Polka Dot Shop

When Andy’s school announces a new no-uniform policy, her classmates are over the moon – but her heart sinks.

All she wants is to dress like everyone else, but her mum’s the owner of a run-down kooky vintage boutique, so she’s bound to look – well – different. But when Andy finds a gorgeous bag full of designer goodies in the shop’s storeroom, everything changes. Can she learn to love vintage, and help transform her mum’s shop into something truly special?

From the acclaimed author of the Secret Cooking Club series, this is a fresh, authentic, and totally addictive novel about how real makeovers go so much deeper than clothes.

Hey, want to enter one of the UK's biggest writing competitions?

Posted by Jazz on Friday November 24th, 2017

You're in luck! As an early Christmas treat for aspiring writers, and to give all you NaNoWriMo fans a little more time, we've extended the deadline of the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition to Wednesday 20th December(more…)

THE 2018 TIMES/CHICKEN HOUSE COMPETITION IS NOW OPEN!

Posted by Kesia on Tuesday August 15th, 2017

Are you an unpublished, unagented children's writer? If so, we'd love for you to enter our competition to win a publishing contract with a £10,000 advance ...

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Get Your Bake On

Posted by Jazz on Friday August 11th, 2017

The second novel in Laurel Remington's delicious Secret Cooking Club series, Confetti & Cake, is out now! Laurel has stopped by our blog to chat about why she loves The Great British Bake Off (who doesn't?)!
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The 2017 #TimesChickenHouse winner is…

Posted by Kesia on Friday June 23rd, 2017

On the hottest day EVER, Wednesday 21 June, our fabulous panel of judges gathered at the blissfully air-conditioned Savile Club in London. Over a table laden with tea, coffee and biscuits, our judges (pictured below) set themselves the difficult task of talking through our wonderful shortlist and ultimately deciding on a winner. (more…)

#TimesChickenHouse Competition: The Panel

Posted by Kesia on Thursday June 22nd, 2017

We have a very exciting #TimesChickenHouse announcement on its way tomorrow... yes, a winner! But before we start the drumroll, we wanted to say a big thank you to our judges, who did a brilliant job of debating an incredibly competitive shortlist yesterday (more on that soon). Alongside our very own Publisher, Barry Cunningham, this fantastic panel of industry experts lent their expertise to the task, and we couldn't be more grateful. Here they are - can we have a round of applause, please? (more…)

Introducing our #TimesChickenHouse shortlistees: Part II

Posted by Kesia on Wednesday June 7th, 2017

June is upon us - which means the winner of the 2017 Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition will be announced later this month... eek! We can't wait to find out whose novel we'll be publishing. Last week we introduced two of our five wonderful shortlisted authors, Virginia Clay and Ruth Griffiths. Now, it's time to find out about our other shortlistees – Danny Rurlander, Jasbinder Bilan and Katherine Bassford ... (more…)

The #TimesChickenHouse shortlist is here!

Posted by Kesia on Friday May 5th, 2017

Our discerning Publisher, Barry Cunningham, has had the tricky job of picking out the top five longlisted submissions for the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition shortlist. We don’t envy him: picking a longlist was difficult enough – the standard was truly spectacular! – but we’re pleased to say that he’s arrived at a decision. Drumroll please – our shortlist is … (more…)

Anna Day

Anna grew up and still lives in the North East of England. She was raised by a guitar-obsessed father and a mother with amazing cooking skills, and she still loves all things music and food related. She studied Psychology at university, and worked for several years as an Assistant Psychologist. She then gained a doctorate in Clinical Psychology in 2009, and has since worked as a Clinical Psychologist with people with disabilities. She has always loved creative writing; even as a little girl she would staple pieces of paper together and write stories for her parents to read. However, she only started writing seriously a few years ago, and was noticed by the Chicken House team when she was shortlisted for the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition in 2015. Her greatest love is her children -- a little girl and a little boy, who provide her with constant entertainment and inspiration.

Times/Chicken House: what we've read!

Posted by Kesia on Saturday April 15th, 2017

The submissions are read and the longlist announced, so we’ve finally had a moment to sit back and realise what an extraordinary number of entries we received this year – the most we’ve ever received. I asked our team of readers for their observations, as well as their thoughts for writers planning on entering the 2018 contest. Here’s what they’ve noticed … (more…)

It's longlist time!

Posted by Kesia on Friday March 24th, 2017

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: we’re delighted to present the longlist of the 2017 Times/ Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition! (more…)

Introducing our Young Judge ...

Posted by Kesia on Friday February 17th, 2017

Only one month to go before the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition longlist announcement, and while our team are feverishly reading through our biggest EVER number of submissions, we have some very exciting news  … (more…)

NaNoWriMo is over for another year!

Posted by Jazz on Wednesday November 30th, 2016

So that’s it! NaNoWriMo 2016 is done and dusted. We hope our 30 days of tips have helped you to come out the other side with a fully-fledged novel – and now, we want to read it! (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 28: Lucy Christopher

Posted by Jazz on Monday November 28th, 2016

Only a few days left! To help you cross over that finished line, acclaimed author Lucy Christopher is here with her top tips ... (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 26: Emma Carroll

Posted by Jazz on Saturday November 26th, 2016

We are SUPER excited to be publishing acclaimed author Emma Carroll's first book for Chicken House, Sky Chasers, next year – not least because she gives amazing tips to NaNoWriMo-ers. Nearly there, guys – keep going!  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 25: Helen Maslin

Posted by Jazz on Friday November 25th, 2016

We're nearing the finish line now NaNoWriMo-ers! Darkmere author Helen Maslin is here to keep you motivated to the very end ...  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 22: Maz Evans

Posted by Jazz on Tuesday November 22nd, 2016

3 weeks down! And just over a week to go until NaNoWriMo comes to a close. Today we're hearing from the fab Maz Evans – author of the upcoming madcap Olympian adventure Who Let the Gods Out? on the top tips she'd give aspiring writers. And here's one from us: don't give up – Maz self-published her novel before it caught our eye!   (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 19: Veronica Cossanteli

Posted by Jazz on Saturday November 19th, 2016

It's day 19! We hope all you NaNoWriMo-ers are still going strong, but if you're in need of an extra boost of motivation, The Halloweeds author Veronica Cossanteli is here to share her top tips!  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 16: Rebecca Stevens

Posted by Jazz on Wednesday November 16th, 2016

We're over halfway through NaNoWriMo! Valentine Joe and Rose in the Blitz author Rebecca Stevens is here to keep you motivated right to the end ...  (more…)

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 9: Lisa Drakeford

Posted by Jazz on Wednesday November 9th, 2016

For those hoping to enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition, who better to get writing tips from than a previous shortlistee? Lisa Drakeford was shortlisted for our comp back in 2014 with her novel The Baby (then called Birthday Surprise). We loved it so much, we couldn't let it go: fast-forward a year and Lisa's book was on bookshop shelves with a Chicken House logo on its spine!  (more…)