This month Natalie Yates brings you the opportunity for feedback on your opening lines from Laura West of David Higham

OPENING LINES gives you a chance to get some professional feedback so you can fine-tune your submissions. Three or more entries will be chosen at random for feedback. If yours is selected, it will be published anonymously here in July with Laura's response.

Laura West – An Introduction

After reading English Literature at Sussex University and Oregon State University, Laura joined David Higham, first in the Media Department before moving over to Books. She previously worked at Waterstones and the Brighton outpost of The Lamb Bookshop as well as in numerous pubs in Brighton and Kettering.

Laura is on the lookout for all kinds of writing for children - fiction and non-fiction for young readers, middle grade, teen and YA audiences. She is incredibly keen to find brilliant new voices that explore environmental and social themes. She would also like to find a knock-out story of first love, full of joy and longing. She is happy to receive submissions via email and you can find her on Twitter @LozWesty.


How to submit your Opening Lines 

Please email and write OPENING LINES ENTRY in the subject line. Your email needs to contain:

• your full name
• title
• elevator pitch
• first few opening lines.

Make sure we receive your submission by June 27 2020 for your chance to get your lines seen by Laura. 

We’ll publish the results on July 26 2020

Remember, OPENING LINES isn’t a competition, so you are free to submit your story elsewhere.



You need to be an un-agented, current SCBWI member, and resident in either the UK or Europe.

To join SCBWI and take advantage of the many opportunities to: raise your profile, market your work, meet fellow writers, artists and the gatekeepers to publication, while being supported in the development and pursuit of your craft, visit


If you've received feedback from OPENING LINES, how did it help you? If it led to you finding an agent or a publisher, we'd love to hear your story.


Natalie has been a SCBWI member since 2015 and is now Networks Coordinator for the North East. When she is not working as a Teaching Assistant for a local secondary school, she writes for the YA audience. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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