Results - Slush Pile Challenge - October 2016

Hellie Ogden, literary agent at Janklow and Nesbit UK set this challenge.

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.  

Hellie Ogden
Hellie Ogden
We received forty-one 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:  MIMA MALONE AND THE MAD BAD INVENTOR by Kate Poels West. 

I had such a great time reading through forty-one entries. I was so impressed by the range of ideas offered and the quality of writing. It was a tough choice! In the end I have chosen as my winner, MIMA MALONE AND THE MAD BAD INVENTOR because it totally hit my brief. I wanted something with a great voice and heart and something that crucially left me wanting to read more. It grabbed me from the first line: Chloe Corderoy is missing.

The combination of humour, smart writing and an intriguing mystery hook makes this an exciting debut.

As an agent I have to consider so many factors when assessing books. 

One big factor is of course marketability. 

What I liked about this entry is that it felt like it was tapping into something younger readers are really loving at the moment - kid detectives!   

I wanted to mention a few other entries that I shortlisted as I thought the concepts were all very strong: 'CLARA CARRUTHERS: THE PENGUIN CONSPIRACY', 'THE MADNESS OF MISERY SPINKS', 'MY DAD, THE LIVING LEGEND', 'THE THOUGHTS THIEF' and finally 'GENERATION FREEZE'. 

Thank you SO much to all who entered and for sharing your work with me.  

Congratulations to Kate from all of us at Words & Pictures team. The Words and Pictures team hope Kate is well on her way towards getting her story published. 

Well done to the entrants who were shortlisted. Joanne Lee - CLARA CARRUTHERS: THE GREAT PENGUIN CONSPIRACY, Kate Walker  - THE MADNESS OF MISERY SPINKS, Jennifer Moore - MY DAD: THE LIVING LEGEND, R M Tudor THE THOUGHTS THIEF and Michèle Simonsen - GENERATION FREEZE.  

Thanks to Hellie Ogden, literary agent at Jankow and Nesbit UK for setting this challenge. 

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

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. Thank you, Hellie, for reading all our entries, and many congratulations, Kate. LOVE that first line!

  2. Thanks Hellie and SCBWI for giving us such fantastic opportunities. So thrilled with the feedback! Huge well dones to the others on the shortlist. X


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