SlushPile Challenge - July 2014

We are pleased to announce the July 2014 Slush Pile Challenge.

Christmas has come early to the SlushPile Challenge and it has been brought to us by Lauren Pearson of Curtis Brown.

Lauren joined Curtis Brown in 2014, to focus on children’s books. She is looking to build a list of picture book authors and illustrators, as well as middle-grade and YA authors. 

My challenge is Christmas in July.  
I’d like to see the complete texts (or dummies) of picture book or early chapter book stories that have to do with Christmas or the holidays.  (I’ve had three editors tell me recently that they are looking for Xmas stories!) Anything for readers up to age 8 please.

Lauren Pearson will pick a winner and arrange to have a meeting with them by phone or in person for 30 minutes.

Send in your entries by 3rd August 2014.

This competition is now closed!

Who is eligible?

You need to be a current SCBWI un-agented member, resident in the UK. (From 29th July 2014 onwards, it is open to European residents as well).

If you win a challenge, you will not be able to enter for any other Slush Pile challenges.

To join SCBWI and take advantage of the many opportunities to: raise your profile, market your work, meet fellow writers, artists, the gatekeepers to publication, while being supported in the development and pursuit of your craft, visit

What do you need to do?

Send in your entry (as Word Document or PDFs for dummies) to by 3rd August 2014

The document/PDF should be just the stories that Lauren has requested. Please note early chapter book texts should be less than 5000 words.

Do not include your name, address or email address in the word document or the PDF.

In the email - please write your full name as it appears in SCBWI membership records and your email address. Also include the title of your work.

The Process

We will choose 15 entries randomly and send to the agent for review.

The agent will pick a winner and also tell us why.

The winner will be put in touch with the agent for the 30-minute meeting.

Good Luck Everyone!

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.


  1. Yay! Just the inspiration I need today.

  2. Perfect. I have a Christmas story ready to go!

  3. I have a couple of picture books that are ideal for this; is there a limit on the number that can be submitted? This really is a great opportunity, but I do think it's a shame that the initial choice has to be made at random - fingers crossed!

  4. Yeah selection at random is the only put off. Especially after the time and effort you will put in to writing a great story.

    1. Yes I know what you mean but the feeling is that this reflects the part luck can play when submitting normally. Also we don't have the capacity for a pre-judging panel to select a reasonable number i.e. 15 to pass on to the industry judge. I think we're able to persuade these busy people to judge because we're not going to inundate them with a huge pile of entries. A random selection of 15 seems to be the fairest way to this.

  5. A great opportunity though!

  6. That's why it is called the SlushPIle - it is at random and also because if we get 100 entries, it is not fair on the judge to read 100 entries for free. After all they are giving up their time to do this free for SCBWI. The other reason why we do random is to ensure the selection is not up to the competitions coordinator (me). It's only fair then to be random. Hope that explains.

  7. Another thought on the random thing though - we have had agents and editors who wanted to read more than the allotted 15 and also sometimes there are only 15 entries and hence we send all to the editor/agent. Normally people who enter this competition are not writing something from scratch - it is for those who have something in the works and want to submit to see if the agent likes their work. I agree with Anna, it is a great opportunity and we know some people have got agents or some good feedback by submitting here.

    1. Chitra, thank you so much for doing all of this voluntarily in your spare(!) time between work, writing storytelling and getting your own stuff out there! This is such a great opportunity, I hope members take advantage of it.

  8. Hi everyone, we just opened this competition up to European SCBWI members only. Other than residential rule all other restrictions apply

  9. That's my entry now submitted! Fingers crossed and Merry Christmas one and all!

  10. Good luck to everyone who entered!

  11. The Amazing Lauren Pearson has agreed to read all your entries, instead of just randomly chosen 15! Thank you Lauren, hope you love the stories we sent you. Yay!

  12. Really great news! Thanks for organising this opportunity Chitra, and many thanks to you Lauren if you're reading this! Hope all the stories get you suitably festive!

  13. That's brilliant - I feel like a winner already!

  14. Fab news about Lauren reading all the entries, Chitra, and you are a star for doing all this!

  15. Thanks to Lauren for taking time to read them all. Do you have any idea when we'll know the outcome?


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