UV 2018 Success – Illustrator with a Cape

Deborah Sheehy
Deborah Sheehy

UV 2018 finalist Deborah Sheehy has signed a contract to illustrate a picture book with Starfish Bay Publishers who contacted her after seeing examples of her artwork online. The book is called ‘Ape with a Cape’ (think hairdresser rather than superhero!) and features an array of whimsical fun creatures and is due to be published in 2019.

Deborah is also currently collaborating with a London author on a picture book telling an epic tale of courage and friendship, in which a polar bear cub adventures to the South Pole to reunite with his best friend.  The author had been seeking an illustrator to work with and found Deborah through the 2018 UV Anthology. ‘The Last Iceberg’ is currently under review for publication.

Deborah daily finds herself astonished and delighted at these wonderful opportunities and is deeply grateful to the UV team for the opportunity to be part of the Anthology, as well as their support, sage advice and goodwill.

UV2018 Finalists Announced!

SCBWI British Isles is proud to announce the promising, unpublished writers and illustrators who have been selected from a record number of submissions to be included in Undiscovered Voices 2018.

SCBWI congratulates the following authors and illustrators whose work will be featured in the anthology:

  • Annie Walmsley – Writer
  • Dale Hannah – Writer
  • David Hall – Writer
  • Deborah Sheehy – Illustrator
  • Emily Jones- Illustrator
  • Emma Mason – Writer
  • Hannah Mosley – Illustrator
  • Jacob Turner – Illustrator
  • James Crosland-Mills – Illustrator
  • Janet Catherine Gibson Pickering – Illustrator
  • Kate Read – Illustrator
  • Kathryn Kettle – Writer
  • Katie Hayoz – Writer
  • Laure Allain – Illustrator
  • Matthew Olson-Roy – Writer
  • Monika Baum – Illustrator
  • Nicola Penfold – Writer
  • Peta Freestone – Writer
  • Rachel Lovatt – Illustrator
  • Sally Walker – Illustrator
  • Sandy Horsley – Illustrator
  • Sarah Merrett – Writer
  • Serena Patel – Writer

The Undiscovered Voices anthology is available to download for free from www.undiscoveredvoices.com. A printed copy of the anthology also will be available to purchase from Lulu: http://www.lulu.com/shop/scbwi/undiscovered-voices-2018/paperback/product-23456467.html

The stories and illustrations were submitted anonymously and selected by a distinguished panel of industry experts:

UV 2018’s Judges:

  • Chrissie Boehm, Artful Doodlers
  • Claire Cartey, Holroyde Cartey
  • Erzsi Deak, Hen & Ink Literary Studio
  • Lauren Fortune, Scholastic
  • Clelia Gore, Martin Literary Management
  • Andrea Kearney, Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Sarah Leonard, Orchard Books
  • Joanna Moult, Skylark Literary Agency
  • Polly Nolan, The Greenhouse Literary Agency
  • Gillie Russell, Aitken Alexander Associates
  • Hannah Sheppard, DHH Literary Agency
  • Kirsty Stansfield, Nosy Crow
  • Will Steele, Usborne Books
  • Nghiem Ta, Walker Books

Because the anthology is also designed to be a learning tool for up-and-coming children’s writers and artists, quotes from the judges – discussing the merits of each piece – are included at the end of each illustration and extract.

Working Partners Ltd, a London-based company that creates series fiction for children and teens, provided the financial support that made this anthology possible.

Congratulations to this year’s Undiscovered Voices writers and illustrators!

Undiscovered Voices Writers and Illustrators Longlist Announced 

We are pleased to announce the longlist of writers and illustrators who will be considered for the Undiscovered Voices 2018 anthology. These talented writers and illustrators were selected from a record-breaking number of submissions from SCBWI members in Europe. 

