Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Undiscovered Voices Masterclass Series

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Date(s) - 08/05/2021 - 22/05/2021
10:00 am - 11:30 am

Zoom - virtual meeting online
Virtual - meeting , online Uk

Undiscovered Voices Masterclass Series


Do you want to be one of the fresh, original voices featured in the next SCBWI Undiscovered Voices anthology? The Undiscovered Voices team has created a series of three, 90-minute masterclasses to help you prepare to your submission.


The anthology will include at least twelve fiction extracts – from early readers to young adult novels – from SCBWI members in the UK and EU. The anthology will be published in January 2022 and sent free of charge to editors and agents whose focus is children’s literature. The book is produced with the financial support of Working Partners Ltd, a London-based company that creates series fiction. Submissions will be accepted between 14th June and 18th July 2021 via an online submissions process at 


Three, 90-Minute Masterclasses with our experts:

8 May 2021 – TITLES THAT SELL – Freelance editor Jenny Glencross will discuss how to craft a title to capture the attention of readers with Dani Wilson from Simon & Schuster’s Children’s sales team.


15 May 2021– WRITING A SYNOPSIS – Author/editor Benjamin Scott will share the secrets of how to summarize a novel into the 75-word synopsis required for each UV submission.


22 May 2021– HOOKING YOUR READER FROM THE START – Editor/author Catherine Coe and author/screenwriter Simon James Green will discuss how to polish those opening lines so readers are compelled to read on.


Each session will run from 10 – 11:30 a.m on Zoom, and contain practical advice and hands-on exercises.


All UV masterclasses will be recorded and offered to attendees for two weeks after the event.

The cost for all three sessions for SCBWI members is £30.
The cost for non-members is £40
No individual sessions will be sold.

Free places on the 90-Minute Undiscovered Voices Masterclasses and scholarship SCBWI memberships for Writers under-represented in children’s books:

For the first time, SCBWI British Isles /EU regions will offer scholarship SCBWI memberships in conjunction with Undiscovered Voices. Only SCBWI members can submit work for consideration for Undiscovered Voices, which can be a challenging financial hurdle for some writers. SCBWI British Isles /EU regions will award a limited number of scholarship memberships to writers in time to submit to Undiscovered Voices.

Here’s how it works:

Writers living in the UK or EU who identify as being from a background currently under-represented in publishing* or who are unable to afford an SCBWI membership may request a free place at the Undiscovered Voices Three 90-minute Masterclass Series, taking place on 8, 15 & 22 May 2021 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. on Zoom.

The events will be recorded and available to any one with a ticket for up until two weeks after the events.

After the final masterclass, any UK- or EU-based writer awarded a free place for this masterclass series will be asked to submit the title, a 75-word synopsis and the first 500 words of their completed novel. A limited number of scholarship SCBWI memberships will be awarded to writers who show promise. Successful applicants will be notified in early June 2021 – in time to submit to the Undiscovered Voices competition.

Eligibility for Free Places – Terms & Conditions

To apply for one of the free places for the Undiscovered Voices masterclasses, you do not have to be a member of SCBWI, but you must meet the following criteria:

  1. You should identify as being from a background currently under-represented in publishing* or without the free place you would not be able to attend.
  2. You should be able to demonstrate a serious commitment to writing for children (i.e. have taken part in critique groups or have taken advantage of free courses and resources that are available).

To apply for a free place, please email with Free Places in the subject header. In no more than a few sentences, please explain how you identify as being under-represented and tell us something about your commitment to writing for children. If you are applying for the free places due to financial hardship, you do not need to explain your situation. We will trust that anyone who applies has a legitimate need.  The free places will then be allocated to all eligible applicants. The deadline for submitting applications for free places for the 90-Minute Undiscovered Voices Masterclasses is midnight on Friday 23rd April.

*We recognise all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA+, BAME, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities. We subscribe to a broad definition of disability, which includes but is not limited to physical, sensory, cognitive, intellectual, or developmental disabilities, chronic conditions, and mental illnesses (this may also include addiction). Furthermore, we subscribe to a social model of disability, which presents disability as created by barriers in the social environment, due to lack of equal access, stereotyping, and other forms of marginalisation.


About the Presenters:


Catherine Coe is a children’s book editor with twenty years’ experience. Before going freelance in 2011, she was Senior Commissioning Editor at Hachette Children’s Books, where she acquired and edited a wide range of highly successful fiction, from Beast Quest and Rainbow Magic to The World of Norm and Gallagher Girls. As a freelancer, she enjoys working with publishers, literary agents and writers – and loves nothing more than helping writers develop their talent and become published authors. She also knows what it’s like to be on the other side, as the author of over forty children’s books.

Jenny Glencross is a children’s books editor with over fifteen years’ experience in the industry. She was previously commissioning editor at Orion Children’s Books, editing and commissioning bestselling fiction from 5+ to YA, with authors such as Francesca Simon, Sally Gardner and Kate Pankhurst. She has been freelance since 2015, and works with a variety of publishers and agents, as well as directly with writers. She is also a mentor with The Golden Egg Academy.

Simon James Green is an author and screenwriter. Selected for Undiscovered Voices in 2016, his young adult novels include Noah Can’t Even (long listed for the Branford Boase, winner of Wirral Book of the Year and selected by WHSmith as one of the most important LGBT books of the last 50 years); Noah Could Never; Alex in Wonderland (nominated for the Carnegie medal and featured in Best Kids Books of 2019 in The Guardian); and Heartbreak Boys (selected as one of the Best LGBT Books of 2020 by Attitude Magazine). After signing an eight-book deal with Scholastic, 2020 also saw publication of his first picture book, Llama Glamarama, illustrated by Garry Parsons, and Life of Riley: Beginner’s Luck, his first middle-grade book, which was shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards. 2021 sees publication of Fabulous Frankie, illustrated by Garry Parsons, and his fifth YA novel, You’re the One That I Want.

Benjamin Scott started his published writing career successfully pitching a non-fiction book and most recently he’s been helping develop pitches and stories for a new children’s book packager. Benjamin has written over 13 published books, working with book packager’s Working Partners and educational specialists Oxford Primary. He’s taught creative writing across a range of age groups and settings, from online courses with the Oxford University Continuing Education Department to real-life workshops in schools and colleges. He also coaches and advises other writers through his critiquing and editorial service. There’s nothing he likes more than finding the perfect words to excite a reader.

Dani Wilson, Key Account Manager, S&S Children’s Books, has been working in sales in the publishing industry for over six years. She has worked across many areas of the market, including high street, special sales, charities and supermarkets – do not ask her which is her favourite! She has been at Simon & Schuster for over three years – she started working across Adults and Children’s before specialising in Children’s books. She’s a bit of a whiz on Nielsen and with data which is key in sales, and she has helped many debut authors/illustrators and seasoned brands find their best retail slot. The ultimate goal is simple – get books into the hands of children.