Thursday 19 January 2012

Undiscovered Voices 2012 by Maureen Lynas

Undiscovered Voices
I've just been to the 2012 Undiscovered Voices workshop at Working Partners to meet the team and the other authors who have won this years competition and I'm now all of a twitter so...

#amsogratefulto @saragrant @sarao'connor @karenball @elizabethgalloway who did such a fantastic job organising the 2012 Undiscovered Voices competition.

Sara Grant
A few years ago BI SCBWI volunteer, Sara Grant, came up with the idea for Undiscovered Voices and pitched it to Sara O'Connor who said, 'Yes! Let's do it!' (My words not Sara's but I bet I'm close) 'If just one author achieves publication from the competition then it will be worth the time and effort!' (Their words, or nearly) And so the competition was held and an anthology of story beginnings was created which they sent to all of the agents and editors in the UK. Two competitions later and THIRTEEN authors have been published. Which is just amazing *gasps and smacks forehead*

This year the anthology was also opened to illustrators and six talented illustrators were chosen @juliaGroves @amberHsu @heatherKilgour @shanaNieberg-Suschitzky @nicolaPatten @rachelQuarry.


We were given our copies of the anthology as we arrived for lunch at Working Partners *is cool and collected, not!* and we read the judges comments for the first time. *musing on meanings* We were a bit like teenagers comparing texts – What do you think they meant by that? It's good, isn't it? I think so. Yes. Definitely. Hm.

Malorie Blackman

We also saw Malorie Blackman's foreword which shows such understanding and sympathy for authors who are as yet unpublished.  I shall attempt not to stutter when I say thank you. Or blush. Or gush.

I don't think Nick Sharratt has forgotten his early days either judging from his message to the illustrators. Perhaps that feeling always stays with you? *nods*

#amsohonouredtobeinthebookwithauthors @rosieBest @veronicaCossanteli @sandraGreaves @janeHardstaff @deborahHewitt @davidHofmeyr&zoeCrookes @sharonJones @rachelLatham @richardMasson @rachelWolfreys @joWyton
The winners were given a pdf of the UV2012 book to read a few weeks ago *struts at first official proof read*and then *gulps* - the stories were so good! How was I in this book? Was Prince Bob up to it? So many themes covered, so many characters jumping off the page. No one was telling, everyone was showing, everyone was so talented! *faints in disbelief*
#amsonervousaboutmeeting @agents and @editors
The invitations for the book launch haven't been sent out yet but agents and editors are responding to the 'save the date' cards in such numbers that I'm hoping there won't be enough space in the venue for author collywobbles or knocking knees. We could be so squashed there'll be no danger of swooning either. *swoons today to get it over with* then *freezes with fear* at the thought of how many pitches must be made! Jo's going to blog about pitching soon.
#amhavinglotsofquestions for @saragrant and @sarao'connor
Sara and the team took us through each stage of the publishing process so that we knew what to expect if our books were picked up. From 'Hello, Lovely Agent/Editor' to 'Your Book Launch'. They very patiently answered all of our questions (I think I asked a lot!) and reassured us that the agents/editors would be very kind to us on the launch night. *shoulders down and deep breaths*
#amsopleasedtomeetyou @UV2008 and @UV2010 winners
While Sara O'Connor and the rest of the team stuffed envelopes with books Sara Grant took us to meet some of the previous winners who had generously turned out to meet this year's batch for dinner and drinks. They shared their experiences, their high, their low, their inbetweens. They showed their books, accepted our congratulations, wished us well. They hugged, we hugged. They laughed, we laughed. We hugged, they hugged. We laughed, they laughed. Until eventually, full up on bonhomie, we parted company with promises to keep in touch.
And so at the end of the day, we Undiscovered Voices winners of 2012 recognised that the UV team of volunteers had worked incredibly hard to create an amazing opportunity for us and, whatever happens at the launch on the 9th February and in the future, whether we achieve publication or not - a good time was had by all. *smiley grins* Thank you.

#amdoingaPS - @saragrant has a book out! Just in case you didn't know.

Sara Grant

Maureen Lynas also blogs on her own blog which she creatively named - Maureen Lynas


  1. The buzz around Undiscovered voices doesn't seem to abate all year round and I love it! Makes me smile my own head off - well done to all the winners and a special well done to the team that make it happen :o)

  2. Yes. It sounds a blast. What an adventure you're all on - and well deserved too.
    One question, when do us mere mortals (i.e. those of us who didn't get in) get a chance to see the anthology? Is it on sale from 9th Feb? where can you buy it? Etc.

    Love and wishes of success. x

  3. I can't wait to read the book! A great post, Maureen, am so pleased for you all!

  4. Well done everyone! That's the winners and the organisers - enjoy your success and good luck!

    I'm looking forward to seeing more covers joining the ones you have already.

  5. Good luck with getting a publisher. I have met a couple of the previous year winners and read their books so I can imagine how high the competition was to get into the anthology. I wish you all the luck and congrats for getting so far.

  6. There are some terrific stories in the new UV book - the quality must have made the judging process really hard! Congratulations you guys!

  7. How brilliant to get a workshop! Massive congrats to all involved and a great post, Maureen!

  8. I'm so glad I didn't have to judge, Candy.
    Thanks everyone, I'm really honoured to be among so many great writers at the start of their careers. And so looking forward to pitching to over 30 agents and editors - eek!

  9. Lovely Louise! Sorry, forgot to say, I think they go on sale after the launch but I'll check with Sara.

  10. Yes, wow! What an adventure you're all on! Well done to everyone and a huge thank your Sara, Sara and everyone else involved for all their hard working giving the undiscovered such a brilliant opportunity.

  11. It was a truly great day and lovely to meet you all. What a formidable team of creatives! Many important friendships being forged, I'm sure.

  12. Can't wait to read the anthology and get a preview of all those stories waiting to be published! Congratulations to all the winners and those on the long list, and massive thanks to Sara and Sara.

  13. It was great to meet everyone and to finally have a copy of the anthology. Happy days!

  14. Good luck and congratulations x

  15. It was a pleasure to meet all the UV2012s last weekend, and I'm so looking forward to reading the anthology entries. Congratulations ad good luck to all of you!

  16. What a great post. Congratulations to all the winners. I look forward to reading all the entries AND to hearing about agent deals, book deals, film deals.....


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