Past Finalists A to F

We’re always excited to hear the latest news from our writers and illustrators since their anthology debut! Find out what they’re up to now and check out some of the amazing 440+ titles published since the first Undiscovered Voices!

This list is alphabetical covering all finalists with surnames A to F. The year of the anthology and the finalist’s category is included with each entry.

Laure Allain (Illustrator – UV 2018)

LAURE Allain

Laure Allain is a Brussels-based illustrator and author.

She has studied Dutch and English literature and linguistics and – more recently – graphic storytelling.

In the past, she has worked as a researcher, editor and teacher.

When she is not working, she is busy chasing after her toddler and her parakeet.

Anne ML Anderson (Writer – UV 2010)

Anne writes for children and teens about the messy juxtaposition between beauty, fantasy, and gritty reality.

She has an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University and currently lives in Illinois.

When she’s not writing, she’s happiest working with children, cooking, travelling, and curling up with a good book.

Twitter: @annemleone

Website: Critically Yours Blog

Alex Atkinson (Writer – UV 2022)

Alex loves scary books. She blames a childhood spent playing murder-in-the-dark and listening to her dad’s blood-curdling bedtime stories.

Her UV 2022 anthology entry was called The Lord of the Hat.

Agent: Lina Langlee, The North Literary Agency

Twitter: @alatkinson

Relly Annett-Baker (Writer – UV 2016)

Relly Annett-Baker lives with a marvellous menagerie of mammals, including a husband and two beautiful boys.

She’s worked as a content strategist, writer and speaker all over the world for government, science labs, environmental charities, but her first love is stories.

Her entry in the Undiscovered Voices 2016 anthology was called The Unwilling Goddess.

Annaliese Avery (Writer – UV 2020)

Annaliese has spent most of her life surrounded by stories, both at work as a library manager and at home writing them.

She holds an MA in Creative Writing and is now the Program Leader for The Golden Egg Academy in Scotland which leads creative writing workshops across the UK.

In January 2020, Annaliese was shortlisted for the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices 2020 anthology. The Nightsilver Promise is her debut middle-grade novel, and the first in a thrilling, new fantasy trilogy.

Books: The Nightsilver Promise (Scholastic, May 2021)

Agent: Helen Boyle, Pickled Ink Agency

Twitter: @AnnalieseAvery


Yvonne Banham (Writer – UV 2020)

Yvonne Banham grew up on an island off the Cumbrian coast and spent lots of time huddled on the beach with a scary book.

She can speak Dutch (badly) and believes in ghosts though she’s never met one. She lives in Stirlingshire with her husband, and when she’s not writing, she’s hiking or trail running with her very naughty hound.

Her MG debut The Dark and Dangerous Gifts of Delores Mackenzie will be published by Firefly in April 2023.

Books: The Dark and Dangerous Gifts of Delores Mackenzie (Firefly, April 2023)

Twitter: @Eviewriter

Monika Baum (Illustrator – UV 2018)

Monika Baum

Monika is an illustrator living and working in Switzerland. Coming from a background in linguistics and corporate accounting, she is passionate about visual storytelling.

She works in watercolours and digital media and is interested in fantasy and adventure, as well as more traditional illustration subjects.

Victoria Benstead-Hume (Writer – UV 2022)

Victoria is a previous UV winner (2022) and is currently writing a two book YA series for Working Partners.

Her passion is science fiction, in particular anything involving weird and wonderful plants. She works as a botanist for her day job, surveying habitats in England and lives in Brighton.

Rosie Best (Writer – UV 2012)

Rosie Best (UV 2012)

Rosie lives in Cambridge and loves all things nerdy. She is an editor at Working Partners Ltd.

As well as publishing Skulk under her own name she has written under pseudonyms on series published by Usborne, Hot Key Books and HarperCollins.

She is the seventh Erin Hunter, writing books in the Survivors series. When not writing or playing video games she sings with the Crouch End Festival Chorus.

Books: Skulk (Strange Chemistry, Oct 2013)

Agent: Catherine Pellegrino, Catherine Pellegrino and Associates

Twitter: @rosiejbest.

Blog: Skulking Writer Blog

Georgia Bowers (Writer – UV 2016)

Georgia Bowers 2021

Georgia is a YA-reading, Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-obsessed librarian.

Working in libraries gave her access to a huge range of books for children and teens, and after reading so many of them, she decided to set herself the challenge of writing one.

Her entry in the Undiscovered Voices 2016 anthology was called Clopwyck River.

