reads Danger Quicksand

Letterpress cover, transparent photographic end-papers, card, recycled rubber band binding, 2014) .  
£8 + p&p Edition of 48
Also available from the Bookartbookshop N1 6HB

In Good Weather 1

A sequence of four prose poems expose a relationship between storm surges and domesticity. Multiple time frames hide and appear within the folded card sections, playing with how past, present and imagination co-exist.

Semi-opaque end-papers add to the layering of the pieces. This is a playful puzzle and beautiful handmade design.

“The writing impresses too. Whether lyric tetralogy, or four ‘flash chapters’, this account of a relationship weathering threat adroitly meshes natural, medical, and meta-fictional imagery, and anchors its wealth of detail with a taut yet understated line to the heart. The narrative arc is clear, yet travels far, the prose glistens with precise, musical phrase…”  Naomi Foyle. Read the rest of the review here.

“Wonderful. Quite wonderful. In every way. Thank you.” TL, a reader

“The writing is, for the most part, tight, limpid and almost matter-of-fact. There are moments of acute visual perception, as when the sea water beating against the window means the ‘glass isn’t to look through any more, but to look at’…A pleasure to read in every sense.” Billy Mills on Elliptical Movements

Sea Creatures

Chart section end-papers, illustrated pastel paper, waxed linen hand-stitched binding. 2013 £6.00 + p&p

sea creatures

A collection of encounters with sea-creatures of the air, water and a sailor’s imagination. These poems are fresh, simple and joyful descriptions of the sea’s ecology and the reactions provoked by it. Charts illustrate the richly textured paper, adding to the experience of the reader as seafarer.
“This small hand-stitched rectangular pamphlet is a delightful blending of design and poetry, which work together perfectly…” Angela Topping

“Sarah makes these beautiful creations in which the form of publication and poems intertwine to make a whole. Sea-creatures features maps and torn pages that echo the tide, Lune streams like the river it’s named for across the page. Both publications are full of salt and water; there are mussels, brittle stars, selkies, seabirds, and a multitude of ‘fragments of one world…washed up by another’. ” Claire Dean

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Lune

£2 +p&p

Runner Up for Best Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards 2013

A long poem set at the mouth of the Lune estuary, rich in imagery and allusion, place and atmosphere. It examines the relationship between land and sea and sea and man, in layers that connect and distance. Subtle, delicate, confident. You can read an excerpt here

“Lune: a leash for a hawk; fits of lunacy; a crescent formed by the overlapping of two circles; a crescent moon; a river whose tidal estuary is at Plover Scar, Lancashire; a poem in five sections printed as a neat concertina pamphlet; subject of these reviews:

 “Lune appears as a whisper. Beautifully and carefully intimate. And once you have fallen into it, it starts to tell you secrets. It is the kind of poem you could fall in love with…” is only the beginning, in Annexe Magazine

Lune is a rich addition to this contemporary pastoral tradition: part narrative, part evocation of land- and sea-scape, part metaphysical meditation on what the world is and what it is to be in that world. The title in the first instance derives from the river, but the other definitions of lune that I referred to in the opening paragraph of this review all seemed to me to come to bear on the poem as I read it.” Billy Mills in Sabotage

Lune is featured in The Guardian Books Blog as an excellent example of its form.

Testimonials

Ceremony
Sarah and I talked for a long while about the key persons in my life that the ceremony revolved around .  Through Sarah’s patient listening and wise questions we identified the main area to focus on. During the preparation of the ceremony I felt supported and respected as Sarah guided me through the process. I also benefited from Sarah’s  patient, caring and enthusiastic approach and felt full ownership of the final ceremony which marks an important transition in my life
Thank you very much!
Hanneke

 Whenever Sarah is involved in a project, I breathe a sigh of relief. Partly this is because she’s reliable, organised, and brings cheery professionalism to her work. More, though, it is because her attention to detail encompasses the finer points of any production and what each individual involved hopes to achieve. That she is able to steer a straight course away from the dodgier suggestions is another reason that I grab the chance to work with her whenever I can. Rebecca

I would trust Sarah to hold any space, be it joyful or sombre, to ensure the occasion was respectful and relaxed. Diana

Sarah’s background as a performance poet shows in her keen sense of timing and delivery, engaging her audience creatively and according to the requirements of material and events.  Whether reciting her own work or that of others, Sarah’s clarity and expression give due recognition to the significance of words… Sarah has an eye for detail, sets high standards, has a feel for the uniqueness of celebratory occasions and also has a sense of fun.  Sarah’s creative flair is also evident in her awareness of the importance of space, colour and layout to both a room and printed materials in contributing to the feel of an event.  I feel this combination of factors, as well as her many other skills and talents, would enable her to provide a memorable ceremony tailored to and expressive of the desires and needs of the individuals involved.  Sandra

Tailormade Poems
Thank you so much for your work, it makes a very special gift. Catherine

Thanks for the poem – it is so lovely – exactly what I wanted without knowing what I wanted! Jenn

I am very honoured that you have written this wonderful poem for me. Thank you again: it was a beautiful tribute. Mary

The service you’re supplying with Tailormade is unique. It’s a really imaginative thing and incredibly good value when you consider what it is you’re doing. I think it’s a privilege to have access to poets like that, and to ask you to write a poem. Paul

You have done what I asked, captured and celebrated the energy and spirit of my aunt in a great ‘yes’ poem and it moved me to tears. Thanks for using your magic to stitch together memories and moments of my aunt. Sandie

I was delighted by the poem you wrote for my final Munro… It was a complete surprise, and a very original and imaginative idea … the poem relates a lot to me and my tastes and foibles: food, drink, music, habits and even an oblique reference to my mathematical background . And you incorporated these references into metaphors for my progress in the long quest over all those hills. I very much like the result, in particular the way you use the devices of language in an unsentimental way, so that they (metaphors etc.) work more on the parallels of ideas and thence reach their effect. I suppose this accords with my character – and you haven’t even met me! Tim

I was really bowled over by my poem. It is so personal and the details of my life so simply and beautifully expressed. Joan

We can’t thank you enough for the lovely card and absolutely beautiful poem. We have shown this off to everyone and will be getting it framed. We really will treasure it forever, so thank you for an incredibly special and personal gift. Katy