The Greenhouse Funny Prize

Hey gang, check it out. The Greenhouse Funny Prize is back. And guess what: this year, it’s open to North American writers!

Last year’s competition saw over 700 entries, and Pip Jones was our winner. Julia Churchill quickly sold Pip’s book, SQUISHY McFLUFF, THE INVISIBLE CAT, to Faber Children’s Books in a 4 book pre-empt.

So we’re putting out a call for funny stuff, from quirky picture books to wry y.a. The winner will receive an offer of representation from Greenhouse.

Wait, what?

That’s right. The winner gets rep’d people. Not bad.

Entry guidelines:

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 myself 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 Festival of Writing (worth £525). The runners up will each get five of Greenhouse’s favourite funny books.

So get writing!


  1. I’m thrilled about this! Have entered two stories but only received acknowledgement for one. Perhaps the auto-response is set to answer only once? Thank you.

  2. One more question for you. Would you prefer a cover letter in the body email such as there would be for a standard submission, or just the attached Word doc with contact information for each entrant?

  3. So, I feel silly asking, but I hate people who don’t abide by the rules.

    My guess is that you wouldn’t want a one page outline for a picture book text that is substantially less than 5000 words. Correct?

    Since you want the outline to understand how the whole plot plays out and since my whole plot will play out in less than 5k, seems pointless. But the rules do say to include the 1 page outline . . .

    Thank you!

    1. The outline is simply so we can see a brief overview of the story, get a sense of its scope and aims before we dive into the sample pages. As with a standard submission, even if you are sending a full manuscript, you can also include a brief synopsis or pitch (a paragraph or so, if a page feels excessive) to introduce us to the work. Thanks for your question!

  4. Quick clarification, please, so I submit correctly. If we’re primarily based in Europe, but writing for a North American audience, we still put UK in the subject line, right?

    1. If your project takes place in North America, and you are addressing a North American audience (read: North American publisher), then please put NA in the subject line. Otherwise, UK. Thanks!

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