August 19, 2014

Irish Children’s Prize 2014

We’re delighted to announce that submissions for our Irish Children’s Prize are open.  We are looking for a standout new talent for the children’s book world.

The Irish Children’s Prize will be judged by Julia Churchill, children’s book agent at A. M. Heath, and David Maybury of Scholastic Children’s Books.

Says Julia Churchill: David and I love all sorts of writing for children. The winner could be a 200 word picture book, a sophisticated YA novel, a 9-12 stand-alone, or a young chapter series. I’m looking for a strong voice, a character to love, and a concept that feels fresh. If you’re writing or illustrating for children, we’d love to see your work.

Last year our winner was author and illustrator Carol Crimmins, who is so multi-talented, and we’re having such fun working together.

I represent some brilliant Irish talent already, including Sarah Crossan, author of Carnegie shortlisted THE WEIGHT OF WATER and winner of the Eilís Dillon award, and with this prize I’m looking to help break out an Irish writing star of the future.

Says David Maybury: There’s so much happening in Ireland’s creative industries with our international best-selling authors and illustrators, award-winning animators and rapidly growing games industry. I’m looking for an idea that could lead to anything, and anywhere. Characters with a story that tickle the hairs on the back of your neck and a strong genuine voice that will capture readers of any age.

Says Carol Crimmins, 2013 winner: For years I have had lots of ideas for stories and picture books, but never had the confidence to show them. The A.M. Heath Irish Children’s Prize was a “now or never” opportunity to do just that. I never thought I’d be short listed, let alone win!

Julia and David, through their feedback and guidance, have given me the confidence to develop my writing and storytelling which has opened up lots of opportunities for future work. I am especially enjoying working with Julia and looking forward to a busy and exciting time ahead. So go on, give it a go, you never know what might happen.

Submission guidelines:

The A. M. Heath Irish Children’s Prize is open to un-agented children’s book writers born or resident in Ireland (or those who hold an Irish passport), and writing in English.

To get a good sense of the voice, concept and where the character is headed, we’d like to see the first 5,000 words PLUS a short description of the book (a few lines) AND a one page outline that shows the spine of the story. Please send this as a Word doc attachment to

If you’re submitting a picture book (or shorter fiction that comes in under 5,000 words), then please send the complete text.

If you’re an illustrator, please send 4 or 5 illustrations and/or spreads in a PDF file.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Submissions open on August 19th and will close on October 20th.

The shortlist will be announced on October 27th, and the winner will be announced on November 7th.

The winner will be awarded a prize of €1,000. Three runners up will receive a bundle of children’s books written by Irish writers.

A. M. Heath is running the prize in order to support new Irish writing talent, and to find a debut star. We will offer representation if we find an author, or authors, whose writing we love.

Do follow @juliachurchill and @DavidMaybury on twitter for updates. And if you have any questions about submitting, please send them to

About A. M. Heath

A. M. Heath is one of the UK’s leading literary agencies. We represent established contemporary authors, rising stars and some of the iconic writers of the 20th Century.  Our focus is on working with authors to exploit the potential of their writing in as many arenas as possible.  Our agents work closely together to ensure that we cover all areas of the business and each author benefits from the shared expertise of our tight-knit and supportive team.

We are also proud to represent several major literary estates, including the Streatfeild and Aiken estates.

 About Scholastic

Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality books and ebooks, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home.  The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels, including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air, and online at