“We’re offering the opportunity for some-one’s idea to become a reality in the Dragon’s Den of children’s storytelling.”
The Big Idea Competition, an industry first, matches a creative story idea with a children’s writer in a collaborative process. Two finalists from the 2014 competition will have their ideas published as full-length children’s novels in January 2018.
The Big Idea Competition Ltd has announced that its nationwide search for the idea behind the next big story for children will open for entries on Monday 15th January 2018.
The Big Idea Competition seeks to uncover new talent in storytelling, transforming an idea from a member of the public into a book, film, game or play. Its inaugural competition was launched to huge success in 2014.
The Big Idea Competition Ltd is a joint initiative by Chicken House and The Blair Partnership, born out of a desire to find a new way of discovering and creatively developing original story ideas for children and their families.
Entrants from across the UK, aged from 13+, are asked to send in their idea in no more than 750 words for the chance to win a £1,000 cash prize and the promise that their idea will become the inspiration for a complete story, written by a children’s author and published as a book. Their story will also be presented for TV, film, theatre and gaming by experts in the business, Chicken House and The Blair Partnership. Bestsel-ling writers represented by the creators of the competition include: J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter creator; Kieran Larwood, author of the award-winning Podkin One Ear series; Kiran Millwood Hargrave, author of the award-winning Girl of Ink and Stars; James Dashner, Maze Runner writer, and M.G. Leonard, author of the Beetle Boy series and one of this year’s judges.
Barry Cunningham, Managing Director of Chicken House, said: “Stories remain the most important currency of our lives. A great idea can come from anyone and any-where. It’s where the magic of storytelling begins. We’re very proud to be offering the opportunity for someone’s idea to become a reality in the Dragon’s Den of children’s storytelling.”
Neil Blair, Founding Partner of The Blair Partnership, added:
“The Big Idea Competition is about helping new storytelling talent to emerge in the most inclusive and collaborative way. It’s about finding the right story, matching it with the best storyteller and then making sure it stands out in a crowded marketplace. As judges, we’re searching for an imaginative idea that we think children will truly love.”
The inaugural competition in 2014 received over 1,000 entries. In January 2018, the winner of the 2014 competition, I.T. engineer Neal Jackson, will see his idea, ‘The First
Aeronauts’, published as a children’s book called Sky Chasers
, written by established author Emma Carroll
. Runner up Angela McCann will also have her idea published as The Fandom
, written by Anna Day. McCann was an Egyptology student and Day was a clinical psychologist at the time of the competition, but both were huge fans of YA. This is Day’s debut novel, following her Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition win in 2015 with The Gallows Dance. The Fandom
is a development of both McCann’s idea and Day’s The Gallows Dance. The book has been Chicken House’s fast-est-ever selling foreign rights title.
Sky Chasers and The Fandom are published by Chicken House to coincide with the competition launch on 15th January 2018, with the Blair Partnership managing the film and TV rights to both titles.
Neal Jackson commented:
“Sky Chasers is the result of me walking into a Clapham bookshop one sunny afternoon and discovering a real-life gem from history, and wishing it was a story for children. The past is full of inspiring and amusing moments, if fewer sunny days – and I am delighted to see my idea at last become fiction!”
Emma Carroll, author of Sky Chasers, added:
“I immediately saw the huge story potential in Neal’s idea, inspired by the invention of the very first air balloon by the Montgolfier brothers in France. The real-life history part is remarkable enough - think roosters, flying sheep, Marie Antoinette. So, the chance to bring it to life on the page was too good an opportunity to miss! Suffice to say, I’ve had great fun weaving history with fiction. I can’t wait for readers to meet my main character Magpie and her band of feathery, four-legged friends.”
How to enter
- Think of a story idea that children will love. Download and complete the entry form
and send your complete entry to The Big Idea Competition, ℅ Chicken House Pub-lishing, 2 Palmer Street, Frome, Somerset, BA11 1DS by 23 February 2018. Please ensure you read the terms and conditions of entry on the competition’s website.
Barry Cunningham, Chicken House: