Thursday 20th May 2021
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Word by Word Collective has landed, and we are thrilled to launch ourselves into the world.

In May 2021, we invite you to the launch for our workshop series, Word by Word Presents. As our very first public event, this will be an online evening in several parts, open to anyone, available from anywhere. We'll also be sharing our very first zine, Issue 1: Rebirth.

Tickets for the event can be found here and are free to purchase.

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Part I 

Warda Yassin in Conversation with Nikesh Shukla

Instagram Live, 7pm via @wbywcollective

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Streaming over Instagram Live, Sheffield's Poet Laureate, Warda Yassin will be leading a Q&A with author and screenwriter, Nikesh Shukla (7pm, 40 minutes). Afterwards, the session will be opened up for audience members to ask their own questions. 

Warda Yassin is an award-winning British born Somali poet and secondary school teacher based in Sheffield. She was a winner of the 2018 New Poets Prize for her debut pamphlet Tea with Cardamom (Poetry Business, published 2019). Her poetry has been published in places like The North, Magma and Oxford Poetry, and anthologised in Verse Matters (Valley Press), Anthology X (Smith|Doorstep), Halfway Smile & Surfing the Twilight (Hive). From October 2020 she took on the role of Sheffield Poet Laureate. She is currently running the Mixing Roots project for young people of colour with Hive South Yorkshire. She has performed at various festivals and open mic nights including Ilkley Festival, Off the Shelf Festival of Words and Verse Matters, and has read with talents such as Hollie McNish, Jean Binta Breeze and Kayo Chingonyi.

Nikesh Shukla is a novelist and screenwriter. He is the author of Coconut Unlimited (shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award), Meatspace and the critically acclaimed The One Who Wrote Destiny. Nikesh is a contributing editor to the Observer Magazine and was previously their columnist. Nikesh is the editor of the bestselling essay collection, The Good Immigrant, which won the reader's choice at the Books Are My Bag Awards. He co-edited The Good Immigrant USA with Chimene Suleyman. He is the author of two YA novels, Run, Riot (shortlisted for a National Book Award) and The Boxer (longlisted for the Carnegie Medal). He is the co-founder of the literary journal, The Good Journal and The Good Literary Agency. Nikesh is a fellow of the Royal Society Of Literature and a member of the Folio Academy. Nikesh’s new book, Brown Baby: A Memoir Of Race, Family And Home will be released on Bluebird in February 2021.

Part II

Zoom Webinar 8:10pm

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Hosted by Project Lead, Makeda Krish, the Zoom webinar will invite Warda and Nikesh to share readings of their work. 


Word by Word Presents: An Introduction

Members from the collective will tell you more about our very exciting project, how it started and our mission. We'll also discuss some of the writers we've been lucky enough to collaborate with for the 2021-2022 workshop series. Further information about the project can be found here.




Issue 1: Rebirth

“Rebirth is constant in one’s life cycle. It means changing and evolving from one phase to the next. It is beautiful, painful and sometimes unexplainable.”

Katie, Word by Word Member 

Designed by the amazing Zara Shasore and Ilayda Bakare, the zine is our very first published work. As a collaborative project between all of Word by Word Collective, this is a showcase of writings, poetry and accompanying illustrations all surrounding the notion of 'Rebirth'. Many of these pieces were the product of the writers' workshops from April 2020 - March 2021. We are thrilled to be sharing this with anyone who would like to read, purchase and explore our writing.

Our Zine can be pre-ordered here.


Our Writing So Far: Readings & Performances

Drawing the evening to a close, we invite you to hear some writings of Word by Word so far. Members of the collective will read and perform their writing, with the intention of sharing it in the way it should be heard. This part of the launch is inspired from our radio show at Hypertext Virtual Book Fair Festival, presented by Makeda in November 2020. From poetry to reflective prose, we hope you enjoying hearing our work so far.