How entering Undiscovered Voices could bag you an agent - even if you don't win...

This week I'm excited to crack open the bubbly and say a big congratulations to Christina Banach. She truly is a testament to Never Giving Up. Even though she entered Undiscovered Voices twice but didn't win, Christina carried on writing and working on her craft. And I’m delighted to tell you she has now been signed by agent Yasmin Standen of the Standen Literary Agency, for her 11+ novel, Minty.

Christina is a former head teacher who lives in Scotland with her incredibly supportive husband and their two rescue dogs. She is an avid reader and particularly enjoys children’s and young adult fiction (all those years of buying for school libraries!). Since childhood she has dabbled in creating her own stories but it wasn’t until late 2001 that she began to write seriously. Then, in January 2006, she made the decision to resign from her teaching post and become a full-time writer. 

Christina joined SCBWI; devoured more fiction; studied James Scott Bell - Vogler, McKee, King, Brooker – every book on the craft of writing she could lay her hands on. She made notes, cogitated, digested – applied what she’d learned to her writing. She surfed the Net for anything that would make her a better writer. She sent work to Cornerstones Literary Consultancy for editorial reports; they offered to sell her through to agents. She kept writing, draft after draft. On and on. She entered Undiscovered Voices, unsuccessfully – twice. She thought about giving up... often! Then Cornerstones said her book, Minty, was ready to submit to agents. Enter Yasmin Standen of The Standen Literary Agency, with an offer of representation. Eureka! Is publishing success on its way at last? Here’s hoping... the manuscript is already with several publishers. Meantime, Christina is hard at work on her next book.

The blurb on Minty… Fourteen-year-old Minty and Jess are inseparable. Nothing can tear them apart. Until a family trip to the coast puts their bond in jeopardy. As Minty tries to rescue her dog from drowning she places herself in danger. Because she loves her dog – she has to save him. But at what cost? Only the stormy sea knows the answer. 

Please join me with a Hip Hip Hooray to Christina! Here's to her future success! And I hope her story will inspire you to work on your UV entry, as much as it inspired me....

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. Hurrah for Christina! This success is so well deserved. Christina was my first 'writer friend', we met on the Cornerstone's course, and has been so supportive to me over the years in many ways. She's definitely one of the determined (quieter) SCBWI members and I can't wait for everyone to read Minty. So hurry up publishers, snap it up!
    Big hugs from me. Yay!

  2. What a great story, Christina!! Congratulations, and good luck with Minty! :)

  3. Christina this is FABULOUS news - well done - am delighted for you :) I hope it inspires many more to enter Uv xx

  4. Congratulations Christina! I am so glad that your persistence had paid off. Best of luck with Minty!

  5. Christina, thank you for sharing your wonderful news with us. Affirmation by an agent is such a huge step, Congratulations!

    1. Thanks for all the lovely comments. A special thank you to Tania and the Words & Pictures team for featuring my story. It's much appreciated.

  6. I am just do excited for you! Many good wishes on the next part of your journey!

  7. Very encouraging to hear the whole story Christina. Hope it's all going well.


We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.