The Undiscovered Voices team is happy to answer any question related to the competition, however, you may find that your query has already been answered in our FAQs below. If not, please get in touch via the Contact Us page.
What do you mean by traditionally published?
If you have a contract and have been compensated by a publisher listed on SCBWI Published and Listed (PAL) list – found here: www.scbwi.org/list-of-pal-publishers then you are traditionally published. If your book is available through publishers who have charged you money to publish your book or organizations like Amazon which help you offer your book for sale then you are self-published, which is NOT considered traditionally published.
What if I’ve posted my manuscript on Wattpad or another similar website or app, am I still eligible?
We consider you self-published if you have produced printed or electronic copies of your book and made them available to the public for free or for a price. You are still eligible to submit work to Undiscovered Voices, but you may NOT submit a piece of writing that has been self-published anywhere.
What if I’ve published non-fiction? Am I still eligible?
If your name appears on the spine of a traditionally published book, then you are ineligible. If you’ve had material included in a non-fiction book — so you are not the only author — or if you’ve been published in magazines or newspapers, you are still eligible.
What if I’ve been published by the education market with stories, scripts, etc. that have only been available to teachers and librarians?
If you have been compensated and your name appears on cover/spine of a book published by a traditional publisher – whether it’s fiction, educational or non-fiction – then you are ineligible.
What if I’m an illustrator with an agent, can I still submit a novel extract to Undiscovered Voices?
If you have an agent for your illustration work then you are ineligible to enter Undiscovered Voices. The aim of the anthology is to give undiscovered talent a foot in the publishing door. If you have an agent then you have opportunities in the publishing industry.
What if I’ve submitted my manuscript to agent and editors already?
You may still submit an extract from a novel that has been on submission to editors and agents but is not under contract. If during the judging process and before the final shortlist announcement an agent wants to represent you or if an editor wants to purchase your work then you will need to contact us at email@example.com and withdrawal your submission to the anthology. Please do not submit an extract from a novel that has already been rejected by the editors and agents on the judging panel. Editors and agents remember submissions that they have rejected and will most likely not recommend your piece for the anthology.
The rules say that I may not resubmit any extract from a novel that I submitted for consideration in previous Undiscovered Voices anthologies. But what if I have revised my novel? Can I re-submit it then?
Only if by revised you mean substantially changed. Any resubmission should feel like a completely new piece. We really don’t recommend resubmitting your novel. If, for example, it has the same title, it may be excluded during our initial sort when we check eligibility. Also, we often find that what authors think of as a substantial re-write isn’t really.
Do I really need to have a completed novel?
When the anthology launches, editors and agents want to be able to sign up writers they like quickly. It is very rare for an editor or agent to do so on an extract. They will want to see what the whole book is like before agreeing to take you on. If your novel is not completed, then it will make it difficult for you to benefit from being a finalist. There is nothing more stressful than having an interested agent but nothing to send to them.
Is it okay if I send in an extract from a second or third book in a series?
As most readers would want to start at the beginning of series, so would our judges. Nothing shows a writer’s promise more clearly than how they engage readers from that first page of the novel. We’d recommend holding off writing sequels until you have interest in the first book of a series.
Why won’t illustrators be included in Undiscovered Voices 2020?
The SCBWI illustrator team is developing a new, separate project tailored to the specific needs of illustrators. We have been thrilled by the success of the 32 illustrators featured in four of the anthologies, but the anthology hasn’t proven to be the best vehicle to showcase illustration talent. As a result, the SCBWI illustrator team is working on creating a programme that we hope will produce even better results for SCBWI illustrators. We look forward to hearing more about what they have planned.