Neil Blair, Barry Cunningham, Jen Campbell and MG Leonard have been revealed as some of the judges of next year's Big Idea Competition which seeks to uncover new talent in storytelling.
The Big Idea 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.
The full judging panel consists of Blair, founding partner of the Blair Partnership; Cunningham, m.d. of Chicken House; Leonard, author of the Beetle Boy series; Campbell, author and vlogger; Oliver Hyatt, creative director of Blue-Zoo Animation; and TV presenter, Angellica Bell.
The Big Idea Competition will transform an idea from a member of the public into a book, film, game or play. It will be open for entries on Monday 15th January 2018.
Entrants from across the UK, aged from 13 and over, 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 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.”
The inaugural competition in 2014 received over 1,000 entries. In January 2018, the winner of the 2014 competition, IT 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. 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, and has been Chicken House’s fastest-ever selling foreign rights title.
Sky Chasers and The Fandom will be 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.