TOP 5 FRIDAY: First Lines

Posted by Jazz on Friday August 28th, 2015

This week's top 5 is written by Cara Waudby-Tolley, who spent last week with us completing work experience! 

Beginning a good book is like taking a bite from something delicious, you just know that you’ll have to control yourself from gobbling it all down quickly and savour the greatness. For me, the first line of a book encapsulates the essence of what is yet to come, a thrilling and exciting journey. Here are five of my faves. (more…)

Children's Fiction Competition: Six Books On

Posted by Jazz on Wednesday August 26th, 2015

Sophia Bennett won the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition in 2009 with Threads. Six years down the line, Sophia has written five other books for Chicken House, and her seventh novel Love Song is due to publish next April. Here she looks back at getting that first phone call from Barry ...  (more…)

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Time Travellers

Posted by Kesia on Friday August 21st, 2015

I love history. I love science fiction and fantasy. AND I love children’s books. So time traveller children’s books are literally MY CUP OF TEA (ok, not literally) and the perfect curl-up companions. Reading is a little like travelling through time, isn't it? Here are a few of my favourites. (more…)

Children's Fiction Competition: How to Get your Manuscript in Tip-Top Shape!

Posted by Rachel L on Wednesday August 19th, 2015

Thinking of entering the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition? Editorial Director Rachel Leyshon shares her top tips on what you should do before sending your manuscript off ...  (more…)

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Professional Pirates

Posted by Jazz on Friday August 14th, 2015

When I was younger, I wanted to be a 17th century pirate when I grew up (to the point that when there was a ‘pirates and princesses’ day at school, I was the only female pirate). As I got a bit older it dawned on me that a pirate’s life was not for me, being a buccaneer of the high seas was sadly not a plausible career option, and I’d be much better off reading about them instead. Here’s my pick of the best swashbucklers in literature … AHOY! (more…)

WIN a copy of The Black Lotus by Kieran Fanning!

Posted by Jazz on Thursday August 13th, 2015

My name is Kieran Fanning and my new novel, The Black Lotus, is about a secret ninja organisation. Well, here’s the thing … The Black Lotus have just contacted me to say they are looking for new recruits. Obviously, I’m going to apply. I’m not strong or brave, but I am creative and good with technology, so I’m hoping that will be enough. What sort of ninja would you be? Take the below test to find out. And good luck, because only the best will be admitted to The Black Lotus. 

Click the image below to enlarge it and find out which Black Lotus ninja you're most like. Once you're done, let us know by replying to this tweet to be in with the chance of winning a copy! Competition closes 3pm Monday 17th August - you can find the terms and conditions here.


Click image for a larger view

You can read the first chapter of The Black Lotus here!

Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison's Top 10 Writing Tips

Posted by Jazz on Wednesday August 12th, 2015

Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison's debut novel Lobsters was shortlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition 2013. Fast-forward to two years later: Lobsters was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize, Tom & Lucy appeared on a hilarious panel at YALC this year, and their new book Never Evers is out in January! They've shared their top 10 writing tips with us ...  (more…)


Posted by Kesia on Monday August 10th, 2015

There's MAJOR DRAMA at Chicken House this month, with a heady mix of the heart-poundingly frightening, the thrilling, the tumultuous and the hilarious. Here’s a round-up of August’s fabulous fiction. (more…)

TOP 5 FRIDAY: Samurai and Ninjas

Posted by Jazz on Friday August 7th, 2015

The Black Lotus by Kieran Fanning is out this month! A fresh and exciting adventure following three trainee ninjas, The Black Lotus is packed full of time-travel, martial arts and ruthless samurai. To celebrate its publication, Kieran has shared some of his favourite samurai stories and ninja novels with us ...  (more…)

Children's Fiction Competition: Selling winners around the world!

Posted by Elinor on Wednesday August 5th, 2015

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition is one of the most long-lasting and exciting publishing initiatives that Chicken House has done in terms of getting people interested in our new titles abroad. And to help this, we always make sure we have at least one judge who is a highly experienced publishing professional who knows the market overseas. (more…)