Mark of the Wicked (Swoon/Macmillan US, August 2021)

Twitter: @georgia_bowers


Anna Bowles (Writer – UV 2016)

Anna Bowles likes chocolate, cuddly hippos and reading depressing Russian novels in the original language.

She’s a professional editor but thinks writing is a lot more fun.

Her entry in the UV 2016 anthology was called Steel Tanya.

Books: Rapids (ZunTold, May 2021)

Agent: Jenny Savill, Andrew Nurnberg Associates.

Twitter: @anna_bowles


Sharon Boyle (Writer – UV 2020)

Sharon writes YA novels, short stories and flash fiction.

She has won Writers’ Forum, HISSAC and Exeter Writers’ short story competitions, and was longlisted in the 2020 Bath Children’s Novel Award.

Agent: Jo Williamson, Antony Harwood Ltd

Twitter: @SharonBoyle50

Anna Brooke (Writer – UV 2020)

Anna’s writing career started in journalism as a travel writer.

Her debut novel, Monster Bogey (out now and published by Chicken House), was a SCBWI Undiscovered Voices winner (anthology name: Sean & The Frankenbogey). It was also longlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel award. The sequel, Monster Stink, will be released in the UK in August 2023.

She also has picture books in the pipeline (more on that in 2024). 

Agent: Sam Copeland, Rogers, Coleridge and White Literary

Twitter: @AE_Brooke

Instagram: annabrookewriter

James Brown (Illustrator – UV 2014)

James Brown

James is obsessed with illustration and would love to see his picture books, Marlon’s Amazing Moustache and Mum’s Having a Monster, on bookshelves.

James illustrates for Baby London’s Diary of a Mum.

He has also designed promotional material for the Games Makers Choir 2012 as well as educational illustrations for Nottinghamshire Fire Service.

James came third in the Illustrate It 2013 picture book competition.

Susan Brownrigg (Writer – UV 2016)

Susan is a Lancashire lass who loves writing middle-grade historical fiction.

She has worked as a journalist, sub-editor and in education roles at historical houses, a farm, a mill, a zoo and a former priory.

Susan was awarded the Margaret Carey scholarship in 2015.

Books: Gracie Fairshaw and the Mysterious Guest (Uclan Publishing, 2020) Kintana and the Captain’s Curse (Uclan Publishing, July 2021) Gracie Fairshaw and the Trouble at the Tower (Uclan Publishing, October 2021)

Awards: Longlisted for the Historical Association’s Young Quills Award 2022

Twitter: @suebmuseum


Patti Buff (Writer – UV 2016)

A native Minnesotan, she currently lives in disgustingly beautiful Bavaria, Germany with her family.

Her most recent adventure is working towards a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, England while scribbling down scenes for her new novel on the side.

Awards: Honorable mention for the New Voices Award at the 2019 Capital Crime Festival. Honorable mention for the Amazon Publishing New Voices Award 2021

Agent: Hannah Sheppard, D H H Literary Agency


Sophie Cameron (Writer – UV 2016)

Sophie Cameron is a YA & MG writer from the Scottish Highlands. Her debut novel OUT OF THE BLUE was nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2019 and her books have been featured in Kirkus’ Best YA of the Year and the ALA Rainbow Book List, among others. She lives in Spain with her wife and their twin boys.

Agent: Hellie Ogden, Janklow & Nesbit UK.

Books: Out of The Blue (Macmillan Children’s Books, 2018) and Last Bus to Everland (Macmillan Children’s Books, May 2019) Our Sister, Again (Little Tiger, 2022) Away with Words (Little Tiger, May 2023)

Awards: Out of the Blue was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Grampian Children’s Book Award.

Twitter: @toomanysophies


Kerry Cassidy (Writer – UV 2016)

Working in the City lost its appeal, long hours making me miss bedtime with my boys.

Who wouldn’t rather be reading Room on the Broom than sitting in a meeting? My love of children’s books reborn, I started to write.

Writing is my time – squeezed in between the boys’ football, tennis, cricket…

Agent: Kate Shaw, The Shaw Agency.

Margaret Carey (Writer – UV 2008)

Margaret Carey (UV 2008)

Margaret studied at Liverpool College of Art before moving to London with a suitcase stuffed with dreams. Years of office work later, she rediscovered the suitcase, travelled a bit then settled to work.

Margaret was a brilliant writer and illustrator. Sadly she passed away in 2011.

Sarwat Chadda (Writer – UV 2008)

Sarwat writes EPIC stories. The latest is SHADOW MAGIC, about a beautiful princess who rules a kingdom of undead and an outlaw boy who flies a giant vampire bat, because bats are cool.

