About UV

Undiscovered Voices is a volunteer-run initiative by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) British Isles to help fresh, new voices in children’s literature find agents, publishers and ultimately readers.

We’re grateful for the support and sponsorship of Working Partners, as well as the committee and judges who volunteer their time to help Undiscovered Voices happen.

UV2024 submissions are now open.

To enter Undiscovered Voices 2024 CLICK HERE and complete the submission form

How it all started…

In 2006, when Sara Grant suggested the idea of an anthology to help unpublished writers achieve their dream of publication to Sara O’Connor, they both hoped the project would see one person get a book deal.

It didn’t turn out that way.

Full of hope and with enthusiastic support from Natascha Biebow, SCBWI-BI Regional Advisor, “Sara Squared” as we’ve been called, proposed the project to then employers Working Partners.

Without hesitation, Working Partners came on board as the sole sponsor, and have fully funded and supported the project since 2008. Undiscovered Voices would never have happened if not for their generosity.

Undiscovered Voices 2014

As for that hoped-for single book deal, it turns out from that first anthology; ten of the twelve featured authors now have book contracts – with over 200 published books between them.

In total, the initiative has, since its first anthology in 2008, seen 60 of its 128 featured authors and illustrators receive publishing contracts —resulting in more than 440 books put into print and receiving nominations for over 200 awards.

With the support of Anne-Marie Perks (SCBWI BI Illustrator Coordinator), Loretta Schauer and Bridget Strevens-Marzo, illustrators were included in the anthology from 2012 to 2018, focusing on black-and-white illustrators for older fiction.

We have been thrilled by the success of the 32 illustrators featured in four of the anthologies. The SCBWI illustrator team is working on creating a programme that we hope will produce even better results for SCBWI illustrators.

Sara Grant and the editorial team – Catherine Coe, Jenny Glenross, Benjamin Scott, Simon James Green and Rosie Best – have been hard at work with the support of the French SCBWI Regional Advisor Elizabeth Brahy.

Sara O’Connor will always remain a consultant to the project.

Moving on, for the UV2024 competition, a new team of volunteers took up the reigns – this time made up of past finalists!

Having inherited such a well-oiled operation, the new committee now steering the UV ship will continue to shout loud, support and celebrate the future SCWBI-BI Undiscovered Voices talent, which this competition is now famous for.

The new committee is: Imogen White, Laura Warminger, Susan Brownrigg, Katrina Charman, Claire O’Brien, Adam O’Connor, and Victoria Benstead-Hume, along with the brilliant ongoing support of Rosie Best and Elizabeth Brahy.

Continued thanks to Working Partners for their support for writers – both published and soon-to-be-discovered.

SCBWI-BI is a writing community that helps each other and succeeds together. The entire UV team couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished together.

We look forward to seeing what talented writers we will discover next.