The 10th Times/Chicken House Competition is OPEN!

Posted by Kesia on Friday August 31st, 2018

READY ... SET ... GO!

The summer holidays are over, but don’t worry, we have some fantastic news to brighten your day: the new Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition is now OPEN! What’s more, it’s the competition’s tenth birthday – yippee!

We’re still on a high from announcing this year’s winner, Trudi Tweedie, with The Lion and the Unicorn. And now we’re celebrating reaching double digits in four EXTREMELY exciting ways:

  1. 1. We’ve just bought rights to the fantastic Jelly by Clare Rees, which was shortlisted for the 2018 competition!

We’ve bought UK/German rights to the fabulous Jelly from Claire Wilson at RCW and we can’t wait to share this incredible, one-of-a-kind story with you all. Jelly is a highly original, hilarious and completely gripping account of a post-apocalyptic world in which a group of teenagers are trapped on a giant jellyfish - you’re going to love it!

  1. 2. We’re offering not one but TWO prizes this year!

Yup, that's right. Obvs we'll be offering our usual first prize of a publishing contract with a £10k advance, but there will be another publishing contract up for grabs: the 'Chairman's Choice', a book hand-picked by our very own Barry Cunningham, the author of which will get a £7.5k advance. It’s going to be awarded to a book that shows huge potential but perhaps needs a little more work than the winner.

  1. 3. We're closing the competition later than ever, on 28 February 2019.

This will give you more time to polish, edit or even WRITE your fabulous children’s book before the deadline! Go on, we dare you.

  1. 4. We’re coming to YOU!

We’re planning a host of promotional and outreach events across the UK – because we want the competitions to be more accessible than ever, and for EVERYONE to feel motivated to enter. In fact, we’re positively bursting to find the most diverse bunch of writers ever this year. Keep an eye on our social media for details. (And psst ... discounted entry might be a possibility for those who attend ... watch this space!)

And here’s a fun fact to motivate you even more: out of the writers who have been shortlisted or won the competition since 2008, a whopping 58% have now been published either by Chicken House or other traditional UK publishers. We’re so proud of them all!

The competition is open to writers from all over the world, as long as you write in English, are unagented and have not had a children’s book published before. For more details on the competition and instructions on how to enter, check out our submissions page.

Good luck – we can’t wait to see what stories you’ve got for us this year!

Asha & the Spirit Bird

Asha lives on the family farm with her mother in rural India.

Her father is away working in the city, and when the money he sends stops suddenly, a wicked aunt arrives. She’s determined to seize the property – and the treasure rumoured to be hidden on the land. Guided by a majestic bird which Asha believes to be the spirit of her grandmother, she and her best friend Jeevan embark on a journey to the city, across the Himalayas, to find her father and save her home …

A gorgeously original magical-realist Indian adventure and the winner of the 2017 Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition. 

Jasbinder Bilan

According to family stories, Jasbinder was born in a stable in the foothills of the Himalayas. Until she was a year and a half, she lived on a farm inhabited by a grumpy camel and a monkey called Oma.

Jasbinder graduated from Bath Spa University where the seeds of her story were nurtured, but it was the incredible bond with her grandmother which was the inspiration for Asha & the Spirit Bird.

She lives with her husband, two teenage boys and dog Enzo in a man pad and splits her time between teaching and writing.

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.

Frostfire

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…)

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 ...

(more…)

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?)!
(more…)

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…)