Hip Hip Hooray for a Winner, a Wonderful Deal and a Write Now Longlisting!

Andrew Weale
Congratulations  Andrew Weale, Clare Furniss and Martin Stewart! This week I go undercover to bring you the Underpants of Shame - happily, none of this week's featured  celebrants  are actually wearing this hideous garment. In fact I hereby award them  the Giant SCBWI Hat of Wonder!

Andrew Weale is the author of five picture books. These include the ultra scary pop up Spooky
Hazy undercover shot of
 Underpants of Shame....

Spooky House that has just won the 2013 Red House Children’s Book Award. His counting book, A Quiet Day in the Jungle, has also been shortlisted for the 2013 Sheffield Award. As well as writing, Andrew is a professional actor and singer and has worked with star names such as Alec Guinness and Kevin Spacey. He is now a lecturer on children's writing at Winchester University and gives popular visits to many schools and festivals around the country. At the Imagine Festival this year, he did a highly successful event with star illustrator Ben Cort to promote Nora. Grown ups and children were warned to join in the fun, or suffer the eternal humiliation of The Underpants of Shame. Happily, Andrew need not wear them himself and neither shall Clare Furniss.

Clare Furniss

 The Year of the Rat, a YA novel by debut SCBWI author Clare Furniss, will be published by Simon and Schuster in the UK and the US after they won an eight way auction for the title. It's been quite a month for Clare as she only got her agent, Catherine Clarke of Felicity Bryan Associates (who she first met at a SCBWI agents party), four weeks before the two-book deal was made! 

Clare's success is especially heartwarming as, along with Rebecca Colby , Clare was the recipient of British SCBWI's Margaret  Carey conference last year. Both writers went on to get agents and book deals very soon after. The Year of the Rat will be out in the UK in 2014, and will also be published by Hanser in Germany and Bompiani in Italy. Clare studied at Cambridge and worked for several years in political media relations. She now lives in a very untidy house in Bath with her husband and three small children and is completing an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. Sharing the Hat of Wonder with Clare and Andrew is Martin Stewart.

Martin Stewart’s novel, The Marionette, has been longlisted for Pan MacMillan’s Write Now
Martin Stewart
Prize! The Marionette’s protagonist, Fin dreams  he meets his terminally ill grandfather as a young boy. As his granda’s health worsens in the waking world, the boy in his dreams starts telling him stories; and something is happening to the broken, rotting, marionette… Yikes! 

Martin lives in Glasgow. After fuelling his love of writing on the University of Strathclyde’s MLitt course he- much to his surprise- found himself teaching English. He loves writing about family and horror; building stories with the bones of folklore and a modern voice.

Finally a big HOORAH to SCBWI members Wendy Meddour and Lydia Syson who, with their clearly wonderful editors,  have both made the Branford Boase shortlist .  I'm thrilled that two of the seven shortlisted authors are SCBWI members.
Take care of that Hat you fabulous people, I think we might be needing it again! ( You can keep the Underpants Andrew, we won't be needing those...)

Kathy Evans is Celebrations Editor for Words & Pictures. She is South East Network Coordinator with Mariam Vossough and is represented by Sophie Hicks at Ed Victor.


  1. Kathy, thank you for your Hat of Wonder - I would LOVE to see what that looks like!
    Many congratulations Andrew, Clare and Martin, amazing stories of success!

  2. Yet more wonderful SCBWI news. I'm especially thrilled for Andrew who is a wonderful writer and wonderful writing buddy. We sat through many ours of critical workshop together at the City Lit - which I would recommend for anyone with access to Central London and looking for a children's writing course.
    Congratulations everyone else.

  3. It's fantastic stuff isn't it? And so nice to see the SCBWI web of connections....

  4. Only just seen this - thanks Kathy! V relieved to have avoided the Underpants of Shame. Big congrats to Andrew, Martin, Wendy and Lydia on all their amazing achievements... I feel honoured to be sharing the Hat of Wonder with such distinguished writers!

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