Undiscovered Voices 2018 – now open for submissions!

SCBWI and sponsors Working Partners are delighted to announce that submissions for the sixth Undiscovered Voices competition are now open. Undiscovered Voices helps fresh, new voices in children’s literature find agents and publishers.

The Undiscovered Voices anthology will include twelve fiction extracts – from early readers up to young adult novels – and twelve black-and-white illustrations. The anthology will be published in February 2018 and sent free of charge to editors, art directors and agents whose focus is children’s literature. The book is produced with the financial support of Working Partners Ltd, a London-based company that creates series fiction.

Submissions will be accepted between 1st July and 15th August 2017 via an online submissions process. There is no submission fee, but only unagented and unpublished members of SCBWI living in the UK and Europe (writing in the English language) are eligible.

From the five previous anthologies, Undiscovered Voices featured authors and illustrators have received publishing contracts for more than 200 books. The authors have been nominated for and won an amazing array of literary prizes: including the Carnegie Medal, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, Branford Boase Award, Blue Peter Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and over 30 regional awards.

The following judges will select the extracts and illustrations to be included in the anthology:

  • Chrissie Boehm, Artful Doodlers
  • Claire Cartey, Holroyde Cartey
  • Lauren Fortune, Scholastic
  • Andrea Kearny, Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Sarah Leonard, Orchard Children’s Books
  • Joanna Moult, Skylark Literary Limited
  • Polly Nolan, The Greenhouse Literary Agency
  • Gillie Russell, Aitken Alexander Associates
  • Hannah Shepard, DHH Literary Agency
  • Kirsty Stansfield, Nosy Crow
  • Will Steele, Osborne Books
  • Nghiem Ta, Walker Books

Click here to enter your writing submission and here to enter your illustration.

Before You Click Submit, Part 2 – Three Illustration Tips

As we get closer to the opening of UV submissions, we’re posting tips to make sure your submission stands the best chance of making it into the anthology. Today, we’re talking illustrators!

FLIPPING, MULTIPLE SCREENS and FILE SIZE

Illustrator and committee member Patrick Miller suggests before you get ready to send,  make sure you do the following:

 

Flip Your Image
  • If you haven’t already, flip your image horizontally so that you can see the mirror image of it – you’ll be amazed at how it highlights any errors of proportion, perspective and anatomy. It’s never too late to check and amend.

 

Check on Different Screens
  • Check your image on lots of devices, not just your computer screen. Everyone’s screens are different so have a look on a phone, an iPad, on a friend’s computer, and when printed out. The judges won’t know exactly what values you intend your image to have so it’s good to feel sure that they’ll see what you want them to see!

 

File Size and Resolution
  • Make sure your online submission image is 72dpi and under 1Mb in filesize, and make sure you saved the 600dpi version separately – we’ll need that for the anthology!

 

Check back soon for some writing top tips before you submit.

Get the Scoop from the Illustration Masterclass on Black and White Illustration

Imogen Noxell reports in Words & Pictures on the recent SCBWI Masterclass on black & white illustration at the House of Illustration, in preparation for #UV2018. Anne-Marie Perks, Loretta Schauer, and Patrick Miller share their inspiration, working materials and top advice. Check out the write up here.

UV2018 Buzz Round Up

A buzz is building about #UV2018 and we’ll be capturing blog posts and reports here.

Missed the Undiscovered Voices Masterclass about writing Young Fiction? Check out this report in Words & Pictures by Marianna Reed Barber who shares some of what she learnt from UV committee members Catherine Coe, Sara Grant and Benjamin Scott. This piece is packed with excellent advice on creating fiction for young readers with hook, heart and longevity: http://www.wordsandpics.org/2017/05/undiscovered-voices-masterclass.html

Want to catch what the judges said at the UV Kick Off event, then track down the livestream video on the SCBWI British Isles Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/122794234418913/videos/

Former UV finalists have been blogging about their writing journeys and how being featured in the anthology was an important step in their careers.

