Undiscovered Voices is a competition run by SCBWI British Isles, and it offers an amazing opportunity for unpublished children’s authors and illustrators to be discovered.
My own writing career really took off when I entered this competition in 2013. Honestly, I didn’t think I had much of a chance, but I asked myself, what do I have to lose? So I took a deep breath, and submitted the first few pages of my YA novel PHOENIX.
Then I found out I had made the long list.
I continued on with daily life and writing and tried not to think about the submission, when one day I got the call from the wonderful Sara Grant, one of the co-founders of the competition, telling me that I was one of the chosen 12 authors who would have their writing featured in the 2014 Undiscovered Voices anthology which was sent out to industry professionals and would have the opportunity to attend the launch party where I could meet agents, editors and fellow writers.
It was a dream come true, and on the day of the launch I was incredibly nervous. I’d gone alone and, was worried I’d sit in the corner by myself all evening but from the moment I entered, I was introduced to people and ended up talking all evening with the most amazing people who worked in the industry and knew what they were talking about, and most amazing of all were telling me they liked my writing!
Everything was a bit of a whirlwind after that. I had multiple offers of representation and decided to go with Gemma Cooper at the Bent Agency who had been at the top of my agent wish list for a very long time.
PHOENIX wasn’t published, but shortly after I got a book deal, then another, then another. I now have book deals for eleven books ranging from picture books, early readers, chapter books and Middle Grade, with more exciting news on the way.
So what have you got to lose? Take a deep breath and press that send button. You never know where it might lead you.
(Submissions open on 1st July)