The Big Idea – Competition Rules

Big ideas don’t always play by the rules, but the small print matters here.

So, before you enter this year’s competition, please read these rules carefully. They contain important information on when to enter, what you need to submit, and how your submission will be considered. They also explain how the prizes work.


1 The Big Idea Competition (“Competition”) is promoted and run by The Big Idea Competition Limited (“BIC”, “we”, “us” or “our”).

2 The Competition is hosted via and/or any of our other online or mobile products, content and services (collectively, the “Site”).

3 By entering the Competition, you agree to be bound by:

(a) these Competition Rules;

(b) the provisions of the entry form (a copy of which is/will be available on the Site from the Competition Start Date) (the “Entry Form”) that you must enclose with your entry; and

(c) our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy (please click on the links to read these),

(together, the “Rules”).

4 We reserve the right to alter, postpone or cancel the Competition and/or to amend or supplement the Rules at any time if, in our sole discretion, the Competition is not capable of being conducted as specified. Any changes will be posted within the Rules or on the Site.


5 There is no requirement to pay to enter the Competition. Entrants are, however, liable for their costs to access telephone, mobile or computer networks and for postage costs.

6 To enter the Competition, you must be aged 13 years or older and resident in the UK (including Northern Ireland). If you are under 18 years of age you are not eligible to enter into the Competition unless your parent or guardian has consented to your entry into the Competition and to the Rules, and has signed the parent/guardian declaration on your Entry Form.

7 The following are not eligible to enter the Competition: any officers, employees, agents or contractors of BIC (or of any other entity or person involved in running the Competition, such as a PR agency, sponsor, reader or judge, or of any affiliated company) and members of their families or households. All such entities and persons (including BIC) are referred to below as the “Competition Entities”.

8 We reserve the right to disqualify any entrant if we have reasonable grounds to believe that the entrant has breached any of the Rules, or if the entrant is rude, abusive or otherwise reasonably deemed unsuitable by us.

Competition details

9 Each entrant must provide us with a hard-copy submission of a new children’s story idea (“Idea”), for development by professional writers into new, original copyright works (such as books, films, TV programmes, stage plays and/or games) with multi-media and international appeal.

The description of your Idea must be limited to 750 words. No creative writing skills as such are required, nor are any graphics, pictures or illustrations (which will not be considered). There is no minimum description length, but we would expect that you will want to use at least 500 words to set out your Idea. Entries must be written in English and should be typed (in a plain font, with a minimum 12pt font size) and double-line spaced. Illegible entries will be rejected.

Entrants must each provide us with a short paragraph about themselves and the inspiration for their Idea.

10 The Competition begins at 00:00 hours on 15 January 2018 (the “Competition Start Date”). You will have until the last postal delivery on 23 February 2018 to submit your entry (the “Competition Term”). After that, no further entries will be accepted. Such references to times and dates are to UK times and dates. Receipt of entries will not be acknowledged, nor will there be any feedback on any entries, either during or after the Competition. Proof of posting cannot be accepted as proof of delivery.

11 You must submit your entry by pre-paid post to BIC at The Big Idea Competition Limited, c/o The Chicken House, 2 Palmer Street, Frome, Somerset BA11 1DS, enclosing:

(i) your completed Entry Form signed by you (and if you’re under 18, your parent/guardian too);

(ii) your idea submission (if provided separately to the Entry Form); and

(iii) a short paragraph about you and the inspiration of your Idea (a “Valid Entry”).

Only one Entry Form per entrant is permitted, and any Entry Forms submitted by joint entrants will not be accepted. Each entrant must personally submit the Entry Form: any Entry Forms from or found to be from agents will be void and rejected. Entry Forms submitted by email will be rejected and deleted without notice. Entrants are not permitted to amend any Entry Form once it’s submitted to us.

12 Only the first 10,000 Valid Entries will be reviewed. None of those will be posted on the Site during the Competition Term. Any excess entries will be destroyed without further notice. Since no entry will be returned, please take and retain a copy of your submission before sending it to us.

