SLUSH PILE CHALLENGE April 2018

We are pleased to announce the April 2018 Slush Pile Challenge, set by Peter Marley, Commissioning Editor, Picture Books at Oxford University Press.


Peter Marley
Peter has fifteen years’ experience in commissioning and editorial roles across children’s publishing, including picture-books, pre-school publishing, licensed-character brands, and novelty formats, Prior to his present role, Peter has been an editor at Egmont UK and Top That! Publishing. At Oxford University Press, Peter's role as Senior Commissioning Editor, Picture Books, is commissioning and editing picture books and implementing strategies for growing the picture-book list both in the UK and internationally.



For the purpose of this Slush Pile Challenge, Peter is judging written picture book texts only. In this instance, he does not want illustrations to accompany the text.


THE CHALLENGE: 

My challenge is to write a picture-book text that stars an irresistible central character that will instantly appeal to children and look great on a book cover – whether that is a human child, animal, fantastical creature or inanimate object! The story could be any theme at all but something that the picture-book readership and their parents can relate to. Text length to be around the 400-750 word count mark; and paginated in 12 spreads if you can.  

THE REWARD:

Peter will pick a winner. He will arrange to have a 30-minute meeting with the winner. It will be in person, via Skype or a phone call.


CLOSING DATE - SUNDAY 6TH MAY MIDNIGHT (BRITISH SUMMER TIME)



TERMS AND CONDITIONS

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 scbwi.org

If between submitting your entry and the winner being announced, you gain representation from an agent, please contact us at competitions@britishscbwi.org


WHAT DO YOU NEED TO DO?

1      Check that you are a paid up member of SCBWI before submitting your entry by going to scbwi.org  Any entries received where member's details cannot be found on SCBWI records will not be included as a valid entry. 

2      Send in your entry as a single Word Document to competitions@britishscbwi.org  Submissions to the Slush Pile Challenge should not be sent direct to the agent/editor/judge.  


3      The document should contain only the picture book manuscript 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' April 2018 Slush Pile.doc

4      Please do not insert a header or footer in your submission. 

5       
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.

6       Shortly after you have submitted your entry you will receive an email from the competitions email address stating, 'Your entry has been received.' If you do not receive this message please send an email to competitions@britishscbwi.org   However, we cannot put through entries through after the closing date unless your entry is received on or before the closing date. 

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

8       Any entries received after the closing date will automatically be disqualified. 


THE PROCESS


As soon as the competition is closed, it is necessary to generate a random selection using a computer program. All valid and verified entries received will be included irrespective of whether the entry was received on the date of the launch of the competition or on the closing date, or whether the entrant has previously had their submissions seen by an agent/editor/judge. This has to be done to ensure that there is no bias or pre-judging from SCBWI BI/SCBWI BI Words and Pictures editorial team when sending the entries for judging. The terms of the competition are that the judge agrees to read a minimum of fifteen entries from the number of submissions. In many cases the agent/editor/ judge requests to read more. When an agent/editor/judge requests to read fifteen or another proportion of the total entries, those chosen as the first ones to be read by the computer will be sent to him/her. Sometimes the judge may request a further selection of valid and verified entries before making their decision. When this occurs, to avoid bias, the next group of entries from the initial computer generated random selection will be sent to the agent/editor/judge. There are times when the judge requests to read all the entries and these are then forwarded to him/her. 

The judge will pick a winner and also tell us why.  Sometimes he/she 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 judge 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 5 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. 

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