Undiscovered Voices 2016

Posted on: May 2, 2015

SCBWI and sponsors Working Partners are proud to announce the launch of the fifth Undiscovered Voices competition to help fresh, new voices in children’s literature find agents and publishers. 

The project will launch with an event at Foyles on Charing Cross Road on 14th May 2015 at 6:30 p.m. At the event, several of the judges will offer invaluable advice for writers and illustrators who plan to submit to the anthology. Reserve your FREE ticket by visiting the Foyles event website at http://www.foyles.co.uk/Public/Events/Detail.aspx…

The Undiscovered Voices anthology will include twelve fiction extracts – from early readers up to young adult novels – and twelve black-and-white illustrations. The anthology will be published in February 2016 and sent free of charge to editors, art directors and agents whose focus is children’s literature. The book is produced with the financial support of Working Partners Ltd, a London-based company that creates series fiction. 

Submissions will be accepted between 1st July and 16th August 2015 via an online submissions process. There is no submission fee, but only unagented and unpublished members of SCBWI living in the UK and Europe (writing in the English language) are eligible. 

From the four previous anthologies, Undiscovered Voices featured authors and illustrators have received publishing contracts for more than 120 books. The authors have been nominated for and won an amazing array of literary prizes: including the Carnegie Medal, Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, Branford Boase Award, Blue Peter Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and over 30 regional awards. 

The following judges will select the extracts and illustrations to be included in the anthology: 

  • Jon Appleton, Hodder Children's Books 
  • Ali Ardington, Stripes Publishing 
  • Ed Burns, Advocate Art Agency 
  • Barry Cunningham, Chicken House 
  • Sheri Gee, Folio Society 
  • Jodie Hodges, United Agents 
  • Rachel Mann, Simon and Schuster 
  • Polly Nolan, The Greenhouse Literary Agency 
  • Anna Power, Johnson & Alcock 
  • Kate Shaw, The Viney Agency 
  • Will Steele, Random House 
  • Caroline Walsh, David Higham Associates 

    For more details visit Undiscovered Voices.


Undiscovered Voices is an initiative by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) British Isles to help fresh, new voices in children's literature – both writers and illustrators – find agents, publishers and ultimately readers. We're grateful for the support and sponsorship of Working Partners, as well as the editors and judges who volunteer their time to help Undiscovered Voices happen!



The Europolitan Conference by Pia Drent

Posted on: April 21, 2015

DSC_1514The Europolitan conference in Amsterdam at the start of April was my first SCBWI conference. I have been an illustrator member since 2013, unpublished, and I greatly looked forward to meeting top agents and publishers, writers and illustrators in the flesh. Well, I certainly did! And the way I felt about it was rather different than I had anticipated: a hairy monster came to visit.

Conference eve we spent on a scrawlcrawl, strolling Amsterdam with notebooks and sketchbooks in hand. I saw details of Amsterdam that I had not seen yet, and I met a big bunch of kindred kidlit spirits, which was so great.

Mina Witteman opened the conference quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson: 'What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us'. The quote had been contributed by Kirsten Carlson, one of the founders of the Europolitan conference, and, as I found out to my delight, an illustrator and a marine biologist like myself.

To be honest, I didn't quite get the quote to start with. Looking back now, I must have been in the 'what lies behind us' phase. There was no time to dwell, though, because we started full steam with the most incredible series of workshops, many parallel, and it was hard to choose.


Some of the highlights for me all had to do with tools to move forward:

. learning from Rachelle Meyer on illustrating book covers

. to be taught digital painting by Elizabet Vukovic

. Martha Rago on pitching for illustrators

. how to get characters in conflict by Dee White

. crit grouping with Esther Hershenhorn


Martha Rago also showed us what's been successful in picture books in the last decades, and in the last years. I had never seen so many great illustrations and stories in such a short time span before. What she showed looked coherent, it felt masterly. Like there was a plan. It was overwhelmingly multidimensional. And I felt no part of it. I saw a great big gap between me and my stuff and what she was showing us. I guess this is where I felt the 'what lies before us'. It felt like a huge dark furry ball, not scary perse, but it rolled over me and swallowed me up.

DSC_1850But Greet Pauwelijn of Book Island Press gave a magnificent motivational speech at the end. I much admire her mission to take Belgian and Dutch picture books across the borders, and most of all her stubbornness to embrace sophistication in children's books. At SCBWI and elsewhere I hear over and over about differences between 'European' and 'American' texts and illustrations, in darkness and quirkiness, in multilayeredness and depth. This is usually said in careful wording but Greet uses clear words.

