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The "Bee Ethicool" Author Competition

Artwork by Francisco Fonseca

Your story + our finest illustrations.

💙 We’re giving one lucky author the opportunity of a lifetime 💛

We’re buzzing with excitement to invite all current and aspiring children’s book authors to enter our Bee Ethicool Author Competition. Just as the name suggests, this competition will allow one lucky winner to join the coveted list of authors who bring their masterpieces to life through our brand. But this time, we’re doing things a little differently...

Instead of submitting any story, we’re asking you to write a story that aligns to some incredible illustrations we already have. We bring some initial artwork, you write a brilliant story, then you work with the artist to create the rest. Here’s exactly how it will work.

Follow the steps below to find out more!

1. Marvel at the art 

We’ve got three absolutely gorgeous spreads by award-winning artist, Francisco Fonseca, that need to feature in your story. You can find them HERE.

That's right, you need shape your story around these three page spreads. Imagine that they're part of your work and ensure your story matches the scenes that they depict.

Of course, there'll be a lot more than just three spreads in your final picture book, so you'll get the opportunity to guide the illustrations for every other page.

2. Write your story

What magic can you create? Write a story that aligns to the illustration spreads, and if you’re lucky, you’ll be able to work with Francisco to create the rest of your book. Remember, we don't accept manuscripts longer than ~1,000 words.

3. Submit your manuscript

Our editorial team will be madly refreshing their screens waiting for your masterpiece! Submit it before the deadline (Sunday 18th April, 2021) for consideration.

4. Shortlist announced

Our editorial team will announce the five strongest entries, and share a snippet and synopsis of the stories. From there, the world will vote! We’ll invite our community to participate, but...

... If you’re shortlisted, it’s over to you to ensure you win! Pitch your local newspaper, make a viral video, do whatever you need to do to ensure yours is the winning entry.

5. Winner announced

The manuscript with the most votes will be commissioned. The author will be offered a full contract, with a small advance and ongoing royalties. 

Why Enter?

Bring your masterpiece to life

Bring your masterpiece to life with one of the world’s fastest growing publishers.

Partner with a world-renowned illustrator

Work hand-in-hand with an award-winning artist who will enhance your story in every way. You can write the illustration brief, guide the illustration process, and shape your own bestseller.

Advance + Royalties

Receive a traditional publishing contract, with an advance to boot! Ethicool pays some of the most generous author commissions in the world.

Good for the planet

If you’re as passionate about making the world a better place as us, then you’ve found the right place. All of our books are printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink.

Launch (or further) you career

We make a big deal of our authors here at Ethicool, and opportunities abound … from appearing on the Duchess of York’s YouTube channel to being written about in the media. Launch or further your career with us.

Why are we doing this?

At Ethicool, we’re passionate about two things: the future of the planet; and our community. We’re also a wee bit sick of the totally-non-transparent decision making process that occurs in editors’ back offices. So we thought it was high time that the people who will ultimately cherish your book - the community - decided on what story they’d like to see the most.

The finer details

1. Who can enter?

Anyone - well, unless you're already under contract with Ethicool! We highly encourage aspiring authors from diverse backgrounds to apply. Please note all manuscripts must be written in English.

2. When does the competition open and close?

Competition dates below: 

  • Competition opens: 9:00am (GMT+10) Monday 1st March, 2021
  • Competition closes: Midnight Sunday April 18th, 2021
  • Shortlist announced: 9:00am Friday April 30th, 2021 
  • Voting closes: 9:00pm Sunday May 16th, 2021
  • Winner announced: 9:00am, Tuesday May 18th 2021.
  • Late entries will not be accepted, so please submit in time.

    Book release date: Early 2022.

    3. How do I enter?

    Create your manuscript, ensuring that you follow our general Submission Guidelines. Then, simply send it to: with the email title: Bee Ethicool Author Competition: <Story name>

    4. Can I enter more than once?

    Unfortunately, no. You can only make one entry, so make sure it counts!

    5. What advance and royalties will you offer the winner?

    We will share these details with the shortlisted group of authors.

    6. Do I need to incorporate all three spreads you’ve listed in my book?


    7. Are there any tips for what you’d like to see?

    Before you submit your manuscript, be sure to read our Submission Guidelines. They give you a better idea of what we’re looking for. 

    In a nutshell though, we want a story that is meaningful and inspiring. No fart books, please!

    8. I made the shortlist! What should I do to ensure I’m the winner?

    CONGRATULATIONS! Get support behind your entry by creating a video, pitching your local newspaper, getting a book blogger to chat to you … the world is your oyster. The more votes you get, the most likely you’ll win!

    9. Will you share details of the runners up, or just the winner?

    We hate letting authors down and it will be hard enough that we have to do this, so no, we won’t be making this public.

    10. Finally - and just in case you missed it (!) - you can see the three beautiful page spreads to inspire your story HERE.