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The Masterminds were a writing group formed out of a course Sophia ran with Keren David at City Lit in 2016. They have been meeting ever since, occasionally mentored by Sophia, to workshop new work and support each other through the prepublished years. It was a pleasure to get four of them together for this episode, to talk about the group and what it means to them.

Show Notes

The ‘Masterminds’ name was actually suggested years ago by Christopher, who produces Prepublished. It’s a term commonly used for groups that get together to learn and share knowledge on a specialist subject. In this case: writing YA fiction. The group meets once a week or once a fortnight (online during lockdown) to workshop a couple of pieces and to be each other’s encouragement, writing conscience and inspiration. As you’ll hear, this was more necessary than ever at the time we spoke.

Thanks as always to Christopher Pett for production and editing.


City Lit:


British Library:

David Higham:

Undiscovered Voices competition, run by SCBWI:

City Uni Novel Studio:

Faber FAB Prize:

Spread the Word: :

What is Prepublished?

What does it take to get your brilliant story published? The children’s writer Sophia Bennett and her guests explore the techniques authors use to get writing and create something that agents and editors can get excited about.

It can be a lonely place, working on your manuscript and never being sure if anyone will like it. If you want to hear successful writers and editors talking about how they got started, which writing tips they recommend, and what today's publishers are looking for, this podcast is for you.

Don't forget, 'writing is rewriting' - but sometimes it is also listening. We hope you enjoy the conversation.

You can follow us on Twitter at @prepubpodcast