Results - Slush Pile Challenge - July 2016

Felicity Trewliterary agent at Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency set this challenge.

I’d love to see a brief synopsis and first chapter of a fantasy novel to appeal to 9-12 year olds. It must have wonderful characters whose adventure we want to follow; it must be set in a world with its own habitat and rules. Think The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. It could be high fantasy that takes itself very seriously; it could be light with humour. All I ask is that you feed my need. (Or if you're not a fantasist just tickle my humour with anything funny).  

Felicity Trew

We received fifty entries from members across British Isles, Ireland and Europe for this competition.The agent read every entry. And now we have a winner. This is what the agent told us when announcing the results.

I am delighted to announce that the winner is:  JOURNEY TO IZCAL by Larisa Villar Hauser

I loved the way the writer pulled us into their world using a dramatic opening scene. 

We get straight into the action. Our main character is fighting for her life from the first moments - choking on a peanut. 

The blend of mystery and humour (such a difficult balance to get right in this genre) was very compelling. 

We received a staggering fifty entries for this fantasy writing competition! It was a real mixed bag of contenders, from witchy high fantasy and a Dante-inspired adventure to quirky classroom comedy and an ogre's video-diary.  

THE SOUL CATCHER must receive a mention; the idea of a nightingale-blinding bird catcher was darkly enchanting. Also a favourite was GRATNELL, which brought back middle grade science lessons for me in a very real way.  

Thank you to everyone who entered!  

Congratulations to Larisa from all of us at Words & Pictures team.
So that we can see more of what Felicity Trew read when choosing 'Journey to Izcal' as the winning entry, Larisa has agreed to share with us her opening line: 

'Right before her head hit the table Uma had a single not very encouraging thought. "You can die choking on a peanut." Clunk.'

Larisa has also supplied a brief summary of  the synopsis she sent: 

'Uma has energy bending powers but isn't sure how to use them. When Sinti, an evil, snake-charming villain, shows up to force Uma to travel to an ancient Inca temple and bring back healing light, Uma realises she may have a use for energy bending after all. Afraid of Izcal's dark powers, Uma decides to find another way to defeat Sinti.'  

Well done to Larisa. The Words and Pictures team hope she's well on her way towards getting her stories published. 
Congratulations to Tim Ellis - THE SOUL CATCHER and Graine Milner - GRATNELL for getting recognition for their entries.
Thanks to everyone who entered. Keep writing and we hope you will be encouraged to try your hand at appropriate competitions.

Felicity Trew is a literary agent at Caroline Sheldon Agency. Talented and enthusiastic, Felicity Trew is keenly building up a list of children's writers and illustrators at Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency.  Clients she already represents include Joseph Coelho, Sheena Dempsey, Wendy Meddour and Yuval Zommer. 

Felicity has particular love for quirky and imaginative children's books. Felicity holds an MA in Renaissance and is eagerly spotting talent to develop in the future.  

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.


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