Chicken House contract up for grabs in new STEM-themed writing prize

Chicken House contract up for grabs in new STEM-themed writing prize

A new literary competition that celebrates science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) is offering the winner a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House and a £10,000 royalty advance.

It forms part of the annual Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition for unpublished and unagented writers and is sponsored by the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) in celebration of its 150th anniversary.

The IET 150 Award will be presented to a complete fiction manuscript written for children aged seven up to young adult that broadly explores or celebrates STEM.

The prize is a worldwide publishing contract, a £10,000 advance subject to contract, and an offer of representation by a literary agent. The prize will have a shortlist of three manuscripts to be judged by a panel including Chicken House publisher Barry Cunningham, IET president Professor Danielle George and a star author, to be announced. 

Professor George said: “The IET 150 Award celebrates the endless possibilities science, technology, engineering and maths present. Coupled with the creative minds of some of the very best undiscovered writing talent in the UK, I think we are going to have some exceptional stories that push the boundaries of innovation and adventure.”

Cunningham added: “I'm truly excited to welcome the IET 150 prize to this year's Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. I've always loved Agatha Christie's famous quote 'The supernatural is only the natural of which the laws are not yet understood' — as so much of creative fiction is about where technology, engineering or maths will take us, and our world. This new prize is therefore a perfectly inspiring opportunity to show the magic of imagination in new ways.”

The competition is now open and the judges are looking for original ideas, a fresh voice, a diverse range of entries and stories that children will love. Entrants must have written a completed full-length novel suitable for children/young adults aged somewhere between seven and 18 years with a suggested length of between 30,000 and 80,000 words. The competition will close on 1st February 2021 at 11.59 p.m. GMT.

For more information on how to submit a manuscript and for terms and conditions, visit the Chicken House website.