Every other year SCBWI-BI produces Undiscovered Voices, an anthology of new children's writing and illustrating talent. Over the next few weeks, we here at Words & Pictures are delighted to be able to introduce you to this year's fabulous winners. First up, Derby-based writer David Hall.


Tell us what you write

I write fiction for 9-12 year olds, although I'd love to write more seriously for other ages in the future. I wouldn't say I have a specific genre. I like stories with jokes, horror, action – stories with a little bit of everything, really.

Why did you enter Undiscovered Voices?

I saw it as a fantastic first step into the publishing world, a great way to meet new people and get some feedback on my work.

Tell us about the book you submitted

In Aisha Against the Omegas, twelve-year-old Aisha couldn't think of anything worse than following in the footsteps of her retired secret agent parents. She just wants to be normal. But when they're kidnapped by her dad's former nemesis, Aisha is forced to become the super spy she never wanted to become in order to stop her parents being turned into Omegas, brainwashed super-soldiers rumoured to be armed with impossible abilities.

How did you feel about winning Undiscovered Voices?

It was genuinely a dream come true. I'd been keeping an eye on the competition for years but only recently felt like my work was good enough to enter. I'd spent ages imagining how amazing being selected must have been – and then I actually was. And it was even better than I'd imagined.

In what ways was the feedback from Undiscovered Voices useful?

It was great to get an insight into the publishing process, and to get feedback – both positive and negative – from some of the best agents and editors in the industry.

Have you had any success with your book as a result of Undiscovered Voices?

Not yet, although I'm still hopeful. And the confidence, connections and friends I've made are a massive success in itself.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I'm a Waterstones bookseller from Derby, a huge Derby County fan and lover of books, TV shows, films – anything story related. You can find me on Twitter: @DavidHall261 

You can download the Undiscovered Voices 2018 anthology here to read an extract from David's book.

Undiscovered Voices is an anthology published every other year by the British SCBWI and aims to help fresh, new voices in children’s literature – both writers and illustrators – find agents, publishers and ultimately readers. Undiscovered Voices has launched the careers of writers and illustrators who have gone on to publish more than 200 books. These authors have been nominated for, and won, an amazing array of literary prizes: including the Carnegie Medal, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, Branford Boase Award, Blue Peter Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and nearly 30 regional awards. Visit www.undiscoveredvoices.com for all the details and news when submissions will open for the next anthology.

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