Living Amy Commissions

Living Amy is an exciting collection of 12 brand new writing commissions. We put out a call to writers, animators, film makers, bloggers and podcasters, inviting them to submit their ideas for creative narratives that would bring Amy to life for the young people of today – and they certainly didn’t disappoint!

Amy’s life was jam packed with so many different episodes. Our writers have taken up the challenge, retelling her inspirational story through everything from comics to film, performances and blogs, which are all unfolding throughout the festival.

Living Amy is supported by the James Reckitt Library Trust and developed in association with Hull Libraries.

My Spirit Found Outlet in the Air

Young women of Hull take to the air and experience Amy’s pioneering spirit

How does it feel to take to the air for the first time? The essence of flight and the infinite possibility of youth are brought together in this specially commissioned short film by BAFTA nominated Ruth Carslaw. Working with members of Hull Aero Club and young people from Hessle Road Youth Network and weaving in archive footage of Amy from 1930, this is a film full of jaw dropping exuberance.


Girl with The Silver Wings

Rebellious, stubborn and defiant – Amy is a girl ahead of her time

Meet Amy Johnson, rebel and record breaker. The Girl with Silver Wings, written by Liz McPherson, is an illustrated e-book for young people with less reading stamina and those with English as an additional language. Interest level, teen. Reading level, 11 years +

Free download, available through Hull Libraries Service ‘Borrowbox’ system.

Queen of Air

The young woman from Hull who shadowboxed with fear…..

Poet Joe Kriss and BAFTA nominated filmmaker Annie Watson have collaborated on making this stunning film poem, which combines an original poem with moving images projected onto buildings and locations around Hull.


The Wind and the Weather      

There is nobody in the sky here, nobody but Amy and her plane

There’s something extraordinary about being in the air above half the earth, about stopovers in places you’ll never see again, about getting into a plane one angry spring and emerging in a late hot autumn. What choices would you make along the way? Let your imagination fly with this interactive digital story from game designers Matheson Marcault, and follow Amy’s astonishing flight from England to Australia.

View the game HERE.


No Horizons

17 & 18 August

Your library is the route to Australia! Follow our Amy and hear her story as she winds her hand-held camera through its shelves, weaving between the thousands of books that have become mountains, seas and deserts. This fascinating live theatre piece blends blend of storytelling and videography to take you on the epic journey of a woman who knew no horizons.

Wednesday 17 Aug

1.15 – 1.30pm – Central Library, Albion St, Hull HU1 3TF
3.30 – 3.45pm – Central Library, Albion St, Hull HU1 3TF, followed by a children’s drama workshop until 4.30pm with writer Tom and actress Cilla.

Thursday 18 Aug

10.30am – 10.45am – Fred Moore Library, Wold Road, Hull HU5 5UN
2.30 – 2.45pm – Western Library, 254 Boulevard Hessle Road HU3 3ED

The Workshop!

Create your own tale of adventure and peril with this workshop on storytelling, writing and performing. The writer and director of ‘No Horizons’ invites potential heroines and heroes to learn how to create and tell their own stories in the style of the show, culminating in a short performance by the workshop participants for their parents. Only the brave should apply!

Suitable for 7-11 year olds.

Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance through the Children’s Library 01482 210000.



It’s 1931 and Amy embarks on her most perilous flight yet….this time to Moscow.

Against all advice, Amy made her first flight to Moscow in atrocious weather in mid winter. What did Soviet Russia make of this young woman from Hull who’d flown there all on her own? Who did she meet and why? We asked Bob Moulder & Andy Messer to investigate and together they created Jason, a beautiful full colour comic. Buy your copy and read all about Amy’s daring flight in her beloved De Havilland Gipsy Moth.

Jason will be on sale in our festival shop in Zebedee’s Yard, as well as various other locations throughout the city.

A Living Amy Commission supported by James Reckitt Library Trust


Being Amy

‘As soon as The Squad began talking about Amy, they heard her voice’

Discover flights of sound hidden round the city. Listen to the young Amy, a Hull bound dreamer, meet her older self – traveler, socialite and one of the greatest aviators in the history of flight. Local members of The Writing Squad were specially commissioned to create this series of short sound pieces, available online and through your QR code reader! Wander the streets of Hull and listen….

View Being Amy website


Amy in Love  

Even before she became famous, Amy’s life was thrillingly turbulent

Amy was certainly a rebellious young woman! Amy in Love looks at her life as a teenager living in Hull in the early 1900s, and how she began a daring love affair with a foreign businessman that was bound to end in tears. Specially commissioned by the Amy Johsnon Festival from the acclaimed artist/writer partnership Carol Adlam and Helen Cross.

Download Amy in Love

Flying Through These Streets

How did the city of Hull prepare a young girl for a life in the skies?

This short film takes a different look at the formative years of Amy Johnson’s life in Hull, revisiting her birthplace and the streets where she lived with her family.

Amy’s time in Hull was vital to her subsequent life as a ground-breaking aviatrix. From long, solitary bike rides when playing truant from school, to organising illicit swimming events and leading the ‘straw hat rebellion’, award-winning film maker Dave Lee (Here, Bridge For The Living and This Be The Verse) and writer Dave Windass (Sully, Revolutions) explore what made the girl the pioneering woman that the world would fall in love with.

Lee’s dream-like cinematography combines with Windass’s prose and poetry in order to question and explore whether Amy’s upwards trajectory in adulthood was fated. Voiced by Sarah Naughton and filmed on the streets of Hull.


#I Am Amy – Letters from Tomorrow

So, what would you say to young 1920s Amy from Hull?

On social media throughout the Festival

‘I was perfectly horrid last night.’

The language might be different, but when it comes to the emotional turmoil Amy faced as a young woman, not much has changed. Sarah Wilkinson’s blog features fictional ‘replies’ to a selection of Amy’s real letters to her boyfriend Hans. Follow #IamAmy throughout the Festival and get involved!

Extracts from original letters are reproduced by kind permission of Hull History Centre, custodians of Amy Johnson’s letters.


Letters from Amy

Amy writes home about all the challenges that face her in her quest for change and excitement

Posted online each Monday throughout July and August

Through eight fictional letters, Amy tells her family and friends about her move to London after leaving Sheffield University, the thrill of discovering a passion for flying, and her battle to gain her engineer’s licence. Specially commissioned from writer Laura Turner, with thanks to Hull History Centre, custodians of Amy Johnson’s original letters.

The Amy Johnson Fan Club

You need three things to fly: guts, goggles and a plane. Emily has two. She doesn’t need the plane, coz she’s a Superhero.

Our girl loves Amy – a little too much. Because Amy was cool, broke records, wore boots. But Emily? She’s just a scruffy kid from Hessle Road, with one special talent. She can fly. Without a plane. A one-woman show by award winning writer Rob Young, performed by Hull based actress Charlie Sellers.

There will be a Q&A session after the first night with the writer and actor.

Visit page for more details.    But Tickets