He has written the ASH MISTRY trilogy, featuring a British-Asian hero and before that, he wrote the DEVIL’S KISS series, starring the only female Knight Templar.

When not writing novels, Sarwat’s busy writing comic strips, such as 18 Days, the sci-fi adaptation of the Indian Mahabharata.

Books: Devil’s Kiss (Disney-Hyperion and others, 2009), Dark Goddess (Disney-Hyperion and others, 2010), Ash Mistry and the Savage Fortress (HarperCollins and others, 2012), Ash Mistry and the City of Death (HarperCollins and others, 2013), Ash Mistry and the World of Darkness (HarperCollins and others, 2013), Shadow Magic (Disney-Hyperion and others, writing under the pseudonym Joshua Khan, 2016), Burning Magic (Disney-Hyperion, 2018), Double-cross (Scholastic, 2016), and Spirit Animals (Scholastic, 2018).

Awards: Shortlisted: Brandford Boase (2010), Barnes and Nobles Best YA Novels (2009), Spellbinding Award (2009), and USBBY 2013 Outstanding International Books (Grades 6-8). Longlisted: Lone Star book award (2012, 2013), Hillingdon Book of the Year shortlist (2013), Stockton Book of the Year shortlist (2013), and Junior Library Guild Selection (Fall 2012).

Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Twitter: @sarwatchadda, and @writerjoshkhan

Website: and

Katrina Charman (Writer – UV 2014)

Katrina was an Undiscovered Voices finalist in 2014, and soon after signed with superstar agent Gemma Cooper at The Bent Agency. She writes for all ages from Picture books up to Middle Grade and has since had over thirty books published including bestselling chapter book series The Last Firehawk.

In 2021 she won the Hampshire Book Prize for the ABC Factor and Booktrust’s Storytime prize for her book The Whales on the Bus illustrated by Nick Sharratt.

In 2013 she was a recipient of the SCBWI BI Margaret Carey scholarship.

Books: The Ninjabread Man (Franklin Watts, 2015); Poppy’s Place series: The Home Made Cat Cafe (Stripes, 2016), Trouble at the Cat Cafe (Stripes, 2016), The Great Cat Cafe Rescue (Stripes, March 2017), and Secrets at the Cat Cafe (Stripes, July 2017); The Last Firehawk early chapter book series: The Ember Stone (Scholastic US, 2017), The Crystal Caverns (Scholastic US, 2017), The Whispering Oak (Scholastic US, 2018), Lullaby Lake (Scholastic US, 2018), The Shadowlands (Scholastic US, 2019) and Battle for Perodia (Scholastic Us, 2019) with four more books to come in the series; Picture book series: Car, Car, Truck, Jeep (Bloomsbury, 2018) and Go, Go, Pirate Boat (Bloomsbury, 2019) with two more books to come in the series; Survival Tails MG series: Survival Tails: Titanic (Little, Brown Young Readers, 2018), Survival Tails: Endurance in Antarctica (Little, Brown Young Readers, 2019), and Survival Tails: World War II (Little, Brown Young Readers, 2019) with another to come in 2020.

Awards: Shortlisted: SSYR Jr Awards 2019

Agent: Gemma Cooper, The Bent Agency

Twitter: @Katrina_Charman

Ali Clack (Writer – UV 2022)

After Uni, Ali moved to London to pursue a career in television. She worked on a wide range of shows from Teletubbies to Friends.

She now lives in Essex with a houseful of teenagers and can often be found freezing on the side of a rugby pitch.

Agent: Saskia Leach at Kate Nash Literary Agency

Twitter: @alisonclack1

Christian Colussi (Writer – UV 2014)

Christian Colussi

Christian lives in south-east London.

He is currently rewriting while fending off a pair of very needy cats.

Agent: Gemma Cooper, The Bent Agency

Twitter: @ChrisColussi

Zoe Cookson (Writer – UV 2022)

Zoe spent fifteen years in the grown-up world before quitting her management job to write for a living (albeit mostly reports, funding bids and business cases).

An avid reader, Zoe reviews children’s books on her website and would love to write for book packagers or publishers developing in-house fiction/non-fiction.


Adam Connors (Writer – UV 2020)

Adam’s debut novel is a science inspired YA thriller set on board the world’s first deep-sea mining rig.

He is a former physicist and former child who likes writing stories and building unlikely, poorly thought through gadgets with his sons. He started his career as a physicist, building part of the Large Hadron Collider in CERN. He has also sold encyclopaedias in Chicago, worked for an investment bank, taught physics in Sudan, fitted emergency Wi-Fi in the refugee camps in Greece, and now works as an engineering manager in the Google Research team.

