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Roald Dahl's Imaginormous Challenge 2019

A chat with... Penguin

Bestselling authors, Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, will help one lucky Golden Ticket winner develop their Imaginormous story idea into a short published e-book, with a little help from Penguin.

We chatted to Adrienne from their Young Readers team about what makes a great idea.

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Tell us a bit more about the Golden Ticket prize you’re helping Wonka with this year.

We’re so excited to once again be offering a truly Imaginormous prize.
Our winner will travel to Los Angeles, California for a private writing workshop with Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver – the New York Times bestselling writing team behind the Alien Superstar and Hank Zipzer series.
Then, using all of the great ideas they come up with at their private workshop, the winner can finish their story and Penguin Young Readers will publish it as a free e-book – we’ll design a cover and everything!

What’s your favourite Roald Dahl story?

Most definitely James and the Giant Peach.

 

Which Roald Dahl character do you think is most like you?

I’d like to say Matilda, because I'd like to think that I am smart and brave and more than a little bit magic, but I’m going with another character from Matilda: Bruce Bogtrotter.
I do think I could and would be the hero who eats an entire chocolate cake in name of fighting the tyranny of the Trunchbull. 

 

Where do the best ideas come from? 

I think the best ideas come from asking, “What if …?”

 

What’s the wackiest idea you’ve ever had? Did it work? 

As a kid I wanted to improve on one of the most magnificent inventions ever: the Spork.
I thought, what if it was not just a spoon and fork, but a spoon, fork, and knife?
I could sharpen one edge of the spoon into a knife-like blade...
To this day I remain grateful that I realized the problem with this plan before I actually sharpened the edge of a spork and accidentally widened my smile. 

 

What do you think makes a spectacular story? 

I think it’s the successful, delicate transfer of magic, and it takes both the writer and the reader for it to work.
If a writer is able to put the magic of the story that’s inside of them into a book, without listening to the internal critics who say things like, "You are writing stinky rubbish!" - and if a reader is able to come to that same story, ready to let that magic in... I think that’s when something spectacular happens.

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