What do a cross-dressing spy, ten little pirates and a Pi-rat have in common?

They all launched this summer at a bookshop near you. So please raise your glasses and drink a toast to celebrate the latest achievements of SCBWI authors and illustrators Kate Scott, Mike Brownlow and Maxine Lee. 

First up, a huge Congratulations! to poet Kate Scott, a winner in the first Undiscovered Voices competition in 2008. She was expecting a call from the plumber when one of the Sara's called her with the news. You can read her story on how it happened for her on the UV blog here. And now Spies in Disguise: Boy in Tights, the first in a new comedy-adventure series for 8-12, has just been published by Piccadilly Press. The sequel, Spies in Disguise: Boy in a Tutu, will be published in 2014. 

 Book blurb: Joe discovers his parents are spies – which is great. But Joe’s parents are in danger – which is not so great. And now Joe has to go undercover as a girl – which is definitely NOT GREAT AT ALL. Joe (now ‘Josephine’) starts his new school miserable in a blonde wig and a dress. Joe must face the challenge of a conniving teacher, a football match, a host of unusual spy gadgets – and wearing tights. Can Joe complete the mission without revealing his true identity? 

Poems from Kate Scott's collections Stitches (Peterloo) and Escaping the Cage (HappenStance) have been broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and her short fiction on Radio 4 Extra. Kate was one of four poets-in-residence for the National Trust which led to a reading hosted by Sir Andrew Motion and Tom Paulin at Kings Place. Kate’s TV writing credits include Big and Small (CBeebies), Chuggington (CBeebies) and The Hive (Disney World). In 2011 her radio play, Voice, was shortlisted for the Nick Darke Award and she was longlisted for the 2013 BBC Radio Writer’s Prize. Kate was included in the first Undiscovered Voices anthology with her 11+ novel The Rule of Water. She has written commercial and educational fiction and non-fiction for HarperCollins, Hodder, Pearson Education and Oxford University Press. Kate is represented by Eve White (books) and Yasmin McDonald at United Agents (scripts). 

And now Hip Hooray! for Mike Brownlow whose picture book Ten Little Pirates, published by Orchard, sailed into shops in July and is already doing well. Mike tells us: “The text first saw the light of day at a Friday night pre-pizza session at the SCBWI conference in a small group run by the excellent Addy Farmer. Unusually for me, while I’ve written the text, another illustrator, Simon Rickerty has provided the illustrations, which I love. It’s quite different to the sort of work I would have come up with. I've already written a sequel, which is being illustrated at the moment, and is due for release next summer. The paperback publication of TLP has been brought forward by six months to February, so, all in all, I'm quite chuffed the way things are going!” 

Mike lives in Bruton, Somerset with his wife and has three grown up daughters. He has created many books for children, including Little Robots, which was turned into a major animated TV show for the BBC and screened in over 70 countries worldwide. He has worked for many of the leading publishers including Bloomsbury, MacMillan Children’s Books, Scholastic, Simon and Schuster, Oxford University Press and Piccadilly Press.

From pirates to a rascally Pi-rat… and a big Hurrah! for debut author/illustrator Maxine Lee. Maxine came up with the idea for her picture book Pi-rat! while working on a completely different project. If anyone is thinking of submitting a picture book dummy to agents and publishers, Maxine has written up how she did it with Pi-rat! on her website. Do take a look for lots of tips and inspiration.

Who's the most rascally rat to sail the seas? It's Pi-Rat of course! Ahoy there! Meet Pi-Rat and his swashbuckling crew. They're brave, bold and nothing scares them. Well, almost nothing... 

Maxine was born in Liverpool, Merseyside where she still lives with her partner and their two fantastic boys. After gaining an HND in Multimedia Arts and a BA Honours in Digital Arts in 2004, she went on to teach a range of creative subjects before taking a step back to concentrate on her freelance career as an author/illustrator. Since joining with her agent, Bright Group, Maxine has worked with a number of publishers on everything from pop-up books to jigsaws. Pi-Rat! is Maxine's debut as Author/Illustrator (Caterpillar Books Ltd) with Sorry, Dad! to follow next year.

Please join me with a massive Hip Hip Hooray! to Kate, Mike and Maxine. Here’s to the success of their fantastic stories! Now I really have to go and finish tweaking my Undiscovered Voices entry before I go on holiday… Jan will be here at Celebrations next week.

Tania Tay is an ex-advertising copywriter and has been published in Sable LitMag. She is writing MG and YA fiction, and is on the editorial team at Words & Pictures.


  1. Hooray for you all - what wonderful newses ;)

  2. Thanks so much for the write-up, Tania (and good luck with your UV entry!) Big congratulations to Mike Brownlow and Maxine Lee too -- I love the sound of both those books (I'm off to look them up right now). Kate x

    1. You're welcome, it's a pleasure, Kate, and I'm just glad I managed to send my UV entry off before my hols! Congrats to you all for your amazing books!

  3. Congratulations Kate, Mike and Maxine, they all look lots of fun!

  4. Thank you so much, Tania! Huge congratulations to Mike and Kate too! x

  5. Well done all. Isn't it great that we have enough good news for a celebrations post every week?

  6. Take a view at flexispy app review to explore a lot of cool tips on using spy apps and articles on security and hacking


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