Thursday, 7 April 2011
Undiscovered Voices 2012 launch
On Tuesday night I went to the SCBWI-BI anthology launch, where they had a panel of agents, editors, bookseller and literary scout. To put the panel at ease Sara O'Connor asked them a set of fun questions which included favourite childhood book ( this ranged from Goodnight Mr Tom to the Little Wooden Horse), recommended books (Graveyard Book and Julia Churchill said to read broadly). Then more serious questions such as what are you looking for. Now here was where I seriously made notes. Rachel Boden of Egmont doesn't want straight history or high fantasy (Tolkien), but does want 8-10 y/o boys and girls adventures, with humour. Survival stories (Dsytopia) and learning to survive in life. Dagmar, the literary scout said the same, but doesn't want humour like Horrid Henry Amber Caraveo of Orion said no high fantasy, and there is a gap for middle-grade adventure, and they want YA still as they had just started a new YA imprint called Indigo. Then asked what makes books stand out for them. Rachel said good characters (can't read what I put), when you read it you want to be on the journey with the character. Writing that hooks you. Strong voice that draws you in. Plots that stand out and has hook. Catherine Pellegrino said, good voice and character, writing that stands out. Then what are the author pitfalls. Jasmine Richards of OUP said a slow start. If not interested by page 10 then won't be. You've got to show what you've got as writter, and give the best shot at what you write. Ideas done before and aren't fresh. Jenny Savill said too many words or not enough, and not right words. Mss that has actions starting on page 3, too little sense what story is about, has to be told in an interesting way. Julia said entering scene too later or too early. Ie no alarm clocks or having breakfast. Show don't tell. Then it went online and they were asked what they meant by high fantasy - goblins, wizards and quests etc. I sighed with relief as I deem Allie low fantasy. Then it was to the bar. I went all brave (considering I have Asperger's and find it hard to communicate and socialise) and asked Rachel if she'd be interested in a low fantasy. She asked me what I wrote and I told her and she said yes. I gave her my card and she said that she'd mention my novel to her colleague whom I said I'd send it to. Then I went in search of Amber and I said the same thing with what the premise of my story was, and she replied the same to send it to her, so that is what I am going to do today. It's all printed out ready to be put in an envelope. So that was Tuesday evening and I came home on a high having spoken to 2 publishers who said send me my ms. It's a shame I can't enter the anthology as I am already published. It is a great chance for anyone not published to do so.