He lives in Hertfordshire with his partner, two sons, and a dog named Rosie.

Agent: Kate Shaw at The Shaw Agency.


Books: The Girl Who Broke The Sea (Scholastic – 2023) 

Twitter: @aconnors_writes

Instagram: @a_connors_writes

Veronica Cossanteli (Writer – UV 2012)

Veronica notched up her first rejection slip early, for a ‘novel’ written at boarding school as a distraction from homesickness.

Decades later, now published in over a dozen countries, she is re-working that story – never throw anything away!

She currently lives in Hampshire, with a houseful of fauna and flora.

Books: The Extincts (Chicken House, 2013), The Halloweeds (Chicken House, 2016) and The Marvellous Land of Snergs (Chicken House, 2020).

Awards: Carnegie (nominated), James Reckitt Hull Libraries Award (shortlisted), BASH (Books at St Helen’s – shortlisted), and Lancashire Fantastic Books Award (longlisted).

Agent: Jenny Savill, Andrew Nurnberg Associates

Twitter: @vcossanteli

Website: Cossanteli

Dave Cousins (Writer – UV 2010)

Dave Cousins’ writing has been described as “teen realism with action, humour and heart.”

His YA novels were both nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and have won awards worldwide.

Dave also writes and illustrates the Charlie Merrick series for slightly younger readers.

He tours extensively, visiting schools, libraries and festivals.

Books: 15 Days Without a Head (Oxford University Press, 2012), Waiting for Gonzo (Oxford University Press, March 2013), One Short (Collins Big Cat, May 2013), Goodbye To All That (Collins Big Cat, May 2013), Charlie Merrick’s Misfits in Fouls, Friends and Football (Oxford University Press, May 2014), Charlie Merrick’s Misfits in I’m a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here! (Oxford University Press, June 2015), My Babysitter is a Robot (Stripes, July 2019), Is My Teacher a Robot? (Stripes, Feb 2020), A Robot Ate My Grandma (Stripes, Aug 2020) and My Robot’s Gone Wild (Stripes, Feb 2021).

Awards: 2013 SCBWI Crystal Kite for UK & Europe (15 Days without a Head), Premio Andersen, Italy (15 Days without a Head, Italian edition), and Grampian Children’s Book Award 2014 (Waiting for Gonzo)

Also shortlisted for: Carnegie Medal, Branford Boase, Brilliant Book Award, Coventry Best Book, Essex Book Award, Hounslow Teen Book Award, James Reckitt Hull Children’s Book Award, Lancashire Book of the Year Award, Llanelli Schools Best Read of the Year, North East Teenage Book Award, Nottingham Brilliant Book Award, Redbridge Teen Book Award (2nd place), Rib Valley Book Award, St Helens Book Award, Wirral Paperback of the Year and Deutscher Jugendliteratur Preis 2017.

Agent: Jenny Savill, Andrew Nurnberg Associates

Twitter: @DaveCousins9000


Blog: Dave Cousins Blogspot

James Crosland-Mills (Illustrator – UV 2018)

James Crosland-Mills

James currently works as a natural history video editor and has always wanted to pursue a career in illustration.

He builds his portfolio in his free time, focusing on the natural world and science communication inspired by his degree in Zoology, and a strong affinity with animals and education.

Nick Cross (Writer – UV 2010)

Nick is a writer and illustrator with more than ten short stories published in children’s magazines – these were hailed by an editor as “miniature marvels.”

An irreverent sense of humour infuses all of Nick’s work, and he enjoys combining words, images and design to create uniquely engaging fiction.

Awards: Honours winner of the 2015 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for fiction.

Twitter: @nick_w_cross


Instagram: @nick_w_cross

Sue Cunningham (Writer – UV 2022)

Sue Cunningham writes YA with humour and a hint of magic. Her debut novel is due to be published by Scholastic UK in autumn 2023.

Sue lives in a Manchester man cave with her husband, teen sons and a super-clingy cockapoo. When she’s not writing or tripping over electric guitar cables, she works for the NHS.

Awards: UV2022, winner: WriteMentor Children’s Novel Award 2020, shortlisted: Northern Writers 2022, York Festival of Writing Best Opening Chapter, longlisted: Bath Children’s Novel Award 2020. Short story awards include competitions run by Writer’s Forum magazine and Orion/Darley Anderson.

Agent: Rachel Petty at The Blair Partnership

Katie Dale (Writer – UV 2008)

A writer and an actress, Katie likes nothing more than creating characters – both on the page and on stage.

