Search for a Storyteller with David Fickling Books

04 Jan 2024 / News

Search for a Storyteller

David Fickling Books are looking for a special new storyteller. Could it be you?

Arvon are delighted to be partnering with David Fickling Books in their Search for a Storyteller competition for a limited time, to new, un-agented, un-published authors.

Arvon will be helping DFB look for and nurture a new author who we can build an exciting creative partnership with; someone who we can help thrive; someone who has stories inside them that we can help bring to the world.

For the month of February 2024, DFB will be accepting unsolicited submissions in our Search for a Storyteller.


What We’re Looking For:

David Fickling Books and Arvon are looking for a writer with huge potential who wants to grow and hone their skills. Someone who is passionate about bringing new stories to readers over a sustained career and who is inspired by the prospect of editorial development. We want to hear from writers who have stories burning inside them, who can write in new and unique ways, who can make readers feel seen and recognised. We are open to all genres, all styles and all voices, aimed at readers between 8-19 years old.


The winning author will receive:

  • Several editorial sessions with David Fickling Books’ editorial team
  • Full access to an online Arvon at Home writing course
  • A publishing contract with David Fickling Books

Shortlisted authors will receive an editorial report on their submission.

We regret that we cannot offer feedback to all entrants, but thank all submitters sincerely for being bold enough to enter our competition.

What To Submit:

We ask writers to email and attach, all in one Word document or PDF:

  • A brief cover letter (1 page maximum; in one paragraph please tell us a little about yourself, include a paragraph pitch for your story and in no more than 200 words let us know what you would gain/value from editorial feedback and a further writing course)
  • Synopsis (1 page maximum; please do include spoilers!)
  • A full manuscript. If possible, please format the document in Calibri font size 12, 1.5 line spacing. The header should contain your name and the title of the manuscript. Each page should be numbered. Please use similar clear formatting if these specifics are not possible for you/you aren’t using Microsoft Word.

How To Submit:

Please send your cover letter, synopsis and full manuscript to Entries will be accepted between 00:00 1st February 2024 – 23:59 29th February 2024. Entries sent outside this timeframe will not be considered. There is no submission fee.

Entry T&Cs

  • You must not have had a full-length children’s novel commercially published in any territory
  • You must be over 18
  • You can be based anywhere in the world, but the manuscript must be written in English
  • You must not have a literary agent
  • You can submit if you have submitted unsuccessfully to other open submission competitions, or if the manuscript has been rejected by agents
  • You cannot submit a manuscript that has been submitted to agents in the last 6 months
  • The story must be your own original work
  • Your story cannot previously have been published via Kindle Publishing and/or available on Amazon
  • Your story must have a target readership between ages 8-18
  • Entries will be accepted between 00:00 1st February 2024 – 23:59 29th February 2024. Entries sent outside this timeframe will not be considered
  • Only one entry per person

If You Have Questions: 

We have a video here, explaining the application process and deadlines. It will also be available to watch on Instagram & Twitter (@dfb_storyhouse / @arvonfoundation @arvon__). We will also be holding a Twitter Q&A in January (date to be announced).

We are so excited to read your submission!

At DFB we want our authors to feel like they’re inside the company – to feel like valued members of our team, who can call our office with a question and know any member of staff who answers the phone. We cannot wait to discover a new writer to join our Storyhouse and be part of our family for years to come. Good luck!


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