It was held at Foyles Bookstore in Charing Cross at the height of the rush hour which made the turn-out of people from the book world all the more incredible.
A few days before, the organisers emailed the authors a list of people who had RSVP'd. This gave us time to compose ourselves and thus reduce the chances of anyone inadvertently drooling on unsuspecting agents.
The superhuman Saras (Grant and O'Connor) - who organised the event and edited the book - went so far as to provide guests with a photographic contact sheet to make it easier for agents and editors to identify and snatch a chosen author before any of the others get there first.
That's me, bottom right, in a photo taken by my eight year old daughter. I must say I photocopy rather well.
Surveying the Foyles reception space, I rather regretted ditching an earlier plan to smuggle members of my critique group into the invitation-only party. There was a good sized curtain at one end that would have been a perfect hiding place.
Natascha Biebow, British SCBWI's energetic leader, in her welcome speech described the anthology as a "creative way for creative people to get noticed".
Chris Snowdon, managing director for Working Partners, recalled the "mind-boggling number of scripts" submitted. "There is some damn fine writing in the anthology," he said.
The celebrity guest of the evening was the wonderful David Almond who wrote a foreword to the anthology. David delivered an inspiring talk, recalling how he himself had been an "undiscovered voice" for a long, long time and the intense humiliations he went through - people who want to write "must dare to feel stupid". "There is something inside us that drives us to write stories," he said. "You spend your lifetime trying to find out what that thing wants to say."
Hobnobbing with agents and editors is a strange experience. I had to restrain myself from curtseying and kissing the hems of their wide-leg trousers - being a supplicant is a hard habit to break. It was the oddest thing finally putting faces to all those rejection letters I had received over the years!
The best thing was my agent (MY agent) came along to say hello. She was probably aware of my need to be reminded that she really does exist. I promised her that I wouldn't splash her identity all over my blogs to keep her safe from stalkers and wannabe-authors-who-jump -out-from-behind-bushes -at-night. But here's a lovely picture of her anyway toasting my success with uber children's author Jane Clarke on the right.
The weirdest thing about the evening was that people kept saying, "You're not UNdiscovered anymore!"
Which is very nice in theory. That said, there's plenty of work to be done.
Still. Pinch me someone!