Amber Caravéo, former editorial director at Orion Children’s Books, is launching a competition for unpublished writers at her new agency, with judges from Puffin, Orion and Macmillan Children’s Books.
Caraveo ‘s Skylark Literary is looking for unpublished, middle-grade writers in a competition that opens today (Monday 24th November). It will be judged by Fiona Kennedy, m.d. and publisher of Orion Children’s Books, Ben Horslen, editorial director at Puffin Fiction and Venetia Gosling, publisher for the over 6s at Macmillan Children’s Books.
“We decided to go middle-grade for this first competition as middle-grade books are really the heart of the children’s fiction market and it seems to fit nicely with the Christmassy time of year,” said Caraveo. “We will be looking at running similar competitions in the future for younger fiction and YA if this one proves popular.”
Caraveo said winning the competition will give aspiring authors “the best possible chance of ultimately seeing their work in print”, adding: “Too many aspiring authors feel lost when it comes to building their careers because they aren’t insiders to the publishing world, so we also aim to give our winner useful insights and advice.”
Horslen said the he is excited to take part in the judging process, because the entries might contain “one of tomorrow's bestselling authors”.
Writers can enter via the website. The competition closes on Christmas Eve this year and the winner, who will receive a one-to-one editorial critique of their manuscript and will be considered for a contract, will be announced in the New Year.
Caraveo has worked in children’s publishing for 18 years. At Orion, she developed several series, including Adventure Island, and worked with authors such as Liz Kessler, Holly Black, Caroline Lawrence and Emily Murdoch. She set up Skylark with Joanna Moult, a freelance literary consultant who has previously worked at Hodder Children’s Books and Simon & Schuster.