When I got home, I entered the 'what lies within us'. And this is when the meaning of the quote suddenly hit me. There may be a gap between where I am and where I am going, but I am going! And the conference has not only given me a new sense of direction (Greet!), a new collection of tools and insights on how to do that, but also new and stronger friendships, with people that are on the same path and are very very supportive. The furry ball had spat me out.

Thank you each and all – organisers, faculty and attendees – for making this a great experience.




SCBWI Europolitan Conference by Andra de Bondt

Posted on: April 13, 2015


I am a member since the beginning of this year and I attended the Europolitan conference, which was held in Amsterdam April 4-5. It was one of the best experiences, not only because we got to meet with authors and industry professionals but also because I met some wonderful people who, just like me, share the same passion for children’s books.

The Amsterdam conference was very well organized, a great applause to all regional advisors, but most of all to Mina Witteman. 

I didn’t know what to expect and I must say it was quite “overwhelming”. There were so many interesting breakout sessions that sometimes it was hard to choose which one to attend. I still have to learn so much about writing. I got something valuable out of each session. 


My personal highlights: author Sandra Nickel’s seminar on antagonists, the Sunday Intensive “Rx for Children's Book Creators: Getting your stories right” by Esther Hershenhorn; what a lovely, beautiful person. And Greet Pauwelijn who discussed the taboos and cultural sensitivities in the English-and Dutch-language market.


I wanted to attend the breakout session for illustrators held by Omar Curiëre because my first stories are audio Apps and I wanted to learn more but like mentioned before: I had to make choices. First I want to get the “story right” then the rest will hopefully follow. 



During lunch I met with a participant who attended the session and we had a nice chat so I not only got to know a very nice person but I also came to the conclusion that; Apps are my passion.



Next to that some incredible beautiful illustration where show at the Portfolio Showcase, very inspirational. 


Conclusion: Attending the conference is not only a great way to meet fellow members and improve your skills, but we also are offered to talk and ask questions to professionals we otherwise might not have access to. I’m very happy I joined SCWBI.

Save the Date: SCBWI Europolitan Conference

Posted on: October 20, 2014

SCBWI EuroConf 2015 flyer

Show & Tell Amsterdam Kick-Off

Posted on: September 14, 2014

imagesWe had our first post summer Show & Tell at the ABC Treehouse. Thank you, Saskia Noordewier, it was a joy to 'join' you on your first SCBWI Summer Conference. Your hand-out with tips and tricks was enlightening and thought-provoking but above all encouraging. We will cherish your tips on our writers' and illustrators' journey to success.

Speaking of success: we made commitments at the Show & Tell, which we will publish soon on our SCBWI blog, but most were tied to the upcoming SCBWI Europolitan Conference in Amsterdam – put the date in your calendar! Easter Weekend 2015. We all pledged to have manuscripts and portfolios ready to show to publishing professionals.


A faculty sneak preview …


Jill Santopolo – Penguin Children's Book Editor. Scholastic, S&S and Puffin Children's Book Writer. New School University and McDaniel College Adjunct Professor. New Yorker (find her @JillSantopolo)


Martha Rago – Executive Art Director HarperCollins Children's Books (find her @martharago)


Brooks Sherman – Scoundrel. Blaggard. Keeper of the NecronomiKindle. Literary Agent at the Bent Agency. Not a Cannibal (find him @byobrooks)

Two more agents to be announced soon, as well as Dutch publishing professionals.


Middag van het Kinderboek – Afternoon of the Children’s Book

Posted on: June 24, 2014

Afternoon of the Children's Book 2014
Theme: International
Date: Saturday, September 13, 2014

For those of you who are interested: the workshops and lectures are held in Dutch – except for the keynote by guest of honor Aidan Chambers. 
One of the workshops is by the BNO and particularly interesting for illustrators venturing outside the Dutch borders. A workshop filled with information on licenses, royalties, and other legal and financial tips, but which will also touch on practical questions like 'Should I go to Bologna?' and 'How do I market myself?'
If your Dutch is up to it, I whole-heartedly recommend going! 

Middag van het Kinderboek 2014
Internationaal. Dat is het thema van de zesde Middag van het Kinderboek, die plaats zal vinden op zaterdag 13 september, zoals gewoonlijk in de OBA op het Oosterdokseiland te Amsterdam. Dit jaar wordt het iets anders dan vorige jaren. Naast de gebruikelijke korte lezingen zal er een lange lezing zijn. Die wordt verzorgd door eregast Aidan Chambers, die dit jaar tachtig wordt.

