Slush Pile Challenge - October 2016

We are pleased to announce the October 2016 Slush Pile Challenge.

Hellie Ogden
Hellie Ogden

Hellie Ogden, literary agent at Jankow and Nesbit UK is setting this challenge. 

Hellie is looking for young adult and children's debuts. She enjoys novels with exciting settings, bold twists and enticing protagonists. 

Hellie featured in The Bookseller Rising Stars list 2013.
And was shortlisted for the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize in 2014.

Janklow and Nesbit has been in business since 1973, and is one of the most powerful literary agencies in the world, with offices in New York and London. The London office opened in 2000, tasked with building a first-class list of UK-based writers for whom the agency provides coordinated representation across all formats and territories. Over the last decade, the agency has grown to represent a broad range of international authors, who are regularly nominated for and awarded major literary prizes, and feature in best-seller lists around the world. Our small, highly-focused office provides a unique service to its clients - a boutique agency with a global perspective. 


I would love the first chapter and synopsis of a story that will leave me crying out to read more. I'm really open to any ideas and genres but I am always looking for something fresh with a crazy original voice and plenty of heart.  

                      THE REWARD:

Hellie will pick a winner. 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 titlefirst chapter and synopsis 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 - 'your title' October 2016 Slushpile.doc

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 request to read more than fifteen entries.

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 our members write for different ages and genres. With this in mind, we endeavour to provide at least one Slush Pile Challenge a year that our un-agented members feel able to enter.  

Elaine Cline has been a SCBWI member for over 3 years and loves to write picture books, middle-grade and teen books. 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. Can I enter a short story which is part of a collection of ten. Thanks Morag

    1. Hellie Ogden has confirmed that you can enter the short story and perhaps include a synopsis for the whole collection.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I am presuming your first chapter is 240 words. The agent/judge has stipulated the first chapter and synopsis.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.


We love comments and really appreciate the time it takes to leave one.
Interesting and pithy reactions to a post are brilliant but we also LOVE it when people just say they've read and enjoyed.
We've made it easy to comment by losing the 'are you human?' test, which means we get a lot of spam. Fortunately, Blogger recognises these, so most, if not all, anonymous comments are deleted without reading.

Words & Pictures is the Online Magazine of SCBWI British Isles. Powered by Blogger.