June 6, 2013

Irish Children’s Prize

This year A. M. Heath are launching their Irish Children’s Prize.  We are looking for a new standout voice in children’s fiction.

The Irish Children’s Prize will be judged by Julia Churchill, children’s book agent at A. M. Heath, and David Maybury of Brown Bag Films, Penguin Children’s Books and Inis Magazine editor.

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 for children, we’d love to see your work.

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 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.

 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  irishprize@amheath.com

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

Entrants will receive an acknowledgement on receipt of script, but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Submissions open on June 6th and will close on October 17th.

The shortlist will be announced on October 25th, and the winner will be announced on October 31st at the CBI Children’s Book Festival in Dublin.

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 on twitter for updates. And if you have any questions about submitting, please send them to irishprize@amheath.com.