SlushPile Challenge - October 2015

We are pleased to announce the 
October 2015 SlushPile Challenge

Amber Caraveo

Amber Caravéo is setting the challenge this October. Until leaving to set up Skylark Literary, Amber was the Editorial Director at Orion Children’s Books where she was privileged to work with some of the best authors in Children's and YA fiction

With over 25 years in the children’s publishing industry, Amber Caravéo and Joanna Moult formed Skylark Literary to seek and support the very best writers for young people. They specialise in nurturing talented authors, helping each to find their voice and develop their writing skills.


I’m looking for a new and powerful voice for any age group, so I’d like to see a one-page synopsis and an excerpt (of no more than 750 words) from any part of the story that really demonstrates a distinctive, powerful and engaging voice. It could be first person, from the point of view of the protagonist and thus showcasing their voice, or it could be third person and demonstrating the narrative voice of the novel. It could be funny, witty, quirky or dark but it must be engaging and unique.

Amber will pick a winner from 15 randomly chosen entries. She would arrange to have a meeting with the winner by phone or in person for 30 minutes.

Competition 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 any other SlushPile 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 a single Word Document to by the above-mentioned date.

The document should contain only the title, the  one-page synopsis and the 750 word excerpt that the judge has requested. Do not include your name, address or email address in the Word document or the Document name. The Word Document should be named in the following format - <title>_Oct2015_Slushpile.docx

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.

Only the first entry will be considered. Please do not send revisions, multiple entries or multiple attachments.

The Process

We will choose 15 entries randomly and send to the agent for review. This is to ensure that agents are able to judge a reasonable number of entries and to ensure the W&P team is not pre-judging the entries. In many cases, our judges review all submissions and sometimes we receive only around 15 entries or so.

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 by phone or in-person.

Good Luck Everyone!

Elaine Cline has been a SCBWI member for over 3 years and loves to write picture books, junior fiction and middle-grade. She lives by the sea and has two soft and silly cats.

Elaine is a member of the Words & Pictures' editorial team, managing The SlushPile Challenge for writers.


  1. A very big welcome to Elaine! And an enormous thank you to Chitra for bringing us the Slushpile Challenge, and opening up all those fabulous opportunities for SCBWI BI members.

  2. Hi Elaine and thanks for posting this - quick question though? I see it has 'for any age group' underlined but know that Skylark don't usually consider picture books. Are they making an exception for this slushpile challenge do you know, as I would like to enter one of my PB texts if possible?
    Thanks, Elizabeth

    1. Sorry for the delay in replying Elizabeth. Skylark are not considering picture books. I will try and get future challenges to include picture books.

  3. Thank you to everyone who has entered. I'm delighted that we had 29 entries. Amber very kindly has agreed to read everyone's entry.


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