Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 10, 2013

The Greenhouse Literary – Bring on the Funny!


greenhouse_logoAt Greenhouse we love all sorts of writing. We love edgy, wincingly close-to-the-bone YA fiction, we love thrilling, commercial concepts with big surprises, and beautiful and heartfelt younger stories. In short, we love quality. And there’s something that we don’t see enough of: Funny.

So we’re waving the flag for funny books.

Last year we ran the first Greenhouse Funny Prize, a competition to find new funny writing talent. We had over 700 entries and Pip Jones was our winner. Julia quickly sold Pip’s book, SQUISHY McFLUFF, THE INVISIBLE CAT, to Faber Children’s Books in a 4 book pre-empt.

We had such a great time working on the prize that we’re going to do it again. And bigger. This year we’re opening it up to the world, so if you’re American or Canadian, or writing from anywhere on the planet (as long as your work is in the English language) then come and make us laugh.

Our judging criteria is very simple. Funny, and we are wide open to all ages. The winner may be a picture book like OLIVIA or DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS, or a young series à la HORRID HENRY, FLAT STANLEY, THE GREAT HAMSTER MASSACRE or UNDEAD PETS, or for 8-12 year olds like Lemony Snicket or M.T. Anderson’s WHALES ON STILTS. It could even be for teen readers, like Adam Rex’s COLD CEREAL series, ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, or THE PRINCESS DIARIES. It’s going to be the person with funny in their DNA. Perhaps the winner will have a slow-burning, sly wit. Perhaps a Python-esque sense of the absurd, or zany as Tina Fey’s 30 ROCK. Or maybe the concept, the freshness and fun, will pull us in.


The Greenhouse Funny prize is open to un-agented writers writing funny fiction for children of all ages.

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

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

Please send your entries to

If you’re writing from the US or Canada (ie, North America), please put NA in subject line. If you’re writing from UK or the rest of the world, please put UK in subject line.

The deadline for submissions is Monday, 29 July.

The shortlist will be announced Monday, 12 August.

The winner will be announced Monday, 19 August.

The US/Canada and the UK will have separate judging and shortlists and we will choose a winner in each territory.

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

North American entries will be judged by John Cuscik and guest judge Jill Santopolo, Executive Editor at Philomel, Penguin. UK entries will be judged by Julia and guest judge Leah Thaxton, Publisher of Faber Children’s Books.

Winners will receive an offer of representation from the Greenhouse and the UK winner will also get full weekend ticket to the wonderful York Festival of Writing (worth £525). The runners up will each get five of Greenhouse’s favourite funny books.

What are you waiting for? Show us the funny!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Thank you for posting!


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