13 For the first 10,000 Valid Entries, we shall engage an independent panel of teachers, librarians, booksellers, authors and/or editors (“Readers”) to review the entries between them and to produce an initial longlist of 100 submissions.

14 Each Reader will then read all 100 entries on the initial longlist and via a grading system produce a final shortlist of 20 entries to go forward to the judges for consideration for the winning selection.

15 Submissions not included in the initial shortlist shall be destroyed without further notice, and no copies will be retained.

16 A panel will be formed (including at least one independent person) to judge each submission in the final shortlist. Each such submission will be judged on the basis of the following five criteria: (a) general response to the Idea; (b) creative quality; (c) originality; (d) multi-media possibility; and (e) commercial viability.

17 The panel may elect (at the panel’s sole discretion) to narrow the shortlist to a top 10 and to invite the top 10 entrants to meet the panel in person to discuss their submissions. If this happens, then: (a) if you are invited and accept, you will need to be accompanied by your parent or guardian if you are under 18; and (b) if you are invited and do not accept, your submission will nonetheless be considered impartially and objectively alongside all the other top-10 entries (whether or not such entries have been discussed in person with the panel).

18 The panel will select 6 entrants from the final shortlist to become winners, one of whom will become the overall winner. The 6winners will be announced in May 2018. Each of the 6 winners will receive a prize of £1,000. The entries of the remaining 14 shortlisted entrants will then be destroyed without further notice, and no copies will be retained.

19 The overall winner will receive the prize of an offer of a separate publishing contract, which if accepted by the winner, will be developed into an original book published by Chicken House Publishing and will be considered by BIC for potential development into other original works, such as a feature film or television series or game. The other 5 winners’ submissions will also be considered by BIC for potential development into an original work, with a view to potentially publishing it as a book in the first instance. Any such book development or later development (e.g. into a feature film, television series or game) is not a prize of the Competition. Any winner may be asked by BIC to enter into an additional separate contract in relation to such development work. Each separate contract referred to in this section shall, among other things, address: (a) any ongoing involvement and promotional services required; and (b) such additional remuneration to the winner concerned as BIC may consider appropriate in good faith (taking relevant industry standards into account) in the context of the potential development concerned. For the avoidance of doubt, other than the offer of development of the overall winner’s Idea into an original book (and subject to the winner’s acceptance of the related publishing contract), BIC is not obliged to develop any winning submission (while still entitled to do so) and shall proceed with any such Idea at its sole discretion in all respects.

20 By entering the Competition, you warrant that:

(a) all information submitted by you is true, current, complete and not misleading; and

(b) all material submitted by you (including any part of it) consists of your original work, has not previously been commercially published and distributed, and does not infringe any copyright, right of privacy or any other third-party rights and does not contain anything that is defamatory, obscene or otherwise unlawful or offensive.

21 In return for the opportunity to enter the Competition and the chance to win a prize (the sufficiency of which you acknowledge), you confirm the rights granted to us under your Entry Form. If or to the extent that your Entry Form is not duly signed, you hereby irrevocably and unconditionally:

(a) grant us an exclusive, worldwide, transferable and sub-licensable licence to use your submission and Idea and your name for all purposes in connection with the Competition and any ultimate development of the Idea and use of it via any and all media (now or in the future known), and undertake not to use the Idea or any similar idea (or any significant element within the Idea) in any work of any kind except with our prior written consent (“Licence”); and

(b) waive, and agree not to assert, any moral rights or similar rights or other non-transferable rights in relation to your submission and Idea (“Waiver”), provided that, if and to the extent reasonably practicable in accordance with relevant industry practice, we shall endeavour to procure an appropriate credit for you as the originator of the Idea (but without liability for any inadvertent failure by us or any third party to accord such a credit).

Such Licence and Waiver shall continue until the date on which the Competition winners are announced, unless you yourself are a winner, in which case the Licence and Waiver shall continue thereafter to the fullest extent permitted by law (unless and until replaced by a duly completed and signed confirmatory grant and assignment of rights and waiver).


22 In all matters relating to the Competition our decision is final, and no correspondence or discussion will be entered into.