In de zesde editie zal er extra aandacht zijn voor de rol van de vertaler. Andrea Kluitmann, winnaar van de VvL-Penning vanwege haar verdiensten voor het kinderboek en vertaler Nederlands-Duits, en David Colmer, gelauwerd vertaler Nederlands-Engels, komen spreken over hun ervaringen.
Agnes Vogt van het Nederlands Letterenfonds zal vertellen over onze boeken in het buitenland.
Ook dit jaar zal er weer een schilderij live-on-stage gemaakt worden en deze keer gaat Loes Riphagen daarmee aan de slag.

De Middag wordt voorafgegaan door een drietal workshops.

De eerste workshop wordt verzorgd door de met de Martinus Nijhoff-prijs onderscheiden Annelies Jorna, die vanuit het Engels in het Nederlands vertaalt. In haar workshop biedt zij een introductie van haar vak.

De tweede workshop wordt verzorgd door de BNO (Beroepsorganisatie Nederlandse Ontwerpers). Anouk Siegelaar, Kitty de Jong en Gert Gerrits staan op de Middag van het Kinderboek klaar om alle vragen te beantwoorden over zaken als: het verwerven van internationale opdrachten, leenrecht, licenties en royalties in internationaal verband, auteursrecht en de digitale wereld, factureren, enzovoort. Je kunt hier ook terecht als je (juridische) vragen hebt over auteursrecht (bijvoorbeeld over licenties, royalties, citaatrecht etc.), advies wilt over de zakelijke kanten van je werk (uurtarief, acquisitie etc.); denk ook aan praktische vragen als: zal ik naar Bologna gaan, hoe market ik mijzelf? – Deze workshop is ook geschikt voor anderen dan illustratoren en vormgevers.
De derde workshop wordt verzorgd door Bas Maliepaard, journalist en recensent van onder meer Trouw. Hij biedt een introductie recenseren van kinderboeken. 

De Middag wordt afgesloten met de uitreiking door de CPNB van de Gouden Lijsten, de prijzen voor het beste Nederlandstalige en beste vertaalde boek in de leeftijdscategorie 12 tot 15 jaar.

De toegang is gratis. Je hebt echter wel een toegangsbewijs nodig voor de Middag, en als je naar een workshop wilt heb je daar een apart toegangsbewijs voor nodig, dat eveneens gratis is. Voor zowel het middagprogramma als een workshop heb je dus twéé kaartjes nodig. Dit is de link waar je terecht kunt voor je toegangskaarten: http://www.oba.nl/activiteit/middag. Inschrijven is nodig omdat je je toegangsbewijs per mail toegestuurd krijgt.




Posted on: May 29, 2014

The 2014 Golden Kite Poster by K.G. Campbell – The behind the scene interview.
The amazing Lee Wind, blogger, author and speaker, a co-Regional Advisor for SCBWI Los Angeles, the Captain of Team Blog and your official SCBWI blogger, interviews K.G. Campbell about the process and vision of creating this year's Golden Kite poster.  





Pepper in Your Chocolate: An Interview with Illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky

Posted on: January 31, 2014

1233603_582323388491591_130123157_nAward-winning illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky will visit us in Amsterdam on March 30, where he will teach a Master Class, organized by SCBWI's illustrious International Illustrator Coordinator Rachelle Meyer. To whet your appetite, Rachelle interviewed the master of illustration. If you like to find out more, hurry on to Rachelle's new blog Illunational and read all about Paul. 

Registration for the Paul O. Zelinsky Master Class will open February 7 through this website! Keep an eye on our blog or Facebook group. Seats will be limited, so be quick with registering!



Shortlist Undiscovered Voices Competition

Posted on: January 8, 2014

What will you discover?


12 unagented and unpublished writers
5 unagented and unpublished illustrators
24 of 36 previous authors published
With your help these voices won’t stay undiscovered for long


SCBWI British Isles is proud to announce the promising, unpublished writers and illustrators who have been selected from hundreds of submissions to be included in Undiscovered Voices 2014.

SCBWI congratulates the following twelve authors whose novel extracts will be featured in the anthology:


Phoenix by Katrina Charman, Wokingham, Berkshire

This Grimm Life by Christian Colussi, London

Vickery Barnet Recurring by Sarah Dalkin, London

The Voyage of the Onion by Claire Fayers, Cardiff

The Wing Giver by Emma Higham, London

A Good Hiding by Shirley-Anne McMillan, Maghera Village, Castlewellan

Fire Girl by Matt Ralphs, Old Wives Lees, Kent

Traitor Girl by Rachel Rivett, Basinstoke, Hampshire

Atticus Trump and the Astro Fart by Bronwen Roscoe, Effingham, Surrey

Southend Loaded by Susan Sandercock, Canvey Island, Essex

The Stone Cutter by Tioka Tokedira, Paris, France

Shadow Inclusions by Imogen White, Hove, East Sussex


The following five illustrators will have an illustration featured in the 2014 anthology. These artists created black and white drawings in response to a series of original scenes created by past Undiscovered Voices writers.