  • Alice Stallard
  • Andrea Fautley
  • Annette Edge
  • Annie Walmsley
  • Ashley Taylor
  • Becky Hamilton
  • Catherine Lindow
  • Charlotte Reid
  • Claire Rollinson
  • Dale Hannah
  • Daniel Greaves
  • David Hall
  • Deborah Sheehy
  • Elizabeth Joseph-Brahy
  • Emily Jones
  • Emma Mason
  • Esther Harvey
  • Georgina Kirk
  • Glen Deakin
  • Hannah Mosley
  • Hazel Murrell
  • Helen Simmons
  • Imogen Foxell
  • Jacob Turner
  • James Crosland-Mills
  • Janet Catherine Gibson Pickering
  • Jennifer Hicks
  • Jessica Chuan Ping Lai
  • Joe Callanan
  • Julia Tuffs
  • Kate Read
  • Kathryn Kettle
  • Katie Hayoz
  • Laure Allain
  • Lily Grigorova
  • Lorraine Cooke
  • Louisa Glancy
  • Matthew Olson-Roy
  • Mireille Lachausse
  • Monika Baum
  • Morgan Jackson
  • Natasha Ellis
  • Nicola Penfold
  • Peta Freestone
  • Rachel Lovatt
  • Sally Walker
  • Sandy Horsley
  • Sarah Merrett
  • Serena Patel
  • Stephen Burgess
  • Susan Harris
  • Suzanne Dore
  • Tera Pruitt
  • Wendy Storer
  • Zoe Saunders

The shortlist of writers and illustrators to be featured in the Undiscovered Voices 2018 anthology will be selected from the list above and announced in early January. 

As ever, the quality of submissions was extremely high and the judges had a very difficult time deciding on a longlist.  

The Undiscovered Voices team endeavours to create an anthology that showcases the variety of writing and illustration available from SCBWI members in the British Isles and the European Union.  The goal of the anthology is not only to help the selected authors and illustrators to find agents and editors, but also to promote the quality of work abounding in SCBWI in Europe. 

The stories and illustrations were submitted anonymously and selected by a distinguished panel of industry experts: 

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

Congratulations to the talented Undiscovered Voices longlisted writers and illustrators! 

All the best, 

The Undiscovered Voices Team 

Rosie Best, Catherine Coe, Jenny Glencross, Sara Grant, Simon James Green, Patrick Miller, Anne-Marie Perks, Loretta Schauer, Benjamin Scott and Tioka Tokedira 

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 4 – Hunting Mistakes

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.

In this post, we’re looking at a great way to scrutinise your text, some commons errors and few pet peeves that can let your extract down.

No Place to Hide – Paragraph Swap Around

UV Founder and Author Sara Grant suggests reading your extract out of order. First switch the pages around and read them out of order. Next read the paragraphs out of order.

“It’s surprising what you’ll find when you scrutinize pages and then paragraphs out of context and individually,” she says. “You start considering if every line, word and punctuation mark is correct. Also you may spot words, phrases or ideas you overuse reading in this mixed-up fashion.”

Just make sure your paragraphs are in the right order when you submit.

Find-and-Replace Mistakes

Rosie Best (UV 2012)

Author and Working Partner’s editor, Rosie Best, warns about the sort of errors that come with using ‘find-and-replace’ on the manuscript. “We all use it,” Rosie says, “But you need to check the results for consistency.”

Make sure find-and-replace has caught every version of the word – some find-and-replace software misses out possessive versions of words, or where a different grammatical agreement has been used.

“A common error is when find-and-replace makes a change inside another word entirely. If you’ve changed a character name from Rose to Emily, you may end up with a sentence like this ‘in the morning, Ben aEmily from his bed’.”

“Also double check that you’ve also deleted any obsolete references that may be left over from previous drafts,” Rosie adds. “It can be surprising how many can survive repeated edits.”

Pet Peeves and Common Errors

“We all have writing ticks,” says Benjamin Scott, committee member and creative writing tutor. “Whether it’s a sentence structure we tend to favourite, a set of words we always reach for first, or, some stock dialogue. It feels comfortable to use, but often leads to wordy, untidy writing.”

A good critique partner (or editor) will point these ticks out to you, but there are plenty web-based editing tools (like http://editminion.com/) that use algorithms to suggest potentially useful edits to your text.

