OPENING LINES September 2021

This month Natalie Yates brings you the opportunity for feedback on your Opening Lines from Hannah Featherstone, a freelance fiction editor

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 October with Hannah's response.

Hannah Featherstone - An Introduction

Hannah is a children’s book editor with over fifteen years of publishing experience. For six of those years she was an editor at David Fickling Books, where she learned a huge amount about recognising talented writers and developing strong stories.

As a freelance fiction editor she works on a range of fiction titles for a number of different children’s publishers, including Head of Zeus, Pushkin Press, Hot Key Books and Usborne.

She lives in a lovely village in Warwickshire, balancing editing with looking after three small children. Obviously they are all bookworms in the making!


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 – i.e. the first paragraph or up to the first 100 words only!

Make sure we receive your submission by September 27th 2021 for your chance to get your lines seen by Hannah. 

We’ll publish the results on October 31st 2021

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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