The Times / Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition is now open for entries. The winning writer will receive a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000 (US$16,000), plus representation from a top children’s literary agent.
The Times / Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition began in 2007 and has launched the careers of a number of new authors. To enter, you must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. By full-length the organisers suggest a minimum of 30,000 words and ask that manuscripts entered do not exceed 80,000 words in length.
The competition is open to writers around the world, regardless of nationality or residency status. To enter, writers are asked to submit the full manuscript in hard copy, accompanied by:
- a one page synopsis of the story
- a chapter-by-chapter plot plan
- a cover letter including a brief biography and an explanation of why you believe the work would appeal to children.
All entries must be accompanied by a £15 fee. If you have entered this competition before, please note that this year the rules have changed so that previously submitted manuscripts can be re-entered.
Entries close on 31 October 2014. Extracts from the longlisted entries will be published on the Times website in January and the winner will be announced at the end of March.
For full entry information and conditions visit the Chicken House Publishing website.
If you are looking for advice on getting writing a children’s book and getting it published, we highly recommend watching this video from Barry Cunningham, OBE, Publisher and Managing Director of Chicken House (and the original publisher of Harry Potter). Tip number five will be particularly insightful when preparing a synopsis and cover letter for the competition.