The Year 12 student will sit alongside experienced publishing professionals in judging five manuscripts shortlisted for The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. The competition is the largest contest for unpublished children’s fiction writers in the UK.
The judging panel, which includes publisher Barry Cunningham OBE who was instrumental in bringing J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter to print, will convene in London in June. A lot rides on the decision of Lewis and his fellow judges, as the winning manuscript will be published by Chicken House Books with a £10,000 advance.
Lewis was selected for this exciting opportunity after his video book review of Alex Scarrow’s Time Riders won a competition organised by Chicken House Books. He loves reading and particularly enjoys novels with a dystopian theme, such as Divergent and The Maze Runner.
Looking forward to this unique opportunity, Lewis said:
“I was ecstatic and so happy when I found out I had won. I’m nervous about being a Young Judge, but really excited too. I’m hoping to see stories that will one day be a popular book. I’m happy that I’ll be one of the people deciding which novel is published and I hope it will become a big success.”
Kesia Lupo, Editor at Chicken House Books, commented:
“It’s important to us to have an authentic young voice on the judging panel, representing the real-life readership for the books we’re considering. We’re delighted to have Lewis as our Young Judge – his winning entry was passionate and articulate. We can’t wait to hear what he thinks of the shortlist!”
Lewis found out about the Chicken House Books Young Judge competition thanks to Chris Moore, the librarian at University Technical College Norfolk, who encouraged him to enter.
He is currently studying A Levels in physics, maths, further maths and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), and his ambition is to study aerospace engineering to master’s degree level and to go on and work in this field.