Saturday, 9 April 2011

WRITING COMPETITION!!! - Children's & YA Fiction

Here it is, as promised, news on a fantastic writing competition.
I've been dying to tell everyone because it's such an exciting opportunity, but as part of the official blog tour I had to keep quiet until today. 
But now I can SHOUT IT OUT LOUD!!

On the 5th April, UNDISCOVERED VOICES 2012, was launched!!


It's a fantastic opportunity to get your work seen by agents, editors, booksellers and literary scouts. Undiscovered Voices will include a dozen extracts early readers up through young adult novels. The anthology will be published in 2012 and sent free of charge to UK editors and agents focusing on children’s literature, in the hopes of getting these authors discovered. The book will be produced by volunteers with the financial support of Working Partners Ltd, a London-based company which creates series fiction.

Here are the judges for UV 2012 and I'm sure you'll agree it's quite a list!

JO ANNE COCADIZ, Book Buyer/Seller for Foyles children’s books
AMBER CARAVEO, Editorial Director at Orion Children’s Books
JULIA CHURCHILL, Literary Agent for Greenhouse Literary Agency
CATHERINE PELLEGRINO, Literary Agent at Rogers, Coleridge & White
JASMINE RICHARDS, Senior Commissioning Editor at Oxford University Press
JENNY SAVILL, Literary Agent at Andrew Nurnberg Associates
RACHEL BODEN, Commissioning Editor at Egmont

And the competition's Honorary Chair is award-winning author MALORIE BLACKMAN

From SCBWI’s first two Undiscovered Voices anthologies, 13 of the 24 selected authors are published or under contract to be. Awards for these publications include winning the Bedfordshire Children’s Book of the Year plus nominations for 11 regional awards, the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, the Branford Boase Award, Blue Peter awards and one title was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal.


The competition is open to unagented and unpublished members of SCBWI-British Isles.


It's easy - join SCBWI.  

Here's how:  Click on this link SCBWI

(Yes, it is an American site and the amount to pay is shown in dollars but don't worry everything's done for you. International membership automatically grants you membership to the British Isles Region or any other region local to you.)


For any aspiring children's or YA writer being part of a network of like-minded writers is invaluable in itself. SCBWI-British Isles consists of published and unpublished authors writing for all age groups in both fiction and non-fiction. There so many things on offer, all year round! 


  • Online critique groups for Picture Books; 8+ Middle Readers & Series; 11+ Fantasy; 11+ Realism; YA Fiction; Illustrators & Authors; Illustrators. 
  • A private messageboard where you can ask for advice, network or just chat with fellow authors and illustrators.

  • The Ning is SCBWI-BI's own social network where you can set up your own personal author page.

  • SCBWI-BI is active on facebook and twitter.

There's also the Slushpile Challenge where an invited agent poses a writing challenge to the SCBWI-BI membership.

 If the online stuff isn't enough what about meeting up in the real world?

  • There's the SCBWI-BI Retreat and the annual Winchester SCBWI-BI Conference with guest speakers, workshops, critique meets, competitions and all things children's and YA books.
  • The Professional Series in London provides a wonderful opportunity to gain vital information from industry professionals.
  • Also in London, there is the annual Agent's Party and regular Masterclasses in how to improve your own writing.
  • And if, like me, you're a non-Londoner, there's a network of regional groups around the country that organise regional face-to-face crit groups and get-togethers; Workshops and Guest Speakers; and Scrawlcrawls (writers and illustrators go from venue to venue, either sketching or writing, or both.)


The Competition Organisers have kindly sent me some Do's and Don'ts

DO - Read the Submission Guidelines carefully. Help make it easy for the organisers and don't scupper your chances at the first hurdle.

DO - Take a look at the Tips From the Co-Editors

DO - Take a look at Tips From a Judge

DO - Write something fabulous. Write something fresh. Consider the younger age categories. There are always so many more submissions for YA than any other category, which makes the competition fierce. 

DON'T - Send in picture books it will disqualify your entry immediately.

DON'T - Make the organisers unhappy by making them chase for proof of membership, or cover sheets.

DON'T - Put your name anywhere on the manuscript. The only place your name should go is on the cover sheet/author agreement. It's got to be anonymous!

DO - Put the title of your piece and a page number on every page.

A message from one of the Competition Organisers:
Joining SCBWI-BI means having instant access to a nationwide network of supportive writers, a constant rota of events and conferences, online and offline advice on everything (and if it's not there, just ask, you'll get plenty of answers!) and lots and lots of enthusiasm for the written word. I can't recommend it highly enough. Once you've joined, this competition could mean that your work gets into the hands of every UK children's book agent and editor, who pay a fair bit of attention to this little anthology. 

REMEMBER - There is no submissions fee but only unagented and unpublished members of SCBWI British Isles are eligible.

Submission deadline:
Monday 1st June 2011. 


The Undiscovered Voices Blog Tour



karen ball said...

Superb blog post! A great run down of the advantages of joining SCBWI, how to make the most of your Undiscovered Voices entry and links to all the other fabulous blogs as part of this tour. Fantastic support - and who could resist your brimming enthusiasm? Right, off to write now! Thank you.

Tracy said...

It is such a great opportunity who wouldn't be excited!! :)
I'm off to sit in the sun and edit my entry.

Nick Cross said...

Thanks Tracy, that was a great round-up. I also posted my own unnoficial contribution yesterday with advice and tips on how to make your entry stand out: How to Win Undiscovered Voices

Emailman said...

Great blog post, Tracy :) Thanks for sharing this.

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