Keep looking for ways to tighten your writing and search the web for common errors to avoid. Here are some of our favourite pitfalls to dodge (thanks to Sara Grant):

  • Unnecessary word repeated in short space, or over-usage in the whole piece.
  • Unnecessary phrases – i.e. his heart thumped in his chest, nodded his head, imagined in his mind, blinked his eyes, actual facts, at this moment in time
  • Main character or narrator thinking too many questions in quick succession – i.e. What was he thinking? What could he do? What did it all mean?
  • Not trusting yourself as a writer and not trusting your readers by showing and telling your reader something – i.e. My hands began to sweat. Fear fizzled in my stomach. My eyes widened in surprise. I was scared.
  • Too many competing metaphors or similes in close proximity to each other. Let your best metaphors and similes breathe.
  • Appropriate level of description – avoid either too much or not enough. Tell your readers what they need to know to picture a scene and understand the action.
  • Too specific action that proves unimportant – i.e. He picked up the knife with his left hand and turned counterclockwise.

And, finally, watch out for tenses – nothing is more disruptive that an unexpected and unintentional shift in tense!

Stay tuned for our final tips, coming tomorrow. Submissions for UV2018 will open this Saturday (1st July 2017) and will close 15th August 2017. Why not sign up here for submission reminders?

Before You Click Submit, Part 3 – Eight Ways to Make Sure Your Submission Hits the Mark

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.

Eight Ways to Make Sure Your Submission Hits the Mark

Shine by Candy Gourlay

Award-winning author and one of the first UV finalists Candy Gourlay has kindly given us eight incredible and direct tips to make sure your submission is ready to wow our judges:

Tip 1: Intrigue starts with your first chapter. No explanations. Make your reader desperate to find out what happens next.

Tip 2: Voice. Everyone talks about looking for a voice. Voice only happens when your characters have come alive. How do you do that? Inhabit your character and build the plot from within.

Tip 3. Setting is context AND character, not information. Stop describing and start characterising. If your setting is alive, your reader will read on.

Tip 4. Cause and effect. If cause and effect is not happening then your chapter is static and your reader has probably died of boredom.

Tip 5. Don’t be anxious to make sure that your reader understands your story in the first three chapters. First chapters intrigue and lead your reader on. They are not there to explain. Trust the judges – they are reading a LOT of first chapters and I’ll bet a lot of them are explaining rather than exciting.

Tip 6. Select the eggs you’re going to offer in the basket. YOU DON’T HAVE TO PUT EVERYTHING INTO THE FIRST CHAPTER. You are more likely to engage a reader with a choice selection.

Tip 7. Make sure you identify WHO you’re writing for and that your sample is appropriate to your target readership. Oh, and here’s a guess … most people submitting will probably be writing YA. Ask yourself, is this the one that will help me stand out in the herd?

When you are editing down your chapter samples, don’t cut for word number, cut for MEANING and DRAMA.

Tip 8. When you are editing down your chapter samples, don’t cut for word number, cut for MEANING and DRAMA. I know so many people who edit down without realising that they are losing the deliciousness of their writing. This means you will have to be wise and practical about choosing what you winnow out of your text.

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


Candy Gourley was a finalist in UV2008. She has been a journalist, press photographer, web designer, short film maker, radio presenter (well, once) and fake American accent voice talent. She once helped overthrow a dictator (with several million other people). She has now forsworn revolutionary activity to become a children’s author. She is the award-winning author of Tall Story and Shine.  www.candygourlay.com

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.

Before You Click Submit, Part 1 – Proofreading 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 to anthology.

Unless you’re submitting at midnight on 1st July, there’s still time to give yourself a few hours, days or even weeks breathing space before coming back and giving your work a thorough proofread. Make time to check for glaring errors that are going to interrupt a judge’s enjoyment of your piece.

Proofreading the Unfamiliar

The human mind can be wondrous and inventive, but it can also be downright lazy – the more familiar something seems then the less attention we give it which is why taking a break from it is so important.

Another sure fire way to give your proofreading a boost is to make sure what you’re reading looks different:

  • If you predominately write on screen, then printing your text will help you see it in a different light. Use a ruler or piece of paper under each line as you’re reading to slow down and proofread more accurately.
  • If you don’t have access to a printer, editor and author Catherine Coe recommends sending it to an e-reader or another device to read. You could even temporarily change the font to help you proofread it.
  • We often hear errors (especially grammatical ones) better aloud than when we read silently, so reading your text aloud slowly is great way to hear what works and what doesn’t work. Brave authors can record their text and play it back, or even get friends (or text-to-voice software) to read it to them.

Check back tomorrow for some more top tips before you submit and don’t forget to read the relevant criteria for instructions.

Getting Ready for UV2018 – Guest Blog with Sophie Cameron

In our sixth guest blog by a past finalist, Sophie Cameron (UV2016), whose novel Out of the Blue will be published next year, talks about the power of thinking yourself as a writer. 

Masterclass Breakthrough

Just over two years ago, I went to a masterclass on writing young adult fiction with Juno Dawson. The class was brilliant and Juno gave us lots of great tips, but one in particular stood out to me: think of yourself as a writer. If you write, regardless of whether or not you’ve been published, that’s what you are – not an “aspiring writer” or a “wannabe writer”, a writer. (Juno no doubt put it more eloquently than I have, but you get the gist.)

It’s pretty simple advice, but it really changed my outlook on writing. Before, I’d been someone who enjoyed writing, someone who’d done writing courses and workshops, someone who hoped to one day be published… but not a writer. Once I started thinking of myself as such, I began to take my writing more seriously. I got into a routine and started viewing it as a responsibility, just like my day job.

Entering UV

A month or so after that masterclass, I sent the first chapters of my YA novel Out of the Blue to Undiscovered Voices. I’d started writing the manuscript just a few months beforehand so at that stage it was only a very rough first draft, with lots of gaps and plot holes to be filled in. In the time between submission and the longlist announcement, I stayed focused and worked on properly finishing the novel and improving it as much as a could – not because I thought I had much chance of being selected, but because that’s just what writers do.

Even having a complete, polished manuscript to my name felt like a huge achievement.

Even having a complete, polished manuscript to my name felt like a huge achievement. Until then I’d always reach twenty or thirty thousand words, hit a wall, then get distracted by a shiny new idea and start over. I spent years stuck in this cycle, but once I decided I was a writer, finishing felt like something I had to do; it gave me a focus and drive that I’d never had before.

To my amazement, I made the Undiscovered Voices shortlist in December 2015.

The next few months were incredible: I got lots of requests to read the full manuscript from agents and editors, several of whom I met while I was in London for the Undiscovered Voices launch party last February, and ended up with multiple offers of representation. I signed with my brilliant agent Hellie Ogden last March, she sold Out of the Blue to Macmillan Children’s Books in October, and it’s now due to be published in spring 2018 – something that still hasn’t quite sunk in!

I was so lucky to be included in UV, and I know not everyone has such a quick or straighforward route to publication. But thinking of yourself as a writer, as someone who is serious and professional about what they do, can only help – especially if, like me, you’ve had trouble sticking to projects in the past. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been writing or what stage in your career you’re at: if you write, you’re a writer. Don’t be afraid to think of yourself as such.

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


Sophie Cameron is a YA writer from the Highlands of Scotland. Her first novel Out of the Blue was featured in Undiscovered Voices 2016 and will be published by Macmillan Children’s Books in 2018. She currently lives in Spain, where she works as an editor for an events magazine, and is writing her second novel. 

Win Win Win with UV2018!

Submissions for the next Undiscovered Voices open on Saturday! To celebrate, UV founder Sara Grant is giving away books this week. It’s her chance to support her fellow Undiscovered Voices writers and indy bookshops. Follow her on Twitter @AuthorSaraGrant for details and a chance to win books from Imogen White, Simon James Green, Dave Cousins, Kate Scott, Katie Dale, Claire Fayers, Candy Gourlay, Jane Hardstaff, Sarwat Chadda, Jane Benson McLoughlin & Shirley McMillan.

Undiscovered Voices helped launch the careers of 37+ writers with more than 200 books sold worldwide. We can’t wait to see who we will discover next!

Tonight, Monday 26th June, Sara Grant, Benjamin Scott, and Loretta Schauer will be taking questions as part of a live chat from 8pm to 9 p.m. for any last minute Undiscovered Voices questions.