About Matter 2018

What is it?

Matter is a collection of creative works from the writers of Sheffield Hallam University, with a new edition published annually. This year, we’re going hell for leather to make Matter 2018 the biggest and best one yet! All content is written and edited by our students or alumni of Sheffield Hallam University, with exclusive contributions from esteemed guest writers. Matter 2018 is our way of showcasing the fantastic work emanating from Sheffield Hallam whilst providing a publishing platform for new writers.


Our vision is simple: to make writing matter. Creative Writing is an integral platform for self-expression that can help millions of people across the world. Writing doesn’t have barriers and doesn’t discriminate. We’re all for inclusivity at Sheffield Hallam University, so our small but mighty contribution is Matter; a unique and inspiring publication showcasing the work of people whose lives have changed through writing.


Let’s work together and Make Writing Matter

Do your best to share this page, follow us on twitter @Writing_Matter and Facebook like ‘Making Matter 2018’.

Featured Guest Contributors

Julianne pachico



Julianne was short-listed for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year 2017 for her debut novel The Lucky Ones and is the only writer to have two short stories published in the 2015 anthology of the Best British Short Stories. Julianne has a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing and teaches Creative Writing at SHU.

Jacob Polley



Jacob won the T.S Eliot Prize in 2016 for his fourth collection of poems Jackself. Other work includes The Brink, Little Gods and The Havocs, all published by Picador.  His first novel, Talk of the Town won as well as a Somerset Maugham Award in 2010.

Steve earnshaw


Steve Earnshaw



Steven Earnshaw’s debut short story collection, Memory Clinic, was published in 2016. His work has appeared in various magazines, while other publications include The Pub in Literature and Existentialism. The Existential Drinker will be out at the back end of 2018. He lives in Sheffield.

Phil whelans


Phil Whelans


Phil is a comedy writer & performer. He did both in two series of his BBC Radio 4 sitcom My First Planet and Pros from Dover,who were the resident sketch team for R4’s The Infinite Monkey Cage. Other Radio 4 shows include Date with Fate and The Barkers v. The Rest of the World. Phil’s written and performed with an unsettlingly broad spectrum of people on TV and Radio, from Chris Morris to Basil Brush via Joan Rivers, Kevin Eldon, Chris Tarrant and Brian Conley.

ian mcmillan


Ian Mcmillan



Ian was born in 1956 in a village near Barnsley. He wanted to be a writer all the way through his schooldays, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. All the books he got out the library were written by people who live in Surrey, not the Yorkshire Coalfield. In 1981, he went freelance with the aid of a little grant from Yorkshire Arts and he hasn’t looked back since. 


John beatty



john beatty


John Beatty has been acclaimed as one of the most exciting and stimulating nature, travel and adventure photographers to have emerged in recent years. John’s work is chiefly concerned with the timeless rhythms of the natural environment, its beauty and simplicity and man’s place within it. Now in his thirty-fifth year of business, he has travelled throughout the natural world.


helen mort


Helen Mort


Helen Mort was born in Sheffield, grew-up in Derbyshire and studied Social and Political Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge. She has published two pamphlets with Tall-Lighthouse Press, The Shape of Every Box, and A Pint for the Ghost. Five times winner of the Foyle Young Poets Award, she received an Eric Gregory Award, from The Society of Authors in 2007, and won the Manchester Young Writers Prize in 2008. In 2010, she became the youngest ever poet in residence at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. Her first full collection, Division Street (Chatto & Windus, 2013), was shortlisted for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Costa Prize. Landscape is an important presence in her writing, and many of her poems were composed while walking or running in the Cumbrian Fells. No Map Could Show Them (Random House, 2016) , her second collection, delivers odes to the women who dared to break new ground. “Helen Mort is among the brightest stars in the sparkling new constellation of young British Poets” (Carol Ann Duffy). 


Al mCclimens


Al McClimens

Photo Credit: Denise Setterington


Al McClimens is a 2017 graduate of SHU’s MA Creative Writing programme. That was then. He is now an unemployed waster, Scrabble fan and lapsed plagiarist. He reads a novel a week, writes a poem a day and never shuts up about it. His literary ambition is to oust Don ‘Dundee’ Paterson from his position as UK sonnet king. The revolution starts here.



I’m an ex-Sheffield Hallam Student, can I apply?

YES! We are welcoming submissions from Alumni as well as current students. So get writing, then head over to our ‘Submissions’ page to enter.

What’s the Word Limit on Submissions?

It depends on the category you wish to apply for. Head over to our ‘Submit’ page to find out all the information regarding submissions. If you’re struggling, hit the ‘Contact Us’ button, and we’ll be happy to help.

How Will I Know if I’ve Been Successful?

You will receive a reply email to the address you used when submitting your piece. This will come Mid-March (date to be confirmed). In the interest of fairness and equality, please ensure you do not provide us with your name on your submitted piece.

I’ve Only Been Writing a Short While, Can I still Submit?

YES. The team at Matter are proud to be inclusive and welcome applicants from all sorts of backgrounds and experience. We would encourage you to have a go, who knows – you could be the next best seller.

Can I Submit Before the Deadline Day?

Yes. Submissions are open now. The deadline is just to ensure we have adequate time to properly read through submissions and give everybody a fair chance of success. If you are ready before the 18th February, submit then.

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