Carpenter wins Big Idea contest with primary school story

Carpenter wins Big Idea contest with primary school story

Jack Martin, a 23-year-old carpenter from Devon, has won this year’s The Big Idea Competition with an idea based on a story he wrote in primary school.

The Big Idea Competition, launched four years ago by Chicken House and The Blair Partnership, is for ideas for a story that can be turned into a children’s book, film, game or play. Martin won the prize for 'Cardboard Boy', an idea for an environmentally-friendly tale about the adventures of a cardboard boy, and will receive a £1,000 cash prize. His story will be turned in to a children’s book by an author and published by Chicken House. 

Barry Cunningham, judge and publisher at Chicken House, said: “[There were] such a variety of imaginative ideas this year and so many of them were inspired by their creators’ daily lives. Jack’s story stood out as a terrific adventure with a gentle message about the ‘throwaway culture’ of today.”

Five entrants were named as runners-up for their ideas, which included a story about an evil pig genius, a book inspired by real-life explorer Alexander von Humboldt and historical fiction set in Ireland 12,000 years ago.

The first Big Idea Competition in 2014 was won by IT engineer Neal Jackson, whose entry ‘The First Aeronauts’ was published as Sky Chasers, written by Emma Carroll. Another entry was published as The Fandom by Anna Day and has been optioned for TV by US producer Ileen Maisel.

A runner-up from 2014 - ‘21st Century Panda’, submitted by Victoria Anderson – will be developed by illustrator and writer Sarah Horne and published by Chicken House in spring 2020. The star of the story is a panda at Edinburgh Zoo who befriends a small boy and his mixed-up family.