On 24 February, 2010, we launched UNDISCOVERED VOICES 2010.
Twelve promising, unpublished UK writers were selected from nearly 150 submissions to be included in the 2010 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) anthology, titled Undiscovered Voices. The anthology features 4,000-word extracts of novels written for children.
“These selected stories are a fantastic sample of undiscovered talent,” said Natascha Biebow, Regional Advisor (Chair) for SCBWI in the British Isles. “The quality of the fiction submitted confirmed our belief that fresh voices abound amongst SCBWI British Isles members. We hope these ‘undiscovered’ writers won’t stay undiscovered for long.”
The 12 selected stories and their authors:
Adele by Anne ML Anderson
Back from the Dead by Nick Cross
Fifteen Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins
One of a Kind by Najoud Ensaff
From Darkness by Emily George
At Yellow Lake by Jane McLoughlin
Not Just the Blues by Claire O’Brien
The Truth about Celia Frost by Paula Rawsthorne
Vivian Divine and the Days of the Dead by Lauren Sabel
Slugs in the Toilet by Lisa Joy Smith
Blinding Darkness by Abbie Todd
Becoming Invisible by Yona Wiseman
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“The first anthology succeeded beyond our wildest expectations,” Biebow said. “It’s exciting to see novels in bookstores that were initially printed as extracts in the 2008 SCBWI anthology. We hope the writers and stories in the 2010 edition will have similar success.”
Undiscovered Voices has been sent to UK and US editors and agents focusing on children’s literature. The anthology features an introduction from best-selling children’s author Melvin Burgess and includes judges’ comments for each selected story.
“The goal of the anthology is not only to promote the twelve selected pieces and authors, but also to bring the SCBWI to the attention of children’s book publishers and agents,” Biebow said. “As a result of the amazing success of the 2008 Anthology, we hope that they will take an even closer look at submissions received from SCBWI members.”
The stories were submitted anonymously and selected by the following panel of editors and agents:
- Julia Churchill, The Greenhouse Literary Agency;
- Zoe Duncan, Scholastic Children’s Books;
- Lindsey Heaven, Puffin Books;
- Sarah Manson, Literary Agent;
- Jo Unwin, Conville and Walsh; and
- Emma Young, Macmillan Children’s Books.
“The selected stories highlight a variety of genres and demonstrate the unique voices, intriguing plots and unforgettable characters that called out to be noticed in the stories we received from SCBWI members across the UK,” said Biebow.
The first Undiscovered Voices anthology was published in 2008. Since then, eight of the twelve authors selected for the anthology are under contract for 24 books sold into 14 territories. These books have been honoured with nominations and included on prestigious literary lists, including the Blue Peter book award, the Barnes and Noble top teen book for 2009, the American Library Association Best Book for Young Readers, Borders Book of the Month, the 2010 Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, and the Branford Boase First Novel award.
Because the anthology is also designed to be a learning tool for up-and-coming children’s writers, quotes from the judges – discussing the merits of each piece and why each piece was selected – are included at the end of each story.
Working Partners provided the financial support that made this anthology possible. “Working Partners is delighted to sponsor this wonderful project which helps writers seeking to grow,” said Chris Snowdon, Managing Director, Working Partners Ltd, a creator of new series fiction for children and teens.
The anthology is not available at any retail outlets, but may be purchased for £5 from the Undiscovered Voices website (http://www.undiscoveredvoices.com).
Read more about the launch at: