Today, nineteen talented SCBWI-ers (members of the Society of Childrens Books Writers and Illustrators) discovered that Santa had left them a very special early Christmas present - as winners of the Undiscovered Voices 2012 competition!
Congratulations to the six winning illustrators:
Julia Groves, Amber Hsu, Heather Kilgour, Shana Nieburg-Suschitzky, Nicola Patten and Rachel Quarry!
And Congratulations to the winning writers!
Rosie Best (Skulk),
Veronica Cossanteli (Dragons Do. Dodos Don't),
Sandra Greaves (Gabbleratchet),
Jane Hardstaff (The Executioner's Child),
Deborah Hewitt (Felix Munroe: Hell's Angel),
David Hofmeyr and Zoe Crookes (Kalahari),
Sharon Jones (Dead Jealous),
Rachel Lathem (To Dance With The Wind),
Maureen Lynas (To Destiny or Death),
Richard Masson (Boonie),
Rachel Wolfreys (Touch)
and Jo Wyton (Magpie)!
What great titles! The winning writers were selected by a judging panel of industry professionals from over 150 anonymous entrants, and they have a very exciting ride to look forward to!
It is no exaggeration to say that Undiscovered Voices 2008 launched my own writing career. One day I was struggling in the slushpile hopefully submitting my work to agents and publishers without any success - then after being selected as a winner, agents and publishers were contacting me! Unfortunately I was in Vietnam at the time (timing has never been my strong suit!) but UV led to a publishing deal (Fairy Tale Twists), which led to four agents offering representation, which led to a two-book YA novel deal (Someone Else's Life) in the UK, US & Canada! Click here to read more in my Story So Far
And it has brought success and recognition to many other talented writers. In fact, from the first two anthologies (2008 & 2010) thirteen of the twenty-four winners now have publishing contracts, and have won or been nominated for a galaxy of awards, from the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize to the Blue Peter Awards! Read more here.
In fact five out of the eight EDGE members are Undiscovered Voices winners, including
(Dark Parties, published by Orion December 2011)
Dave Cousins (Fifteen Days Without a Head, published by OUP January 2012),
(Angel's Fury, out now from Egmont),
Paula Rawsthorne (The Truth About Celia Frost, out now from Usborne)
And Bryony and Paula have just been short-listed for the Leeds Book Award!
Congratulations to all this year's winners - I'm sure you'll all be having a very merry Christmas!