Just over two years ago, I learned an extract of my ghost story, Adèle, had won a place in SCBWI British Isles' Undiscovered Voices 2010 anthology. I joined an illustrious company of previous Undiscovered Voices winners (Candy Gourlay, Sarwat Chadda, Steve Hartley, Harriet Goodwin). Since then many of my fellow 2010 winners have gone on to secure agents and publishing deals of their own (Paula Rawsthorne, Dave Cousins, Jane McLoughlin, Claire O'Brien).
Seriously, check out these covers:
My time hasn't come yet. I tell myself I'm still searching for my story. But nevertheless, winning a place in Undiscovered Voices was life changing for me. It was an affirmation, an accolade, an instant support group, and a networking boon all rolled into one.
But enough about me! The real point of this post is to extend a huge congratulations to 2012's Undiscovered Voices winners.
I've been avidly reading this year's anthology over the past week, and absolutely engrossed with the incredible storytelling included. Plus, for the first time ever, UV included illustrations. This might be my favorite part, as the illustrations are whimsical, beautiful, and hopeful. I keep coming back to each picture, losing myself in them again and again.
I also love the anthology's variety. Everything from straight up fantasy, to contemporary realism, to dystopian, urban fantasy, and an African adventure, an upside-down fairy tale to a story about a boy stealing the antichrist (aka Lucy). And such incredibly unique ideas! I was especially riveted by Sharon Jones' Dead Jealous (a murder mystery / thriller set in a teenager's worst nightmare: a New Age Festival), Jane Hardstaff's The Executioner's Child (historical fiction at the Tower of London with an ancient curse and river creatures--I couldn't stop turning pages!), Rosie Best's Skulk (a bad-ass female graffiti artist who discovers a shapeshifting fox--can't wait to see where this is going!), and Rachel J. Latham's To Dance with the Wind (totally unique, other-worldly fantasy with slaves and evil bird creatures. Wow!).
This week the blog Tall Tales & Short Stories is running interviews with all of this year's winning authors and illustrators, PLUS a competition to win a copy of UV 2012. Otherwise the anthology is not yet available publicly, but if you would like a copy (and aren't lucky enough to win one!), they should be on sale via the website by next week.
As this Thursday is the anthology's official launch party, I probably won't be posting again this week. Instead I'll be going to London that evening, hoping to get my copy filled with signatures from many of these soon to be famous authors, plus hobnobbing with some of my old friends from the 2008 and 2010 anthologies, the judges, and several dozen agents and editors (and yes, if I'm feeling brave, I may mention Project Demo to a few of them).
Again, congratulations to the UV 2012ers! I guarantee you won't be undiscovered for long.