She loves to write for all ages, and is currently working furiously on a variety of projects, from YA novels to picture books – whilst playing the odd princess/assassin/zombie in between…

Books: Since being chosen as a winner of Undiscovered Voices, Katie has had 100 children’s books published in 8 countries around the world.

Awards: Someone Else’s Life: Stockport Mad About Books Award, Oldham Brilliant Books Award, and nominated for the Anobii First Book Award. Little White Lies: UKYA Blogger Award for “Best Ending”.

Twitter: @katiedaleuk


Sarah Dalkin (Writer – UV 2014)

Sarah Dalkin

Sarah co-runs and co-owns a broadcast talent agency and in an earlier life worked in TV production. She loves history, politics, travelling, adventure, big cities, big countryside, gardening, reading and writing. Raised in County Durham, she now lives and works in London.

Agent: Jenny Savill, Andrew Nurnberg Associate

Rose Margaret Deniz (Writer – UV 2016)

Farm-girl turned ex-pat Rose Margaret Deniz lives in a neighbourhood full of roses and tea gardens.

When she is not writing, she plotting an escape to a Turkish village to raise chickens.

Her entry in the UV 2016 anthology was called The Evolution Of You And Me.

Agent: Jo Williamson, Antony Harwood Literary Agency

Twitter: @rosedeniz


Emma Dowson (Writer – UV 2016)

Emma Dowson works as a book publicist. After working with authors on their books, she realised that she wanted to write her own!

She lives in London with her two children and two rabbits. She likes Chinese food, holidays, baking and reading, and hopes to have a dog one day.

Her entry in the UV 2016 anthology was called The Chinatown Cat.

Najoud Ensaff (Writer – UV 2010)

Jude Ensaff 2021

Jude grew up abroad before attending secondary school and university in the United Kingdom and developing her career in education.

She completed her Masters in Writing for Children, gaining a Distinction in 2011.

Jude continues to enjoy writing whilst combining this with her work in education.

Books: Mervyn the Magic Martian Visits Earth (Chatten House, 2021), Mary and Operation Whistle (Chatten House, 2021) and another book due out later in 2021.  She has also been published in an anthology entitled Paper Mirrors (Crocus Books) and Jude has published over twenty educational books, solely and in collaboration, with publishers such as Collins, Pearsons and Hodder…. 

Awards: Shortlisted: Waterstones Wow Factor Competition 2006, Adventures in Fiction Competition 2006 (Commended Writer). Finalist/Winner: Guildford Arts Poetry Slam 2008, South Hill Park Halloweenfest Competition 2011, Commonword Children’s Diversity Writing Prize 2012, Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Competition 2013.


Blog: Judes Writing Blogspot

Twitter: @JudeEnsaff

Instagram: @jude_ensaff

Lucy Farfort (Illustrator – UV 2016)

Lucy is an illustrator and aspiring writer of picture books.

She’s been freelance for around ten years and has undertaken a variety of commissions from many different clients such as greeting cards, illustrations for apps, magazine illustrations and picture books written by self-publishing authors.

Recent work has been with Little Tiger Press, the Environment Agency and Newcastle University.

Awards: First prize for illustration, in Faber’s 2017 FAB Prize competition.

Agent: Alice Sutherland-Hawes from Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV and Film Agency


Claire Fayers (Writer – UV 2014)

Claire used to work in a library before Undiscovered Voices turned her into a full-time author.

She now spends her days happily writing about pirates and magic.

Books: The Accidental Pirates: Voyage to Magical North (Macmillan, 2016), The Accidental Pirates: Journey to Dragon Island (Macmillan, 2017), Mirror Magic (Macmillan, 2018), Storm Hound (Macmillan, 2019) Welsh Fairytales, Myths and Legends (Scholastic 2021) Tapper Watson and the Quest for the Nemo Machine (coming September 2023)

Awards: Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month, Tir na n-Og award 2020. Shortlisted: FCBG Children’s Book Award. Tir na n-Og Nominated for: the Carnegie medal

Agent: Gemma Cooper, The Bent Agency

Twitter: @clairefayers


P.M. Freestone (Writer – UV 2018)

P M Freestone

P. M. Freestone has a mailing address in Scotland but spends most days immersed in epic fantasy worlds.

Her debut YA novel, Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom was published by Scholastic in the UK and US, and has since been translated into seven other languages.

Books: Shadowscent: The Darkest Bloom (Scholastic and others, 2019) and Shadowscent: Crown of Smoke (Scholastic and others, 2020).

Awards: Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, Aurealis Award (Finalist)

Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary (US); Caroline Walsh, David Higham Associates (UK)


Instagram: @p.m.freestone

Why not check out other previous Undiscovered Voices?