SCBWIs Scoop Greenhouse's Top Prizes!

It's a serious business making readers laugh; Swapna Haddow and Clare Welsh are seriously good at it, officially! Please lob great big guffawing congratulations to Swapna, winner of this year's Greenhouse Funny Prize and to 'close second', W&P's own, Clare. 

Greenhouse Funny Prize winner, Swapna Haddow!
Swapna won with the autobiography of a Pigeon called Dave, Dave Pigeon. Here's what she had to say on winning...

How I got an agent: 
When your four-year-old asks you what two pigeons talk about, the very same two pigeons that target your husband’s car every Sunday morning, you can either distract said son with the task of cleaning the car whilst your husband unfurls the hose or you could steal your son’s idea, claim it as your own, write a book and win the Greenhouse Funny Prize, nabbing yourself an agent, in the process.

I wish it had been that easy to get an agent but there were three years prior of plugging away at this craft called writing. For the last two years, I’ve sat frustrated on a number of shortlists, including the Funny Prize shortlist back in 2012, and collected a landfill-sized pile of rejection letters to boot. 

Thankfully I inherited the family stubborn streak. 

 I’m so chuffed (and quite frankly amazed) to have won this year’s prize, not only because my first piece of advice from an agent was not to write about animals (and there is nothing more animal than pigeon), but also because I now have the lovely Polly Nolan, agent extraordinaire at Greenhouse Literary Agency, championing my book.

Thank you Greenhouse!

Clare with friend Helen on shortlisting day, also celebrating their 30th birthdays.  

Clare's 'close second' features mice with plans to fly to the moon in a biscuit rocket!  Here's Clare on running up...

On a windy and wet campsite in Cornwall, I was delighted to receive an email from Polly Nolan of The Greenhouse Literary Agency saying my picture book 'The Aerodynamics of Biscuits' had made the shortlist for the Greenhouse Funny Prize 2014. I knew the judges' decision had been looming but I didn't believe I had a chance. So you can imagine my elation when she emailed a week later to say I had won Silver Medal.

Now that I am just about over the shock, the smiling has kicked in. Along with the occasional 'eeeek!' It means so much to have been noticed in what sounds like a flood of incredible and funny submissions... Another reminder not to give up on the dream. Congratulations to Swapna Haddow! I can't wait to read 'Dave Pigeon.'

Greenhouse literary agent and Funny Prize judge, Polly Nolan had this to say about Swapna's and Clare's entries…

Reading the dozens and dozens of entries for the Greenhouse Funny Prize each year makes me appreciate just how tricky it is to ‘do’ funny. The writers who manage it have a special talent. We are delighted that Swapna and Clare have done so well. They have written completely different stories, but both made us laugh. A lot. Congratulations to each of them.

Many Congratulations Swapna and Clare! 


  1. Congratulations! Great news for both of you...

  2. Love both your story ideas, Swapna and Clare! Really hope it's not long before I get to read them!

  3. What a coup for SCBWI and both of you! Excellent.

  4. Thank you everyone and to Jan especially for a lovely write-up :-)))


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