Results - Slush Pile Challenge January 2014

This challenge was set by Clare Whitston of OUP.

The winner of this challenge is George Kirk for her character portrayal of Manfred Cat. 


A character portrayal for a 7-9 series fiction. In 2 pages, entrants were requested to portray the lead characters, the worlds in which the character lived in and the minor characters.

We sent 15 anonymous, randomly chosen entries to Clare Whitston at Oxford University Press. We asked Clare to tell us why she chose George's character Manfred Cat as the winning entry.

The team very much enjoyed reading the entries for the Slushpile Challenge. I was really pleased with the standard of entries and there were about 5 which I could have quite happily declared the winner. 

It was actually really hard to pick just one in the end, but after some deliberation we decided that Manfred Cat was our favourite – a story about a fat, lazy, ginger cat – he’s a witches' cat who can’t stand witches! 

We thought it was fun and had plenty of scope for development both in terms of the world and across a series. 
I especially liked the idea of Manfred hanging out with his friends, Goren the Toad and Arthur the Raven and would love to see the author develop these friendships further.
Our head of design, Molly Dallas, has kindly agreed to attend our brainstorming session.

George Kirk will be meeting the entire fiction team at OUP and the head of design Molly Dallas too during her visit. George has promised to report back to us on how much her trip was useful in developing her own series.


Chitra has published over 20 books in Singapore, UK, USA and India. She loves writing picture books, folktales and is also working on fiction for 7+ with a lead character brightly named Aurora. Chitra is a member of the Words & Pictures' editorial team, managing The Slush Pile Challenge for writers.


  1. Hooray for George (and thank you Clare). Fantastic result!

  2. Great news, George! Looks like a fantastic prize x

  3. Celia J Anderson24 March 2014 at 17:30

    Oh wow, George - amazing news! :)

  4. George haven't yet said a W&P big CONGRATULATIONS - so pleased for you and Manfred - very nice people at OUP - you'll have a brilliant time!


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