Are you a writer with an original and exciting story for 7-to-18-year-olds? If so, we the Times/Chicken House run an annual competition. 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.
Here is this years shortlist:
ASTERIX CLEMENTINE by Janine Barnett-Phillips (@smithereens69)
A gritty love story between two teens with an unexpected twist. A contemporary YA tale about having the courage to live what you believe.
THE FIREFLY CAGE by Nicki Thornton (@nicki_thornton)
A middle-grade murder mystery with a magical twist: kitchen boy Seth must solve a murder at a convention of magicians in order to prove himself innocent.
FROSTSLIVER by Jamie Smith (@jamiehbsmith)
The story of one girl’s extraordinary survival when caught in a mountainside avalanche atop a sentient glacier. A highly original, wintry fantasy for ages 12+.
MILO AND OPERATION STEPDAD by Tracy Darnton (@tracydarnton)
Suitable for ages 7+, and follows Milo’s funny and heart-warming quest to find a partner for his single mum.
PROJECT CAT'S AWAY by Julie Mee (@meejuliemee)
Follows 12-year-old junior CIA agent, Emma, who struggles to maintain her work-life balance when a friend discovers her secret. Action and hilarity for middle-grade readers.
We're very excited to have such a stellar shortlist - look out for the winner announcement, coming in June. A huge congratulations to all our shortlisted authors!