Young Enigma

Young Enigma is a not-for-profit community group that aims to support young and emerging writers who identify as LGBT.

young enigma mic

LGBT individuals often have specific needs that might not be met by mainstream organisations and we aim to meet those needs as best we can by promoting professional, emotional and social development through the arts.

We do this as a writing collective that creates new work for stage and page throughout the year, and through our associated artistic activities, such as the Young Enigma Awards, workshops with youth and community groups, and writing resources for schools and teachers in conjunction with our education partners: LGBT History MonthSchools Out and The Classroom (syndicated through the Times Education Supplement).

Online and in print, our work reaches over 100,000 people per year. Live and in person, our work has touched the lives of both regular audiences and newcomers to the arts. We have performed and shared work at festivals such as Manchester Literature Festival, Queer Contact, The Black & Asian Writers Conference & Festival, LGBT History Month, Greater Manchester Fringe, Black History Month and Manchester Pride Fringe.

We have a core group of over 40 writers/performers who put on salons, workshops and activities throughout the year, and who work in various settings to encourage engagement with arts and culture, develop and share skills, and combat homophobia and heterosexism in society.

Young Enigma was founded with initial support from Commonword, with subsequent support from Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts scheme, funded by the National Lottery.

The LGBT History Month Writers in Residence programme is supported by LGBT History Month, Schools OUT UK, Contact, Dog Horn Publishing and Sugar Media & Marketing. Each year we guide a handful of writers in contributing to OUTburst: Schools OUT UK’s Official Guide to LGBT History Month Magazine, which is published by Sugar Media and distributed direct to venues, schools, colleges, universities, charities, employers and community groups.

The Manchester Pride Writers in Residence programme, and our show ‘A Royal Wedding’, was supported by Manchester Pride and the Manchester Pride Fringe Fund.

The Young Enigma Awards were funded by Commonword and Manchester Archives+, in association with Dog Horn Publishing.

Our sister publication, Vada Magazine, publishes a range of young and emerging LGBT voices on topics such as culture and current events for an audience of over 225,000 readers per month.

For information about our patrons, take a look here.

*13-25, of any experience level
**18-35, with proven commitment to writing


Want to know how writing improves health and wellbeing? Look at this article in The New York Times, which discusses the evidence.

Want to know how the subsidised arts sector benefits the rest of the country? Take a look at this report from the Arts Council.

Want to know about the health inequalities facing LGBT people? Check out the Vital Issues report.

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