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Jess de Beer

Jess won the Matthew Hale Award 2020 after being nominated by her English teacher. She has since joined New Writing North Young Writers sessions online, and hopes to join the South Shields Young Writers group once in-person sessions resume. She used her award money to receive some mentoring from writer, director and producer Emma Hill.



Since winning the Mathew Hale Award I have been showered with incredible opportunities from NWN.

Before being involved with them I had a horrendous time with education and left school unsure on what I wanted to do with my life. Now I have found a passion for writing and film.

I spent my prize on four weeks of mentoring with Emma Hill which was an excellent decision. I have learnt valuable tips for my writing (especially how to get into the routine of writing and how to easily plan my stories), and Emma also gave me insight into the media industry, explaining job roles and her experiences. I am excited to put all of the advice to good use in my future career!

The sessions with Emma not only progressed my skills but also my confidence, chatting with Emma about my past experiences and hearing her words of encouragement has helped me find a belief in myself that has only recently appeared.

Jess de Beer, 2020


Emma Hill, Jess’s mentor, said: “Jess is a remarkable person with huge potential. The experience of mentoring her was hugely beneficial for me, as well as it being a great opportunity for Jess to ask questions, to steer the process to the things she most wanted to know more about and to feel like she had ownership of the way we were working together.

The team at New Writing North supported Jess and myself incredibly well with the mentoring process and made a great match, in putting the two of us together. I have done lots of different kinds of mentoring, coaching and facilitating over the years and had some wonderful experiences. This work with Jess has been one of my favourite mentoring experiences and has enthused and inspired me to do more of this work again.”

Jess de Beer

Discover more of our Young Writers participants on our Impact page 

Find out more about New Writing North Young Writers and how to take part here

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