Friday, 3 February 2012

LASSOING the MOON - UNDISCOVERED VOICES 2012 – Dianne Hofmeyr


Next week… on the 9th Feb to be precise… thirteen Undiscovered Voices will become ‘Discovered Voices’. Thirteen unpublished writers are about to launch their careers when they pitch to a room full of Agents and Publishers in London.

How can I be so sure? Well if the past is anything to go by then success is almost assured. From the previous two Undiscovered Voices anthologies in 2008 and 2010, fourteen of the twenty four selected writers are under contract to be published, or are already published, and have been nominated for and won an array of literary prizes including being long-listed for the Carnegie and short-listed for the Blue Peter. Undiscovered Voices, an anthology of selected excerpts of unpublished children’s fiction by members of SCBWI British Isles, is the brainchild of Sara Grant and Sara O’Connor. This year ABBA blogger, Karen Ball, has been part of the organisation for the event.

What qualifies these unpublished writers selected from a long list of 25 to this sort of overnight success? Malcolm Burgess, honorary Chair in 2010 said, Only books try the impossible – only books try to throw a lasso around the moon.

These undiscovered writers are trying to lasso the moon and managing it. They’ll succeed because their work is unexpected and surprising. They are daring and experimental precisely because they have nothing to lose. Being brave is the right attribute for any writer. Being brave as well as innovative is even better. They have done their research. They know what’s out there. The work you’ll find in the anthology isn’t ‘tired’. The voices are fresh, new, vital and truly ‘undiscovered’.

So every success to all thirteen writers next Thursday (and to the illustrators who have been chosen for this year’s anthology as well). And a special dose of success for the story Kalahari… not only is it set in Southern Africa but it happens to be written by my son, David Hofmeyr and his friend Zoë Crookes. Pardon the unsubtle plug!

Malorie Blackman, the honorary chair for 2012 said, ‘Every year I’m amazed and thrilled by the range of stories in this anthology, but I truly believe that this year will prove to be a vintage year. The quality of the writing is outstanding.’
Here's what they are saying about it officially and also on Twitter and Facebook:

9 comments:

karen said...

Thank you so much, Dianne. We're so excited about this year and the wonderful group of writers who are in the anthology. Looking forward to Malorie's rousing speech next week!

karen said...

Oh, and I LOVE the hooking the moon image. So perfect!

Kate said...

Exciting stuff. Good luck to everyone concerned. :-)

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

I meant to put a link to you Karen and will do so. I'm in South Africa at the moment so my Internet is slow and putting up a blog is fairly tenuous. Hope the 9th goes really well after all your hard work!

karen said...

Hi Dianne - I think you've linked to the wrong Karen Ball!

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

Sorry about that... corrected now.

Maureen Lynas said...

Thanks Dianne. It's a very unusual position to be in, and a fantastic opportunity.

Dianne Hofmeyr said...

well done Maureen on being in the Anthology for 2012. I read your really BRILLIANT post on the event and it made me laugh out loud! Those emotions still hit me every time a new story goes public for the first time. 'This is going to fail... but I want... I want... '
It never goes away.

Bridget Strevens-Marzo said...

Thanks for this post Dianne - and how wonderful your son is now a UV writer. Hope to meet him and Zoe at the launch this Thursday and hear more about their collaboration. Wishing that you'll be there too!