And the winner is ...

Posted by Kesia on Wednesday June 27th, 2018

On Wednesday 20 June, at 10.30am, we welcomed a prestigious panel of judges to the Artist’s Residence in London Victoria for our 2018 judging day. (more…)

Meet the judges!

Posted by Kesia on Tuesday June 19th, 2018

Sound the klaxon: the Times/Chicken House judging day is TOMORROW! We’d like to introduce the fabulous judging panel who – alongside our very own Barry Cunningham and Times Arts editor Alex O’Connell – are all set to help us pick the winner … (more…)

Meet our fifth shortlistee

Posted by Jazz on Friday June 15th, 2018

Amy Bond is our fifth and final shortlistee - she's shortlisted for her magical middle grade story Morgana Mage in the Robotic Age (more…)

Meet our fourth shortlistee

Posted by Jazz on Wednesday June 13th, 2018

Meet shortlistee number four, Trudi Tweedie, who has been shortlisted for her YA mystery novel THE LION AND THE UNICORN ...  (more…)

Meet our third shortlistee

Posted by Kesia on Tuesday June 12th, 2018

Just over a week until we announce this year's Times/Chicken House comp winner! Today we're introducing shortlistee number 3: Alison Padley-Woods, shortlisted for her story The Firestone of Avisriel.  (more…)

Meet our first shortlistee

Posted by Kesia on Wednesday June 6th, 2018

It’s only TWO WEEKS until our panel of judges decides on the winner of this year’s Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition, and we’re super excited to find out who will win our publishing contract! (more…)

Jamie Smith

Jamie Smith is the debut author of Frostfire, shortlisted for the 2016 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. Between working as a retail software developer and dealing with the whims of cats, he has written more books than he should have and is always working on more. He lives near Stafford.


Chosen for the honour of bonding with a frostsliver – a fragment of the sentient glacier that crests her icy home – Sabira embarks on the dangerous pilgrimage to the top of the mountain. But when a huge avalanche traps her on the glacier and destroys the pass, Sabira is determined to find another way home. In order to survive, she must face up to the merciless mountain – but there are dark and fiery secrets hiding in its depths …

Memorable, original world-building and an icy, Tibetan-themed setting combine in a truly stand-out middle-grade adventure.

Shortlist ahoy!

Posted by Kesia on Tuesday April 17th, 2018

It was INCREDIBLY difficult to choose only five top manuscripts from this year’s excellent longlist. Huge congratulations to our longlisted authors on proving such a tough playing field! (more…)

We have a longlist!

Posted by Kesia on Friday March 16th, 2018

First of all, we’d like to extend a massive thank you to everyone who entered this year’s Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. The standard of entries was incredibly high and our team of readers had a virtually IMPOSSIBLE task in whittling them down to the final eighteen. But we did it, and the wait is finally over! (more…)

Nicki Thornton

Nicki Thornton has run an independent bookshop with her husband for more than ten years and loves the wonderful alchemy that comes from bringing together authors and readers. Her favourite part of the job is hearing from children about the books they love, including from her own two boys, and this inspired her to start to write. Her dream of seeing her own name on the shelves has come closer with her magical murder mystery The Last Chance Hotel winning the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2016.

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…)


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 ...


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?)!

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.