THE GREENHOUSE FUNNY PRIZE

Yippee!  The Greenhouse Funny Prize 2016 is now open!

All you comic authors in the UK, Europe and Commonwealth (excl Canada) - get typing! 

We are looking for picture books, middle grade, teen and YA stories with outstanding plots and great hooks.  Get us smiling with delight and/or splitting our sides with laughter.  Send us your funniest fiction in all genres.

CLOSING DATE:  Midnight on 1 July 2016
SHORTLIST and WINNER ANNOUNCEMENT:  Noon on 12 August 2016

WHAT SHOULD I SEND?
Your entire book (or as much of it as you have written) but definitely the first chapter.  Also send a clear synopsis of no more than one page, double spaced.  Please send your manuscript as a Word attachment.  Please note that we will be judging the Funny Prize on the first chapter only.  The exception to this will be picture book texts.  For these, we need to see the whole story.
Please do not send illustrations.

HOW SHOULD I SEND MY WORK?
As a Word doc attached to an email.  The email address is:  .
Entries must be double-spaced and set in 12-point type, preferably Roman. Please avoid using graphics and/or coloured fonts.  Entries received by post are ineligible.

WHO CAN ENTER?
Unpublished and unagented authors living in the UK, Commonwealth (excluding Canada) or Europe.  All entries must be in English.  We are not open to work that has been published previously, including work that has been published online.  We also are not open to authors living in North America.

LATE ENTRIES - WILL YOU ACCEPT THEM?
No.  In order to treat everybody fairly, late entries will not be considered.

CAN I POST MY SUBMISSION TO YOU?
No. Entries received by post are ineligible, neither will we be able to return them.

WILL YOU ACKNOWLEDGE RECEIPT OF MY ENTRY?
You will receive an automated response confirming that your story has arrived safely.  If you do not receive this, check your spam filter and junk email folder.  If you still don’t see anything from us, resubmit your story or send us a query at the same email address ().  It may take a few days to respond to queries but we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

YOU ASK FOR THE WHOLE STORY. DOES THAT MEAN YOU WILL READ IT ALL?
No. We will definitely read the first chapter of each entry (or the whole text in the case of picture books) and your synopsis.  We do not undertake to read more than that.  We also won’t tell you how much more of a story we read.

WHOOPS!  I’VE SENT THE WRONG VERSION OF MY WORK.  WHAT SHOULD I DO?
We anticipate a high number of entries to the Greenhouse Funny Prize 2016 so we ask you, please, to try to get everything right on your first go.  However, we appreciate that mistakes happen.  If you need to get in contact with us after you’ve submitted something, please send an email to explaining your problem/concern.  You will receive an automated acknowledgement of your email, but sit tight.  One of us will reply, hopefully within five working days.

I HAVEN’T FINISHED WRITING MY BOOK YET.  DOES THAT MATTER?
Not really, as we undertake to read only the first chapter.  However, previous winners have got book deals and it’s unlikely that a publisher will offer a publishing deal these days without the full manuscript.  You might be better off finishing and polishing your novel and entering it in next year’s competition instead.  If you really can’t wait, it’s important that you have a clear view of the shape of the story and how the novel will end.

I DON’T THINK THE FIRST CHAPTER IS THE STRONGEST PART OF MY NOVEL.  CAN I ENTER A CHAPTER FROM LATER IN THE BOOK?
No. In order to treat all entrants fairly, we will read Chapter One.  (The importance of a brilliant opening chapter cannot be overestimated!)

SYNOPSIS:  HOW LONG SHOULD IT BE?
‘Not very’ is the answer to that! Certainly no more than one side of A4 double-spaced and typed in 12-point (preferably Roman) font.

SYNOPSIS:  HELP!  MINE IS TOO LONG.  IT WON’T FIT ON A SINGLE PAGE!
Are you sure?  Writing a synopsis is an art and it takes time to get it right.  Our advice is to keep it as simple as possible and to write in the plainest language.  Self-edit brutally!  Do you really need all of those adjectives?  Is the name of the protagonist’s dog vital or can you cut it?  With work, you can probably fit it all on a single page.  We beg you to try!

SYNOPSIS:  IN WHAT STYLE SHOULD I WRITE IT?
As a straightforward summary of the book.  Please tell us exactly what will happen, including any twists or reveals.  Please do not end with ellipses (three dots) and/or a question mark.  You are not writing jacket blurb . . . are you?

I HAVE LOADS OF FUNNY STORIES.  HOW MANY CAN I ENTER FOR THE FUNNY PRIZE?
Only one - so make it your best. (And, no, that doesn’t mean that you can enter, say, one picture book and one YA.) It’s one submission per person.

I ALREADY HAVE AN AGENT.  CAN I ENTER THE FUNNY PRIZE ANYWAY?
Sorry, no.  We are open only to authors without agents.

MY BOOK IS ALREADY OUT WITH AGENTS, THOUGH NOBODY HAS OFFERED ME REPRESENTATION YET.  IS IT STILL ELIGIBLE FOR THE FUNNY PRIZE?
Yes, though please let us know if the situation changes during the judging period.  You will need to withdraw your story from the Funny Prize if you accept representation between entering and the winner being announced.

WILL YOU CONTACT ME ONCE YOU’VE READ MY WORK, EVEN IF DON’T WIN OR DON’T MAKE THE SHORTLIST?
Sorry, no.  It’s not practical for us to contact everybody who enters.  Only the shorlisted/winning author(s) will hear from us.  You will, however, receive an automated response once your story arrives in our inbox and we will be reading every single entry.

WILL YOU PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON MY STORY?
We would love to, but it’s just not feasible.  We anticipate receiving a lot of entries, and we’re also dealing simultaneously with the high volume of general submission we receive on a daily basis.  There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to provide feedback.

I HAVE ALREADY SELF-PUBLISHED MY STORY AND IT IS AVAILABLE ONLINE.  IS IT ELIGIBLE FOR THE GREENHOUSE FUNNY PRIZE?
No.  Only stories that have never been published in any form are eligible.

WHAT WILL I WIN?
The winner will receive an hour-long face-to-face meeting in London (or a phone conversation, if more convenient) with Polly Nolan (Greenhouse) and Leah Thaxton (Publishing Director, Faber & Faber Children’s Books). He or she will also win a selection of books published by Faber & Faber Children’s. 

Up to a maximum of two runners-up will receive a book token each.

Please note that we reserve the right not to award any prizes if we feel that no entry reaches a high enough standard.

WHO WILL BE JUDGING THE FUNNY PRIZE?
The Children’s Editorial Team at Faber & Faber Ltd and Polly Nolan at the Greenhouse Literary Agency.

Can you deliver the story to make children chortle?  Go on - give it a try!