New UK Competition to Find the “Next Big Thing” in Kids Books

In Children's by Dennis Abrams

A new competition to find the “next big thing” in children’s literature is being launched by the UK’s National Literary Trust and Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

By Dennis Abrams

National Literacy Trust LongA new writing competition to find the “next big thing” in children’s literature is being launched by the UK’s National Literary Trust in partnership with Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

Unpublished authors who enter the competition will have the chance to win a publishing contract with Bloomsbury, along with an advance of £5,000 and an exclusive print run of the new author’s work.

The winners will be selected by a panel of judges, including National Literacy Trust Director Jonathan Douglas, author and critic Nicolette Jones, Editorial Director at Bloomsbury Children’s Books Ellen Holgate, and children’s author Katherine Rundell, winner of the 2014 Blue Peter Book Award for Rooftoppers.

To enters, authors should submit a 20,000- to 40,000-word children’s story, targeted at children aged 8 to 12, with a 350 word synopsis and a 1,000-word passage highlighted for judging in the early rounds. Entries cost £15 until June 30, and £30 after until the competition closes on September 30th.

Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust said of the competition:

“At the National Literacy Trust we work to bring reading for enjoyment and a love of books to children in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK. Exciting, engaging and inspiring children’s literature is vital to our work, which is why we have launched this competition with Bloomsbury Publishing to help find the next ‘big thing’ in children’s storytelling.”

Emma Hopkin, MD of Children’s and Educational Publishing at Bloomsbury added:

“We are delighted to be working alongside the National Literacy Trust to find new talent. There is nothing more exciting than discovering a new author; someone who can inspire children and encourage a love of reading.”

Stories should be emailed to: All proceeds from the competition go towards the National Literacy Trust’s goal to tackle low literacy levels in deprived communities across the UK.

To learn more about how to enter the New Children’s Author Prize competition, click here.

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.