Announcing the winners of the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition

Posted by Kesia on Thursday November 17th, 2022

And the winners of the 2022 Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition are … (more…)

And the winner is ...

Posted by Olivia Jeggo on Thursday October 14th, 2021

There's been lots of lively discussion this week as our panel of judges gathered to discuss this year’s incredible Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition and IET 150 Award shortlists. The journey to choosing our winners was no easy task ... (more…)

Introducing the 2021 Times/Chicken House and IET Competition Judging Panels!

Posted by Olivia Jeggo on Saturday October 9th, 2021

Our Times/Chicken House and IET Competition judging day and winners’ announcement is right around the corner ...

We’re very excited to be announcing the winners of our Times/Chicken House and IET 150 prizes NEXT WEEK – yippee! So, we thought we’d better introduce you to the clever publishing folks helping our Publisher, Barry Cunningham, decide on our winner ...


It's longlist time!

Posted by Jazz on Friday July 30th, 2021

It's the most wonderful time of the year ... yep, time to announce our Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition longlist! (more…)

Thinking of entering the Times/Chicken House Competition?

Posted by Jazz on Friday September 27th, 2019

We’re opening the 2020 Times/Chicken House Competition shortly – watch this space for dates and more! After the success of this year’s two winners, Efua Traoré (Children of the Quicksands) and Richard Pickard (Something Fishy), we can’t wait to see what you’ve got in store for us. While you wait, we thought we’d offer some words of advice from this year’s reading team about their observations and thoughts for the coming year …  (more…)

And the winner is ...

Posted by Jazz on Friday September 13th, 2019

Friday 6 September was a very exciting day for Chicken House: our esteemed panel of judges gathered in London to discuss this year’s incredible Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition shortlist and decide on the winner. (more…)

Meet the shortlistees ...

Posted by Jazz on Friday September 6th, 2019

Guess what? Next week, we’ll be announcing the WINNERS of the tenth Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition! (more…)

Presenting our shortlist!

Posted by Kesia on Friday July 5th, 2019

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the shortlist announcement! (more…)


Martha and her friends have been drifting on a giant killer jellyfish since sea levels rose and the world ended.

Life is gloopy, toxic and full of tentacles. It's also really boring.

More than anything, Martha wants to escape – but what ’s waiting for her on the shore? She doesn’t know it, but life is about to get much stickier …

Danny Rurlander

Danny studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia, where he also learned to fly with the RAF.  He has lived in Austria, Kenya, Devon and Australia but always longed to return to the Lake District where he grew up messing about in boats and camping on islands, and where his first novel, Spylark, is set.  He now lives in Lancaster with his family and works on the staff team of a city centre church.  He loves exploring wide open spaces with an Ordnance Survey map, writes late at night, and firmly believes in the power of a good story.


Ever since the accident, Tom’s struggled to walk. But he has a secret escape: Skylark, his drone. 

Through this technology, he can fly above his Lake District home, exploring his world from a totally different perspective. But when he stumbles upon a terrorist plot, he must find a way to stop it ... before it's too late.


ONE MONTH to go ...

Posted by Kesia on Friday January 25th, 2019

There is just one month left to enter the special tenth anniversary Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition, which closes on 28 February. Are you excited? (WE ARE!) (more…)

Why YOU should enter the Chicken House competition, by FROSTFIRE author Jamie Smith

Posted by Kesia on Wednesday November 7th, 2018

Jamie Smith is the debut author of Frostfire, out this month! He was picked up via the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition, and here he outlines his journey to publication and explains why YOU should enter this year … (more…)

An ode to writing competitions ...

Posted by Jazz on Friday October 26th, 2018

Nicki Thornton's debut novel The Last Chance Hotel won the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition in 2016 and is currently Waterstones' Children's Book of the Month. Nicki has dropped by the blog to share how the competition changed her life ... 


Posted by Jazz on Wednesday October 3rd, 2018

IT'S HALLOWEEN TIME. Yup, for the entire month of October it's entirely acceptable to dress solely in costume and only communicate via songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas (Halloween or Christmas film? The eternal debate). AND, seeing as the weather has become properly autumny now, we have even more of an excuse to stay inside and read – and we've got you covered. (more…)

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 debt collector 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, her Costa Award-winning debut novel.

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…)

Categories: Blog