The Chalkface Challenge: Introducing the Judges

The Chalkface Challenge

The Shadow Judges…

  • KAREN BALL, @karenball is a publisher at Little, Brown Young Readers & Atom.
  • AMBER CARAVEO, @AmberCaraveo is editorial director at Orion children's books & Indigo
  • JASMINE RICHARDS, @JRichardsAuthor  a senior commissioning editor for children's books at Oxford University Press
  • BEN ILLIS, @bookboyben is a kids & YA literary agent at The BIA literary agency

These excellent people will each select their favourite opening excerpt from the 5 entries shortlisted by the young judges at Sparsholt Church of England Primary School. They won't know who has actually won until after they've made their selection when the children's verdict is announced on Sunday 20th July. Will Karen, Amber, Jasmine and Ben pick the same winner as the children? The Shadow Judges results and their comments will be published the following week on the 27th July.

The judges have also sent in some information on  their reading preferences.

Here they are:
Robert, Shadat, Dominic (Year 4)

Cara, Ben, Isabelle (Year 4)

Abby, Imogen, Georgina (Year 3)

Jacob (Year 3)

Y3 children like magical adventures. Characters should be funny and the adventures full of excitement. Their wish list included a girl as a knight, a war in the woods and a big creepy castle. Characters were the main thing they liked about their favourite books.
Y4 children read longer books. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Tom Gates are all big favourites at the moment. They still like lots of adventure and excitement but were less insistent about a magical element. Lots of realistic (gory*) detail though was requested.

This shouldn't in any way deter you from sending in your ungory* story because, as we discovered, last year's judges uncharacteristically shortlisted Julie Fulton's gripping opening to her WW2 canal boat adventure. They are a discerning group of people.

The closing date for entries is Sunday 15th June at 12 noon BST
Instructions for how to enter here.

You have 14 days to make your opening 500 words Sparsholt ready!

Good Luck!

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