Em Lynas talks about her tenacity and enduring dream to be writer that lead to become both an honorary mention and a finalist in Undiscovered Voices. Her hard work and patience is finally paying off, find out more in her blog here: http://www.notesfromtheslushpile.com/2017/05/the-writers-journey-how-long.html

Finally, Katrina Charman talks about her career really took off when she became a UV finalist and has now become the author of eleven books (and rising!). You can read about her blog and encouragement to writers to enter UV here: https://katrinacharman.wordpress.com/2017/05/05/undiscovered-voices/

 

UV2018 submissions will open on 1st July 2017 and will close 15th August 2017. Why not sign up here for a reminder when submissions open?

Twitter Chat Q+A #scbwichat on #uv2018 – 11th May, 8pm.

We are excited to announce that hot on the heels of the Undiscovered Voices 2018 launch, we’ll be answering questions as part of the very first #scbwichat from 8 to 9pm on Thursday 11th May. Answering questions for both writing and illustration will be:

  • Jenny Glencross
  • Benjamin Scott
  • Rosie Best
  • Anne-Marie Perks
  • Patrick Miller


This is an excellent opportunity for everyone to catch up on all the information that was given at the UV launch (especially for those who couldn’t make it) or to clarify things that were talked about. The committee will also give some hints and tips on putting together a great submission and will share some of the advice that was given by the judges on the launch day.

Undiscovered Voices is an initiative by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) British Isles to help fresh, new voices in children’s literature – both writers and illustrators – find agents, publishers and ultimately readers.

See you from 8 to 9pm on Thursday 11th May on twitter as part of #scbwichat.

Children’s illustrators of the future

UV2016_front coverWe’re very excited that the lovely editors at the Guardian Children’s Books pages have published a gallery of our amazing Undiscovered Voices 2016 illustrator finalists.

The Guardian sums it up best on the gallery: “Congrats to all the undiscovered illustrators that have been picked out as mega talented and whose gorgeous illustrations are now in the SCBWI anthology, along with the writing of 12 new authors”.

Visit the gallery at the Guardian here.

Tips and Advice for Illustrators: Find Your illustration ‘Super Power’

We’re proud to share an edited video of the best bits from our illustrator panel during the Undiscovered Voices 2016 competition launch on May 14th 2015.

The illustration judges talk about the Story Prompts and what they are expecting from our entrants. There’s plenty of suggestions of how you might tackle one of the prompts and what sort of moments or scenes you might imagine for your characters and your illustration.
Keep an eye out for some great suggestions from Ed Burns, including how to find your illustration ‘Super Power!”.

We’d like to thank Mike Perks for recording and editing this video and thanks Foyles for hosting the event!

 

UV 2014 – Video: Illustration Judges on Standing Out and Other Tips for Illustration Success!!

Please note: this video relates to the 2014 Undiscovered Voices judging panel.

Here’s our second clip for illustrators from the Undiscovered Voices competition launch meeting on April 18th. We asked the fiction judging panel who were present what has made illustrators they work with stand out. Martin Salisbury talks about the “voice” in illustration, while Frances McKay shares her passion of characterization and expressing a range of emotions. Our panel also reveals their top tips for illustrators tackling the UV2014 story starters, from finding the right scale to looking at work in a mirror. Nghiem Ta has specific words of warning for illustrators with a delicate or faint style!

UV 2014 – Video: Illustration Judges on using the story starters

Please note: this video relates to the 2014 Undiscovered Voices judging panel.

In this clip from the Undiscovered Voices competition launch event on April 18th, our illustration judging panel answer some key questions. First, we asked them for their tips for working from the story starters and how to use a piece of text to inspire an illustration. Nghiem Ta suggests making time to experiment and to explore different styles (while still meeting the deadline!). Martin Salisbury suggests going with what grabs your attention and use your sketchbook to find your way into the character and subject before working on the final piece. Frances McKay reveals what the most important skill in creating black and white illustration – ability to draw is vital! Helen Graham-Cameron mentions using tone as well as line in black and white illustrations.

You may need to turn your volume up to hear some of the judges.