Our first Open Coop novel!

Posted by Jazz on Tuesday March 8th, 2016

A couple of years ago we held our first Open Coop a one-day amnesty in which writers could send their stories directly to us. From the huge amount of submissions we received, we discovered a brilliantly funny and quirky novel centering around the horror of all horrors: a chocopocalypse! Written by debut novelist Chris CallaghanThe Great Chocoplot is the first Open Coop novel to be published and is available to buy now. Here, Chris tells us about his publishing experience ...  (more…)

OPEN COOP is back!

Posted by Kesia on Thursday March 3rd, 2016

At Chicken House, we’ve always been committed to seeking out and developing new talent – our fantastically successful Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition offers the chance for unpublished and unagented authors to win a £10,000 publishing contract, and we’ve had tonnes of success publishing the winners (and several shortlistees!) over the years. (more…)

New March Books!

Posted by Jazz on Tuesday March 1st, 2016

This Thursday is WORLD BOOK DAY! And is there more apt a day to publish two fantastic books? 3rd March is bringing with it beetle buddies and a (hopefully not real-life) chocolate disaster ... here's a bit more about the brilliant books hitting shelves everywhere today!

The Great Chocoplot by Chris Callaghan 

It's not a thought I like to dwell on too much (I say with a slice of chocolate cake in hand), but what if you woke up one morning to find out all chocolate had just ... disappeared? That's exactly what happens to our protagonist Jelly, who lives in a chocolate-factory town with her family. Following a trail of clues to the suspicious Garibaldi Chocolati, Jelly's determined to end the chocopocalypse! A truly terrifying premise –  but one that's perfect for when you're polishing off those Easter eggs – Chris' debut novel is a funny, original novel guaranteed to make you reach for the chocolate tin!

Follow Chris on Twitter: @callaghansstuff

Beetle Boy by M.G. Leonard

Ah, you might have already seen this one out and about ... M.G. Leonard's debut novel has been available exclusively at Waterstones as its February Children's Book of the Month, but now it's available nationwide! A quirky adventure perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, Beetle Boy tells the story of Darkus, who thinks his dad's disappearance could have something to do with the truly ghastly Lucretia Cutter – a mystery he may only be able to solve with the help of his beetle friend, Baxter. This is a truly remarkable story. with courage and friendship at its heart – check out some of our favourite reviews here!

Follow M.G. on Twitter: @mglnrd

Chris Callaghan

Chris’ first job was on a Pick 'n' Mix counter, followed by a career in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft mechanic. Even though fully trained on how jet fighters work and fly, he still suspects that there is a little magic involved somewhere.

Then as an Environmental Scientist he spent a lot of time getting wet on factory roofs, measuring pollution. He left all that behind to become a Stay At Home Dad where his brain began fizzing with stories. His wife and daughter kept insisting that he wrote some of these stories down. So he did.

Great Chocoplot

Jelly and her family live in Chompton-on-de-Lyte, where everyone loves a Blocka Choca bar or two.

So when the end of chocolate is announced, she can’t believe it. Determined to investigate, Jelly and her gran follow a trail of clues to a posh chocolate shop and its owner, the pompous Garibaldi Chocolati. Gari’s suspiciously smug, despite his failing business and yucky chocolate. Is it really the chocopocalypse, or is there a chocoplot afoot?