Friday 15 January 2010


Event Report: Chicken House 10th Anniversary Big Breakfast

Chicken House turns 10 this year, and so to celebrate, they held a breakfast event in London, and I was invited! I hadn't been to a publishing event before so I didn't know what to expect. Having only reviewed one book for Chicken House, and so little contact with anyone from the publishing house, I didn't know anyone there, and there were so many people! I spoke to a few people who took pity on me, standing on my own, before the event began properly, which was lovely.

Then the event started. Barry Cunningham, the Managing Director, gave a talk about how Chicken House started, and how far they've come as a company, with the novels and the authors they've published. He also mentioned that two of their novels, Flyaway by Lucy Christopher, and The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh have been shorlisted for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize 2010. Then several authors were invited to come up.

First up was Cornelia Funke. who spoke to us about her experiences with Chicken House, and about her new novel, Reckless, which will be released on 14th September. She also read out an excerpt from the first chapter, and it sounds really good!

Next up was authors Rachel Ward (Numbers) and Lucy Christopher (Stolen, Flyaway), who both spoke in turn about why they write teen fiction, what they love about it, and their publishing experiences with Chicken House.

Then up came Di Toft (Wolven), who did the same, but also spoke about how Wolven is supposed to be funny as well as scary, and how she was inspired by Steven King. She also spoke to us about Demon Strike by Andrew Newbound, and a book who's name I can't remember for the life of me, nor find online anywhere (sorry!), but I believe it's by Ross Mackenzie. It sounded good though! About magic and dreams! Both authors were also in attendance.

(ETA: Ross Mackenzie commented, and his book is called Zac and the Dream Pirates, released in August)

We then had Sophia Bennett (Threads), who talked about her experience of winning the The Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction competition, as well as that of previous winners Pat Walsh (The Crowfield Curse) and Emily Diamond (Flood Child).

Finally came Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams (Tunnels series), to talk about their Chicken House experience. It was great to hear how they originally tried to self-publish before receiving a call from Barry. There was also news about Tunnels being optioned for a movie! Apparently there will be more news on this next week on Chicken House's website.

Then Barry came back to the mic to end the event. It was a pretty good event, and it was great to hear about so many books! Barry mentioned several other books during his speeches, and there were so many novels mentioned throughout the whole event that I want to read! Chicken House is publishing some brilliant sounding books this year, and I can't wait to read them!

And, just as I was on my way out, who did I happen to bump into? Jenny of Wondrous Reads! Neither of us knew the other was going to be there, but it was great to meet her! Unfortunately, I had to get going, so I wasn't able to speak to her for very long, but I saw someone I knew in the end!

Here are some of the books Chicken House will be releasing this year, either by authors who spoke, or were mentioned by others:

he crowfield curse by pat walsh flyaway by lucy christopher pretty bad things by c. j. skuse
demon strike by andrew newbound threads - beads, boys and bangles by sophia bennett closer - tunnels series book 4 by roderick gordon and brian williams
wolven - the twilight circus numbers 2: the chaos by rachel ward flood and fire by emily diamond

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh - Jan 2010
Flyaway by Lucy Christopher - Jan 2010
Pretty Bad Things - March 2010
Demon Strike by Andrew Newbound - March 2010
Threads: Boys, Beads & Bangles by Sophia Bennett 2010
Closer (The Tunnels Series Book 4) by Roderick Gordon and Brian Willams - May 2010
Wolven - The Twilight Circus - May 2010
Numbers 2: The Chaos by Rachel Ward - June 2010
Flood & Fire by Emily Diamond - August 2010

How awesome are all those covers?! I love them!


  1. Hi Jo - sorry not to catch you there: it was full, wasn't it? I'd have said hello if I'd spotted you, honest! We authors are sooo grateful to the people who read our books! See you on Twitter ...

  2. It's so great to read all about it - thanks, Jo! And I agree about the great covers!

  3. Sophia - Thanks for commenting! I really appreciate it :) Oh, there were so many people there, but it was great! Oh, thanks, but don't worry about it, more often than not I know authors by name rather than sight myself :) Thanks for accepting me on Twitter!

    Luisa - You're welcome! The covers are great, and some of the books sound SO good! I'm excited for a fair number of Chicken House books, whether to be released this year, or already released! :)

  4. Sounds like you had a great time! Some of those books look interesting & the covers are great :o)

  5. It was pretty cool! I can't wait to read some of these books, and I looove the covers! Thanks for commenting!

  6. I'm definitely envious - this sounds like it was an awesome event. I actually think you're really brave to go along without knowing anyone. Chicken House do have a of intriguing-sounding books coming up, now you put them all together like that.

  7. It was really pretty good! Cheers; I was pretty nervous and felt a lot stupid just standing there, lol. I am sooo looking forward to reading some of these books!

  8. Jo, it sounds like that was a great event! And I'm drooling at some of those book covers. I want!

  9. It was pretty good! I so want to read some of those books, the covers are gorgeous!

  10. Hi Jo - Ross Mackenzie here. Wasn't it a great day? It really passed in a blur! It was interesting to hear about some of Chicken House's 2010 titles for the first time. And you're right - the covers really are gorgeous! Chicken House do 'em better than anyone else. By the way, the name of my book is Zac and the Dream Pirates - out August this year. Should be on the website soon.

  11. Thank you for stopping by, I really appreciate it! It was a great event! Thanks for telling me the name of your book, I'm sorry I forgot it; there were so many books mentioned! It sounded really awesome, I look forward to reading it!

  12. Lucy Christopher25 January 2010 at 10:06

    Lucy Christopher here too - also apologising for not saying hi! But, you know, we authors are generally friendly souls who like nothing more than a random person coming up to them to say hi... So never feel too shy to come up to us! ;-) Chances are, we will be most grateful

  13. Thank you for commenting, Lucy, I really appreciate it! It's more of a case that I don't really know authors by sight, so I wouldn't have been able to say hi before the talks. But thanks again!