Writer Criteria

Find out more about previous Undiscovered Voices finalists here.

The anthology will present a selection of novel extracts from 5+ through to Young Adult and be sent to editors and agents in the UK. The anthology is produced thanks to the kind support of Working Partners Ltd. Please read the following criteria, rules and information to check you are eligible and to help you prepare your extract.

Submissions for UV2020 are now closed.

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Submission eligibility:

  • You must be a member in good standing of SCBWI and reside in the UK or one of the current countries of the EU or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries as listed here and here.
  • Only unagented writers may submit work for consideration. Writers must remain unagented until the anthology is officially released at the launch party in February 2020.
  • You must be an unpublished author. This means you have not had a book (including a picture book, novel, non-fiction book or collection of short stories) accepted for publication or currently published in any country. By ‘published’ we mean the author is credited on the front cover or title page of a book produced by a traditional publisher in any country. Authors who have only been published in newspapers, magazines, anthologies or non-print medium (i.e. radio, web, etc.) are eligible to submit.
  • Similarly authors who have ghost-written for book packagers or have self-published may submit work (but not an extract from any self-published work).
  • Any submissions that do not follow the following guidelines or include the appropriate information will be disqualified.


Submission rules:

  • Find out more about previous Undiscovered Voices finalists here.

    Your submission must be the opening of an already completed novel for children, aimed at any age from 5 years through to Young Adult. You may submit up to 4,000 words – choosing a suitable place to stop your extract. We advise not ending mid-sentence.

  • Your submission must be written in English.
  • No picture book texts will be considered.
  • Ensure that the name of your novel appears at the top of the first page of your submission.
  • You must include a synopsis of your novel at the end of the extract, which should be a maximum of 75 words. This is in addition to inputting it in the synopsis field of the submission form.
  • The author’s name must not appear anywhere on the extract or synopsis.
  • The document should be written in 12 point, with a page number on every page.
  • The document that is uploaded must be a .doc, .docx or .rtf file and must not be protected.
  • The name on the file you submit must be the title of your novel. If your novel title is too long, please use a shortened version of the title.
  • Only one submission per member.
  • You must fill in every required field in the online form, including a biography of a maximum of 50 words, written in the third person. Should you be selected, this is how it will appear in the anthology.
  • You may not resubmit any extract from a novel you submitted for consideration in previous Undiscovered Voices anthologies. Authors and illustrators included in previous anthologies may not submit an entry for the current anthology. Honorary mentions from previous anthologies may submit, as long as it is from a different novel.
  • Submissions must be entirely the original work of the author and must never have been published, self-published or published on any website.
  • Submissions should not include or require any graphic art or special fonts.



Submission information:

The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
Find out more about previous Undiscovered Voices finalists here.
  • There is no submission fee for this contest, but you must be a current member of SCBWI and live in the UK or one of the current countries of the EU or the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries as listed here and here.
  • The contest opens for entries on 1st June 2019. The deadline is midnight on 15th July 2019.
  • When submissions open, a link to an online form will appear on this website. Submissions are only accepted by this means. They will not be accepted by email or by post. SUBMISSIONS ARE NOW CLOSED.
  • By submitting your entry, you agree to give SCBWI-BI permission to publish and promote (both online and offline) the extract in the 2020 anthology together with your name, as it appears on the SCBWI roster, and email address. Please note in the specified field if you would prefer to use a pen name in the anthology.
  • A panel of children’s book editors and agents will make the final selection for the anthology, and the long-list will be announced in December 2019 and the selected entries will be revealed in January 2020.
  • The ebook will be produced in early 2020 and copies of the anthology will be distributed free of charge to a comprehensive list of UK children’s book editors and agents, as well as a select list of US agents and editors.
  • The authors of the selected works will receive one copy of the anthology (in ebook format). In addition, they will receive judges’ written comment sheets on their work. The selected authors will be invited to attend a ‘getting discovered’ workshop in January 2020 and the book launch party in February 2020 to meet in person with the judges and other agents and editors who attend.
  • To become a member of SCBWI, visit https://www.scbwi.org/join-scbwi/. For membership queries, please email membership@scbwi.org. You can find out more information at www.scbwi.org or www.britishscbwi.org.
  • Copyright remains with the author.
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • No corrections or alterations can be made to submissions after receipt. The selected pieces will be proofread prior to publication.
  • Entry implies acceptance of the rules and eligibility criteria, as listed above.
  • A list of selected authors and honorary mentions will be posted in the ‘Latest News’ section of this website once the judging is final and the results are compiled.
  • You can contact us with any queries about the anthology, the submissions process, rules or eligibility at: uv (at) britishscbwi.org