23 Where we notify a winner by email or post, we shall ask for confirmation of receipt by reply email or post. Return of any prize notice as undeliverable or failure to reply as specified in the notice may result in disqualification and the selection of an alternative winner. We shall not be responsible for any inability of a winner to take up the specified prize.

24 Use by an entrant of a false name or address (e.g. a name by which the entrant is not usually known) will disqualify the entrant from receiving any prize. We reserve the right to require any potential winner to provide documentary or other proof of such person’s identity, address and/or age as directed by us before such person may claim the prize.

25 All prizes are awarded at our discretion and are subject to availability.

26 All prizes are non-transferable. No cash alternative or alternative prize is available on a winner's request. If the advertised Competition prize is unavailable, we reserve the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.

27 Unless otherwise specifically stated, any expenses (including taxes, insurance and spending money) incurred by a winner and/or any parent/guardian (where applicable) in connection with the use or enjoyment of a prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.

28 Where the administration of the Competition or a prize involves travel, the winner and/or (where applicable) any parent/guardian shall, unless otherwise indicated, be responsible for all their travel costs and shall be required to hold a valid passport and/or other travel documentation and visas (if necessary). Where the administration of the Competition or a prize necessitates travel on a specific date, the winner and/or (where applicable) any parent/guardian must be able to travel on the date specified by us and no alternative dates will be available.


29 None of the Competition Entities is liable for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by any person as a result of taking part (or not being able to take part) in the Competition or as a result of taking up (or not being able to take up) any Competition prize.

30 In particular, none of the Competition Entities is liable for:

(a) any submissions that are illegible, misdirected, lost for technical or other reasons or received after the closing date; or

(b) any interruption, delay, error, malfunction, alteration, deletion, defect, virus, bug or other problem of any kind in relation to any communications and/or information-technology media, equipment, applications and/or content (including in relation to any failure in transmitting any material or information) in connection with the Competition and/or any prize.

31 The Competition materials posted on the Site are only intended to be accessed from the UK. The Competition Entities accept no responsibility as to whether such materials or their contents are appropriate, legal or available for use at other locations. If you access such materials from outside the UK, you are responsible for compliance with all local laws.

32 The Competition Entities accept no responsibility for any inaccurate prize details inadvertently supplied by the Competition Entities.

33 Nothing shall exclude any Competition Entity’s liability for (a) death or personal injury as a result of such Competition Entity’s negligence or (b) any other liability that cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law.

Publicity and privacy

34 We shall be entitled to require Competition winners to take part in or co-operate with publicity or other promotional activity, including participating in a photo, video and/or film session. In consideration of our offering you the opportunity to enter the Competition and the chance to win a prize (the sufficiency of which you acknowledge), you hereby irrevocably and unconditionally grant to us a worldwide, perpetual, transferable and sub-licensable licence to publish your name and home town, and, in relation to any material and/or information provided by you and any photographs, films and/or recordings made by us or on our behalf and featuring you and/or such material and/or information (“Materials”), to copy, edit, alter, adapt, store, display, distribute, transmit and/or otherwise use such Materials (in whole or in part) for any and all purposes that we may see fit on the Site and/or via any other media (now or in the future known), including: (a) via websites, mobile telephones, magazines, newspapers, television and/or radio; and/or (b) in connection with advertising and/or sponsorship.

35 You agree to keep confidential any information of any nature about any Competition Entity and its business and personnel that is received by you as a result of participating in the Competition.

36 We shall keep your personal details for a reasonable time so that we can run the Competition and verify that the Rules have been complied with, as well as for accounting purposes. We may pass your details on to any other Competition Entities to facilitate your participation in the Competition and (where applicable) taking up a prize. Any personal data relating to you will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.


37 In these Competition Rules, any reference to “including”, “other”, “such as” or any similar words is without limitation.

38 The Rules and any related dispute or claim (contractual or non-contractual) shall be governed by, and interpreted in accordance with, English law. For all purposes in connection with the Competition and the Rules (including any such dispute or claim), you submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Last modified: 16 January 2018