This month Chip Colquhoun brings you the opportunity for feedback on your Opening Lines from Jenny Savill of Andrew Nurnberg Associates.

Opening Lines gives you a chance to get some professional feedback on those all-important first few words so you can fine-tune your submissions. Three entries will be chosen at random for feedback. If yours is selected it will be published anonymously here in July with Jenny’s response.

Meet Jenny

Jenny Savill joined international literary agency Andrew Nurnberg Associates in 2002, starting out as assistant to Mr Nurnberg himself. But she brought with her a background in acting, writing and devising for children and young people so soon received the opportunity to channel that passion into starting the agency's Children's List. Among her first clients were YA award-winner Keren David, Undiscovered Voices author Dave Cousins and Undiscovered Voices founder Sara Grant, the latter two of whom were both Crystal Kite winners.

Jenny's knack for spotting and championing award-winning talent may well be related to her unwavering loyalty both to her clients and to her agency. Two decades on from joining as assistant to the Managing Director, she accepted the role of Managing Director and her list has grown to over 40 authors including Hana Tooke, Savita Kalhan and Yarrow Townsend. For evidence of the support Jenny generously lavishes upon those in the world of children's literature, you can follow her on Twitter via @JennySavill1.

In submissions Jenny is especially keen to hear from writers chronically underrepresented on the shelves. But her main criteria are a fresh voice, originality, depth and the ability to move and surprise. Would she find those in your work?

Enter this month's Opening Lines for the chance to find out!

How to submit your Opening Lines

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

•  your story’s title

• your 'elevator pitch' – usually just one or two sentences totalling no more than 40 words conveying the key character, crisis point, genre and/or theme of your story and

• the opening lines of your story, (eg the first paragraph), to a maximum of 100 words.

Make sure we receive your submission by 2 July 2023. Three entries will then be selected at random to be sent to Jenny.

We’ll publish the results around 30 July 2023.

Please note that, by submitting to Opening Lines, you give Words & Pictures the right to publish the content of your submission anonymously. However this is not an exclusive right so you are free to submit your story elsewhere.

Who is eligible?

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

To join SCBWI and take advantage of the many opportunities like this one to be supported in the development and pursuit of your craft – and also find advice on marketing your work, meet fellow writers and artists and much much more – 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 please contact us – we'd love to hear your story.

 *Header Image: Jenny Savill


Chip Colquhoun

Chip began storytelling for children in 2007 and was asked to write the EU’s guidance on using stories in classrooms in 2015. He became a children’s writer when The History Press commissioned him in 2016 to write Cambridgeshire Folk Tales for Children. He’s since had 21 books published, most as part of the Fables & Fairy Tales series he co-produces with illustrator Korky Paul, (published by Epic Tales), and is currently working with the Department for Education's English Hub to raise rates of recreational reading in schools. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.

No comments:

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.