Sadly, I am not on the shortlist for this year’s Undiscovered Voices. HOWEVER, two really good friends of mine are, so eventhough I was upset for maybe a day, I can’t help but be excited and over the moon for them. Here is the list – I am so proud of them! Some I know from other workshops through SCBWI and the conference and the agents party but the two girls I’ve highlighted are friends and I am walking on air for them today:
- Rosie Best
- Veronica Cossanteli
- Sandra Greaves
- Jane Hardstaff
- Deborah Hewitt
- David Hofmeyr and Zoe Crookes
- Sharon Jones
- Rachel Latham
- Maureen Lynas
- Richard Masson
- Rachel Wolfreys
- Jo Wyton
The illustrators are:
- Julia Groves
- Amber Hsu
- Heather Kilgour
- Shana Nieburg-Suschitzky
- Nicola Patten
- Rachel Quarry
Being on the longlist of 25 had scared me and encouraged me. I looked at what I had achieved and the lessons I had learned along the way. And am still learning. This learning malarky just never stops. And how my proces and actual writing has changed over the years and where I am right now. Especially today after the shortlist announcement, and I realised something: apart from a bit of dented pride about not being on the short list, I am actually okay. I love writing. I won’t stop doing it, mostly because the voices in my head won’t let me. But I have stories to tell and to share and the only way to do so is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and carry on.
I am also lucky in that I have great friends who go beyond the call of duty to be supportive and also, well, the best advice I’ve been given is: Pull up your big girl pants and get on with it. Published writers are made of perseverance. Decide where you want to be. Quitters quit, are you a quitter?
And no, no I’m not a quitter. My mum would haunt me if I turned out to be a quitter!
Whilst we were all waiting to hear about the shortlist, I decided to not sit quietly. I’ve picked up my black moleskine crammed full of ideas and thanks to Sarah’s encouragement, have started on Grimm2, a companion and standalone to Grimm1 and I’m loving the immersive world, the characters and am super aware of how fast the words are coming.
I am trying my utmost to make those words good words. I suppose it’s also coming that quickly because of planning. Who would have thunk it, right? Planning works! As well as being comfortable in the world I had created in the first Grimm book, I think.
I’m also looking at the amazing classes and events scheduled in 2012 with SCBWI, deciding which I’d like to sign up for and I’m also pondering what to do for the 2012 Agents Party. It’s going to be a fantastic year of writing, events and Getting Ahead. Oh, and also for reading. Dear heavens, we’ve started getting in books for 2012 on MFB and oh my days, if we thought 2011 was a good year for books, debuts and continuing series…2012 is going to be a very good year in indeed. Like a vintage harvest, I think.
And again, a huge congrats to everyone on that shortlist! I am so deeply proud of Jo and Sharon and I can’t wait to hear what happens next. But also, a massive thanks to Undiscovered Voices for the opportunity and for the longlisting. There is nothing more sobering than thinking: what if…