Last night was the launch party for this year’s Undiscovered Voices anthology, organized by the SCBWI and Working Partners. I caught up with winners old and new for dinner, chat, and sneaky autographs (something the new UVs are going to have to get used to!) before the "SCBWI-DO"(!) kicked off at beautiful St. Chad's Place.
|Class of 2010! Jane McLoughlin (At Yellow Lake) and Anne M. Leone (Adele)|
And what a turn-out! Ninety-six industry professionals came along, along with eighteen winners, two years’ worth of alumni and a partridge in a pear tree, all crowded into the beautiful restaurant where there was bubbly, laughter, and congratulations for all as outside the snow began to fall.
It was so lovely to be able to go along and enjoy the evening, celebrating the success of the new Undiscovered Voices, and indeed the competition itself, which has propelled thirteen of the previous twenty-four winners into becoming published authors – including five members of The Edge!
|All these authors started as Undiscovered Voices!|
|2010 winner and Edge author Dave Cousins signs |
copies of his new book "15 Days Without A Head"
|Lovely Natascha Biebow welcomes everyone|
|Chris Snowdon (Working Partners)|
It’s no overstatement to say I owe my career to Undiscovered Voices, and I remember so well standing in their shoes, feeling so excited and thrilled but also equally so nervous and terrified of introducing myself to all the scary and important editors and agents, so it was especially lovely to enjoy the party this year without any of the pressure and nerves – chatting to editors and agents I’ve gotten to know over the past four years, and helping to “match-make” the new UVs with the (really quite lovely) editors and agents.
|Lovely Catherine Coe, judge of UV2008, who gave me my first contract!|
With Ben Horslan (Egmont Books)
|Malorie Blackman, |
Co-founder of UV, author of Dark Parties and Edge author Sara Grant (busy lady!)
And the lovely Nick Sharratt
This year’s competition is unique in that for the first time ever, it was open to illustrators too – and the six winning pictures are such an asset to the anthology, each so bold, so beautiful and so varied! It also meant that the incredibly talented and ever-so-lovely Nick Sharratt (who wrote a foreword to this year’s anthology) was at the party (I nearly had a fangirl meltdown when I met him – v.embarrassing!) and regaled us with stories of his journey to publication – and how difficult it is to draw shopping trolleys!
Also providing a foreword in the anthology and inspiring and encouraging all the writers in the room was the wonderfully talented and vivacious Malorie Blackman. Here she is, describing the moment she received her first acceptance letter after two years on the slushpile!
This was a feeling I remember so well – from first being told I’d been chosen for inclusion in the anthology back in 2007, to receiving my first publication contract!
A feeling these Now-Discovered Voices will remember and enjoy for many years to come.
|Sandra Greaves (Gabbleratchet) wins best hat of the night!|
|Winners! David "The Hoff" Hofmeyr (Kalahari) |
with Maureen Lynas (To Destiny or Death!)
|Jane McLoughlin (UV10, At Yellow Lake), Lisa Joy Smith (UV10, Slugs in the Toilet) and me!|
|Candy Gourlay (UV08, Tall Story!) - caught with camera!|
|Sarwat Chadda (UV08, Devil's Kiss) with UV12 Judge Jo Anne Cocadiz|
with Jo Wyton (UV12, Magpie) and Abbie Todd (UV10, Blinding Darkness) behind
|UV12 Winners Jo Wyton (Magpie) with Rosie Best (Skulk)|
|Judge & Literary scout Dagmar Gleditzsch|
with co-founder, the lovely Sara O'Connor
Special thanks to Candy Gourlay for letting me use some of her photos xx