Slush Pile Challenge - January 2016

We are pleased to announce the January 2016 Slush Pile Challenge

Louise Lamont
Louise Lamont
Louise Lamont, literary agent at LBA Books is setting this challenge.
After studying English Literature and Medieval Studies at university, Louise joined the literary Agency, AP Watt Ltd after a brief spell in the world of film development. She worked with Caradoc King and his clients for seven years, while also building her own list. In 2013 Louise moved to LBA.  

Louise is particularly looking for writers for children and teen readers. She is keen to read teen romances, twists on historical fiction, funny and unusual stories of friendship, family and adventure. However, she is not accepting picture book texts at this time.


I’d like to read a blurb and an opening of up to 2000 words for a love story. You can interpret 'love story' in any way you like - it doesn't have to be romantic - and it can be for any age group. Although I am not looking for picture books, there are no other limitations! An opening scene may not get to the heart of the love story, but it should be enough to set up the world, tone and at least one of the main characters.

Louise will pick a winner from 15 randomly chosen entries. She will arrange to have a 30 minute meeting with the winner. It will be in person, via skype or a phone call.


Who is eligible?

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

If you win a challenge, you will not be able to enter 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 a single Word Document to  

The document should contain only the title, the blurb and the 2000 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>_Jan2016_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.  Sometimes the agent, who set the competition, may quote a few sentences or phrases, from the winner's submission, in the blog announcing the winner.  

The winner will be put in touch with the agent, so they can arrange the 30 minute discussion, in person, by skype, or on the phone.

Good Luck Everyone!

The Words and Pictures Team are aware that picture book writers have not been able to enter recent Slush Pile challenges. ARRANGEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE FOR THERE TO BE A CHALLENGE SPECIFICALLY FOR PICTURE BOOK WRITERS 

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 Slush Pile Challenge for writers.


  1. Does the rule, "If you win a challenge, you will not be able to enter any other Slush Pile challenges." apply across the board to all Slush Pile Challenges or is it per "type" of Slush Pile challenge? That is, if I win this one, does that mean I cannot try the picture one later on in the year? Just wondering.

    1. It does apply across all the challenges. If you won this challenge, you wouldn't be able to enter other challenges even though you entered a different genre. For example, if you submitted a young fiction.chapter book/middle grade/young adult book here and won it, you wouldn't be able to enter another Slush Pile challenge irrespective of what genre, you were entering.


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