James Brown, Nottingham

Dave Gray, Mansfield

Olivia Palmer, London

Sarah Palmer, Coventry

Julia Walther, Germany


For the first time the Undiscovered Voices anthology will be available to download for free from www.undiscoveredvoices.com. A printed copy of the anthology also will be available to purchase from Lulu. The anthology will be available shortly.


The submissions were anonymously selected by the following panel of editors, agents and art directors:


  • Gemma Cooper, Literary Agent, The Bent Agency
  • Helen Graham-Cameron, Graham-Cameron Illustration Agency
  • Ben Horslen, Editorial Director, Puffin
  • Sarah Lambert, Editorial Director, Quercus Children's Books
  • Francis McKay, Francis McKay Illustration Agency
  • Polly Nolan, Literary Agent, The Greenhouse Literary Agency
  • Sara O'Connor, Editorial Director for Print & Digital, Hot Key Books*
  • Tracey Ridgewell, Art Director Older Fiction, Macmillan Children's Books
  • Martin Salisbury, Professor of Illustration, Course Leader, MA Children's Book Illustration, and Director of The Centre for Children's Book Studies
  • Samantha Smith, Fiction Publisher, Scholastic
  • Sallyanne Sweeney, Literary Agent, Mulcahy Associates
  • Ngheim Ta, Senior Designer/Digital Content Coordinator, Templar Books


Because the anthology is also designed to be a learning tool for up-and-coming children's writers and artists, quotes from the judges — discussing the merits of each piece — are included at the end of each illustration and extract. 


Working Partners Ltd, a London-based company that creates series fiction for children and teens, provided the financial support that made this anthology possible.


Congratulations to this year's Undiscovered Voices writers and illustrators!



May you breeze through 2014 on wings of inspiration and creativity!

Posted on: December 18, 2013

cc-ram2We can look back at a wonderful year with many inspirational events and meetings. We have good memories of the first Europolitan Conference in March, where we met with colleagues from our neighboring regions. New friends were made, critique groups were formed, ideas and encouragements were shared; a true crossing-border experience.
Celebrations are in order for our members Jane Warren and Elizabet Vukovic, who both made it to the Undiscovered Voices Anthology long list. Keep your fingers crossed for them: the short list – those who will be published in the anthology – will be made public on January 8!
More celebrations are in order for our former Illustrator Coordinator Rachelle Meyer. She stepped down from that function, but only to take on the huge job of International Illustrator Coordinator. 
Added to our regional team is Özge Tigli. She will be our webmaster and the go-to-person for all your questions regarding the new website. 


angelaThe Salon Series – an amazing initiative by Rachelle – has been inspiring and successful to us all. We will, of course, continue this fine tradition of meeting in an open forum as creatives to talk shop, be inspired by each other and encourage one another in our projects. Every second Friday of the month in Amsterdam! 
We have more Salon news: Jane Warren has initiated a Satellite Salon Series for our members in the The Hague/Rotterdam area. The Hague Salon meet every third Wednesday of the month in or around The Hague. Drop Jane an e-mail if you would like to attend!
The SCBWI has finally launched its new website and we are thrilled by the possibilities that it offers. We have our very own little nook here. We would like to urge you all to update your profiles on the website and include your portfolios for the Illustrator Gallery and published books for the Member Bookstore. It's the perfect way to get your work out there! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask Özge, Tess or me for help. 
The new website also features a Blog, where we will introduce our members, and an Events Calendar, giving you all the details of the events we have planned for you (also on the Facebook page).


Here is a quick overview of what is on schedule in the first four months of 2014:
January 5: Make Your Own Rubber Ink Stamps with Siobhan Wall
January 10: The Salon Series – Translation – with award-winning translator Laura Watkinson
January 19: Storyboarding, A Revision Workshop with author/editor Carolyn Coman
January 19: Q&A with Namelos publisher Stephen Roxburgh
February 14: The Salon Series
February 21 – 23: SCBWI Winter Conference in New York (be quick if you'd like to attend!)
March 14: The Salon Series – Fairy Tales in East and West – with Özge Tigli
March 30: Masterclass for Illustrators – with award-winning illustrator Paul Zelinsky
April 11: The Salon Series – Writing Picture Books – with Sieneke de Rooij
We hope to meet you all again in the new year.