Get your thinking caps on: we are thrilled to announce that The Big Idea Competition will be opening again for entries in January 2018! The competition 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.

We are thrilled to be returning with an amazing panel of judges: awarding winning presenter Angelica Bell; bestselling author, poet and Booktuber Jen Campbell; Managing Director of Chicken House Books Barry Cunningham; Founding Partner of The Blair Partnership Neil Blair; bestselling children’s author M. G. Leonard and Oliver Hyatt, Creative Director at Blue-Zoo Animation!

Entries to the competition will open on January 15th 2018. Entrants from across the UK, aged from 13 and over, can 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 Chicken House and The Blair Partnership.

Barry Cunningham, m.d. of Chicken House, said: “Stories remain the most important currency of our lives. A great idea can come from anyone and anywhere. 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.”

2014’s competition received over 1,000 entries. It’s winner, IT engineer Neal Jackson, will see his idea, The First Aeronauts, publish in 2018 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. This is Day’s debut novel, following her Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction competition win in 2015 with The Gallows DanceThe Fandom is a development of both McCann’s idea and Day’s The Gallows Dance, and has been Chicken House’s fastest-ever selling foreign rights title.

See more about the competition, including upcoming details on how to enter, here.