Wednesday 15 July 2015

The Times Children’s Fiction Competition #seanocarolan #writing #contest #childrens

The 2016 Times / Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition

The 2016 Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition Is Now Open!

It’s that time of year again!

Are you a writer with an original and exciting story for 7-to-18-year-olds? If so, we’d love you to enter our competition, and you have until Friday 18th December 2015 to submit. Every entry will be read by our team of experienced readers in order to draw up a longlist of the very best submissions. Barry Cunningham and the Chicken House editorial team will then narrow these down to a shortlist of five.

Our prestigious panel of judges will then pore over the shortlist to choose the winner, to be announced in spring 2016. The prize will be a worldwide publishing deal with Chicken House, with an advance of £10,000 (subject to contract).

Barry Cunningham and the shortlistees at the 2015 Times Fiction Competition judging day.

What Chicken House are looking for

Original ideas, a fresh voice and a story that children will love! To enter, you must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between 7 and 18 years. By full-length we suggest a minimum of 30,000 words and ask that manuscripts entered do not exceed 80,000 words in length.

What you can win

First prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House with a royalty advance of £10,000, plus representation from a top children’s literary agent.* All longlisted entrants will receive a reader’s report of their work.

When to enter

The competition is open from Monday 30th March 2015 and will close on Friday 18th December 2015.

Your entry

Please send us:
A hard copy of the full manuscript (double-spaced; font size 12pt);
A covering letter explaining why you believe your novel would appeal to children and telling us a bit about yourself;
A page-long synopsis of your story;
A chapter-by-chapter plot plan outlining the major events of each chapter.

Please secure your manuscript with an elastic band and place it inside a cardboard wallet/folder. You will also need to enclose a cheque for £15 made payable to Chicken House Publishing Ltd, with your name, address, phone number and email address on the reverse of the cheque.

Please mark your envelope CHILDREN’S FICTION COMPETITION. Please ensure you include all contact details – name, address, phone number and email address – with your entry. If you wish us to acknowledge receipt of your entry, you must enclose a self-addressed postcard with sufficient postage attached.** We cannot accept entries by email.


Where should I send my entry?

Send your full entry in an envelope marked CHILDREN’S FICTION COMPETITION to:

Chicken House
2 Palmer Street
BA11 1DS

Can I enter my picture book into the competition?

No. The competition is for full-length novels only.

I have already self-published my novel. Can I still enter it into the competition?

Yes, you may still submit a novel if it has been self-published. You may send the self-published copy if you wish to.

I have previously had published a short story/poem/picture book for children. Can I still enter?

Yes. We have extended the opportunity to enter to those authors who may have already had published a children’s picture book. Writers who have had short stories or poetry published are also eligible to enter.

I have entered my manuscript into the competition before, but wish to submit it again. Can I?

Yes. We understand that manuscripts can change significantly between drafts and we encourage writers to continue to improve their work.

I am under 18. Can I enter?

No. The competition is open to writers over the age of 18 only. If you are under 18 and would like to receive an email with advice for young writers, please

Is the competition open to international entrants?

Yes. For information on how to make your payment from overseas, please contact

Can I pay with cash/postal orders/Paypal?

No. We cannot process cash, postal orders or Paypal payments. If you are a UK resident, please send a cheque made payable to Chicken House Publishing Ltd with your name, address, phone number and email address clearly written in capitals on the reverse of the cheque. If you are an overseas entrant, please for information on how to pay.

I’ve entered the competition, but my payment hasn’t been processed. Does this mean my entry was not accepted?

Due to the huge number of submissions, it can take a while for all payments to be processed. Your entry will still have been submitted into the competition – we’ll only be in touch if there’s a problem, so don’t worry!

Does my entry have to arrive by the closing date, or just be postmarked by that date?

Please ensure your entry arrives with us by the closing date by posting it in plenty of time. Any entries that arrive after the closing date will not be entered into the competition.
* Subject to contract. For full terms and conditions of the prize please read the Competition T&Cs. Terms and Conditions may be subject to change before the 2017 competition opens. Please check you are submitting in accordance to the most up-to-date T&Cs.
** International entrants may request confirmation by email but must include a slip with their entry expressing their wish for confirmation along with their full email address. For details on how to make payment from overseas, please

Terms & Conditions

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