The IET 150 Prize was awarded to Alison Stegert’s submission The Remarkables: a manuscript that broadly celebrated science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The prize was introduced especially for this year to celebrate the IET’s 150th anniversary, putting engineering and technology front and centre of children’s fiction, while helping to raise awareness of the industry and challenging outdated stereotypes.
The Remarkables follows young Victorian inventor, Winnie, who is unexpectedly expelled from her progressive academy thanks to her father’s business disgrace and disappearance. Winnie is set adrift with nothing but big debts and bigger dreams of World Fair glory when a mysterious agency conscripts her into Her Majesty’s Secret League of Remarkable Young Ladies.
This year’s competition was judged by two separate judging panels, both chaired by Chicken House publisher Barry Cunningham. Barry was joined by bestselling author Christopher Edge and the IET’s 150th anniversary President, Professor Danielle George, for the IET 150 Award; the Times/Chicken House Award panel consisted of the Times Arts Editor Alex O’Connell, PFD literary agent Lucy Irvine, previous winner and bestselling author Jasbinder Bilan, rights scout Sophie Clarke, and school librarian and previous director of Round Table Books Layla Hudson.
Professor Danielle George said: “I loved being a part of judging this competition. The entries were absolutely fantastic which made our job extremely hard. I’d like to congratulate the very worthy winners and wish them the best of luck with their writing careers.”
Now the biggest children's writing competition in the UK, the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition has been running for 11 years and has kickstarted the careers of many of the most established children's writers in the UK, including Costa Award-winning author Jasbinder Bilan. Since the competition’s inception, 61% of shortlistees have gone on to be published.