We are pleased to announce the January 2023 Slush Pile Challenge, set by Charlotte Colwill of Colwill and Peddle.



Charlotte Colwill, literary agent at Colwill and Peddle is looking for adult fiction and children’s fiction and non-fiction.


In children’s books I am open to both fiction and non-fiction for all ages, from picture books to Young Adult. At the moment I am really looking for a funny and engaging author/illustrator with a fresh new series for young readers (5+), middle grade fiction with a new hook, brilliant world-building and characters we haven’t seen before, and in YA I’m looking for homegrown fantasy fiction, high concept contemporary stories and books about unusual relationships. In children’s non-fiction I’d love to see books that tackle curriculum subjects in a brand new and super engaging way, and real life stories for middle grade and YA readers.


Colwill & Peddle is a new, independent literary agency with a difference.


Founded by Charlotte Colwill, a former bookseller, and Kay Peddle, a former editor, our agency draws on that respective industry experience to find and nurture a new generation of writers who break the mould.


Drawing on our years of experience in publishing, bookselling and agenting we’re focused on finding new voices and untold stories, helping authors turn their ideas into books and supporting them at each point in their writing career.


We are proud to represent a diverse range of writers who are talented, passionate and who write with real purpose. Working closely with our authors from the inception of their ideas, through to submission, publication and beyond, we help them turn their dream of writing into a long, happy and successful career. Publishing can be a bewildering industry and we’re passionate about making it as inclusive and open as possible so we strive to demystify the publishing process for first-time writers.


Led by our editorial instincts, we enjoy working closely and collaboratively with all our authors both on and off the page. We pride ourselves on finding authors the perfect home for their work, negotiating the best possible deal and helping to build a strong team behind them. We also work with a number of foreign, film & TV co-agents to sell the rights to our clients’ work internationally, in all formats and mediums.


We’re looking for writers with passion, creative flair and an original voice. If you’re a writer with a big idea just starting out, a publishing grad looking to break into the industry or an editor looking for the next project – get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.





“I’d like a story for either young readers (6-9) or middle grade readers (9-12) that spotlights the relationship between a child and an adult, this can be fantasy or contemporary. Think Charlie and his Grandad in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I love humour, adventure and feels. Please can I see a synopsis and the first 750 words.”





Charlotte will pick a winner. She will arrange to have a 30-minute meeting with the winner. It will be via Zoom or a phone call.









You need to be an un-agented, current SCBWI member, and resident in either the UK or Europe.


If you win a challenge, you can enter any other Slush Pile Challenges but not with the same manuscript.


To join SCBWI and take advantage of the many opportunities to raise your profile, market your work, meet fellow writers, artists and the gatekeepers to publication, while being supported in the development and pursuit of your craft, visit


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





1 Check that you are a paid-up member of SCBWI before submitting your entry by going to 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 Submissions to the Slush Pile Challenge should not be sent direct to the agent/editor/judge.


3 The document should only contain a SYNOPSIS AND FIRST 750 WORDS the judge has requested. Do not include your name, address or email address in your word document or the document name. The word document should be named in the following format – 'your title' January 2023 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 However, we cannot put 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.





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 & 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 by Zoom or on the phone.


Good Luck Everyone!



The Words & 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 eight years and loves to write picture books, middle-grade and teen books. She lives by the sea and has one dog.


Elaine is a member of the Words & Pictures editorial team, managing The Slush Pile Challenge.


No comments:

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.