Belfast Telegraph

Carpenter’s school story to be turned into book by former Potter publisher

Jack Martin’s tale about a boy made from cardboard has won The Big Idea competition 2018.

A story that carpenter Jack Martin wrote at primary school is to be published by the man who signed JK Rowling (The Big Idea/PA)
A story that carpenter Jack Martin wrote at primary school is to be published by the man who signed JK Rowling (The Big Idea/PA)

A carpenter’s environment-conscious tale about a boy made from cardboard is to be turned into book after it won a competition to find new talent in children’s story-telling.

Jack Martin, 23, from Taunton, Somerset, developed a story he wrote and illustrated while at primary school to win The Big Idea 2018.

After rediscovering the story at his mother’s house, he was encouraged by his colleagues to enter it into the competition.

He receives a cash prize of £1,000 and a guarantee that his idea will form the inspiration for a published book written by a children’s author.

Carpenter Jack Martin’s story Cardboard Boy encourages children to take better care of the environment.

Martin’s story, Cardboard Boy, follows the adventures of its titular character who lives on a fly-tipping site and can fold himself up.

It seeks to encourage children’s awareness of the need to care of the environment.

On receiving the award, Martin said: “Winning this competition is one of the most exciting and unexpected things that has ever happened to me.

“I’m so thrilled to think my idea will be turned into a book that might inspire a younger generation.”

After losing his skateboard down a drain, Cardboard Boy travels through the sewers folded up in a lunch box, defeating obstacles including a giant rat and making plenty of new, unexpected friends.

The story will be released by children’s literature publisher Chicken House.

The company was co-founded by Barry Cunningham, who signed Harry Potter author JL Rowling and published the first book in her internationally successful series, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone.

The cover of previous Big Idea runner-up The Fandom, which has been ordered as a TV series the US. (Chicken House)

Cunningham, who helped judge the competition said: “Such a variety of imaginative ideas this year and so many of them inspired by their creators’ daily lives.

“Jack’s story stood out as a terrific adventure with a gentle message about the ‘throwaway culture’ of today.”

The Big Idea competition launched in 2014 and is open to to anyone over the age of 13.

Two previous winners have had their stories turned into full-length children’s books.

A past runner-up, The Fandom, devised by Egyptology student Angela McCann and written by author Anna Day, has also been optioned as a TV show in the US in a deal with Fox 21 Television Studios.

Press Association


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