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 There is no submission fee, but only unagented and unpublished members of SCBWI living in the UK and Europe (writing in the English language) are eligible.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.

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.

Getting Ready for UV2018 – Guest Blog with Imogen White

In the first of a series of guest blog by past finalists, Imogen White, whose debut book The Amber Pendant launches in June, talks of her emotional Undiscovered Voices journey and her tips for writers preparing to enter UV2018.

 

When I entered the first 4,000 words of my book (then called Shadow Inclusions) to the Undiscovered Voices 2014 competition it was a big moment for me. It was the first thing I had EVER put out there publicly.

I wasn’t expecting anything to come of it. For me it was more about getting over my jitters and taking that first bold step of pressing the ‘SUBMIT’ button. After all, what did I have to lose?

The moment I learnt I had been selected for the longlist remains my most thrilling memory. Thoughts like there must have been some terrible administrative error were eventually replaced with sheer joy, and tears too, if I’m honest. It was the first time that I felt like an authentic writer. All those embarrassed conversations over many years with family and friends playing down why I dedicated so much time to writing when I had nothing tangible to show for it, were finally laid to rest. The more I thought about it the more my head spun. Would I now be put to the top of the slush pile when I eventually put my work forward to agents and publishers? That was the pinnacle of my aspirations.

Then, quite unexpectedly I got “THE CALL!” from the lovely Sara Grant letting me know that I had been chosen to appear in the Anthology. WOW! What a total privilege. Now the beast of my writing ambitions had become something else; it had grown arms and legs and had a momentum all of its own. Actually, I was also pretty terrified! I felt like a total fraud compared to the other worthy winners, especially as I am mildly dyslexic and had no previous writing experience. But as soon as I met the wonderful Sara Grant and team, I was put at ease. They led us all through the whole process – and best of all my work was printed in the Anthology.

It really is the most brilliant competition. I met so many industry people at the launch party, including the amazing Anna Power from Johnson & Alcock, who became my agent. I feel so fortunate to have met Anna, she believed in my work from the very beginning and her expert editorial advice helped me tidy and develop my story.

So, I am absolutely delighted to announce that the first book in my series of historical mysteries, is to be published by the fantastic team at Usborne in June 2017.

None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t entered Undiscovered Voices. And if it happened to me, it could happen to you too. Go for it!

Imogen White’s Undiscovered Voices Tips:

  • Start with a bang! – Open your submission with a moment of great mystery or high drama, and don’t get bogged down in boring details. Grab the judges’ attention from the off.
  • Get other writers to critique your entry before you send it. These 4,000 words must be the very best you can present. You want honest and considered feedback (not undiluted sunshine!) from people who write themselves and whose opinion you trust. I need help with my punctuation and spelling – so this was a must for me! Thankfully I had a fabulous writing group to share work with.
  • Do a final line edit to make sure every word has earnt its place.
  • Take a deep breath. Press “SUBMIT.”

GOOD LUCK!


Imogen’s debut The Amber Pendant will be published by Usborne, June 2017. the first of the The Rose Muddle Mysteries. It features the plucky workhouse girl, Rose Muddle, whose world is turned upside down when she is given a magic pendant. It is a tale full of necromancy, shadows and adventure. As Rose bravely tries to unpick the clues set in and around Edwardian Hove, she must find out who the baddies are and stop them before an unimaginable evil is let loose… Becky Walker, Usborne Fiction Editor, writes, “The Rose Muddle Mysteries have everything I look for in a series – full to the brim with magic, mystery, myth and history, and pacy stories that are impossible to put down.” You can follow Imogen on Twitter at @imo0030, or visit her website: https://mysteryverse.wordpress.com/author/mysteryverse/

Tweet Advice for UV Submitters – #AskSwanwick Chat Write Up

One Undiscovered Voices area that’s usually under-represented by good quality submissions is for the youngest (5-8) age group. “We’d loved to see more of those,” Catherine told us. “Funny is often the key – and something obvious, like a timeless theme that works, such as fairies, witches, dragons, beasts, princesses, and animals.”

Undiscovered Voices committee members, Rosie Best and Catherine Coe, participated in a twitter chat for #AskSwanwick on Wednesday, 3rd June 2015. They discussed a range of issues about editing, book packaging and, of course, dispense some sage advice on Undiscovered Voices.

You can read a write up of the chat here at http://www.swanwickwritersschool.org.uk. Look out for some great advice on how to edit and proofread your own work before submitting!

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!

 

How to help our Judges… Submission Instructions for Writers

We’d really like writers who are about to submit work to the anthology to follow these additional instructions just to make things easier for the editors and the judges:

1) Please make sure your submission has page numbers and the title of your piece in the header or footer.

2) The title of your file should match the title of your submission.

3) Please do NOT include a title page.

Many thanks  for your cooperation and for submitting to Undiscovered Voices.

Best wishes

The Editorial Team.