National Non-Fiction November Competition 2019


For this year’s competition, in partnership with Lonely Planet Kids, we have taken our inspiration from the work of internationally renowned artist and illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, creator of How Airports Work and How Trains Work.

The challenge for the children in your book group, school, library, or family, is to show us what a vehicle of tomorrow might look like.

We’d like your budding designers to create a picture that shows how their vehicle moves people or cargo around. Can it fly? Does it run on rails or roads? Can it travel on water, beneath the waves, or into space? 

We would love to see some brief labels explaining details about the design, such as what makes it go, where the passengers sit, or where the cargo is stored. Perhaps give it an iconic name too – something to compete with The Flying Scotsman, Concorde, or Titanic (although, let’s hope your designs are a bit more robust than the latter!)

And with climate change looming so large in all our futures, we’d like to see some thought given to how sustainable the vehicle is, especially in terms of what it’s made of, and what powers it.

Entries will be judged in three age groups: KS1 (approx ages 5–7), KS2 (approx ages 8–11), and KS3 (approx ages 12–17) and we have some fantastic prizes this year, sponsored by Lonely Planet Kids, including:

  • For the organising group/school/library of the overall winning entry: an opportunity for a visit by the artist and illustrator James Gulliver Hancock, creator of the dazzling series of books How Cities Work, How Airports Work, and How Trains Work. This is subject to availability, see our terms and conditions here.
  • For the overall winning child: a family day ticket to one of the UK’s many fabulous heritage railways, such as the Bluebell Railway in East Sussex, or the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. For how to find your nearest qualifying railway see our terms and conditions here.
  • We also have prizes of 5 Lonely Planet Kids books for the organising groups of the runners-up in each of the age categories.

How to enter:

The competition is open to all children’s book groups, schools, and libraries in the UK.

Each individual entry must be the work of only one child. For the purpose of awarding prizes we cannot accept joint entries. 

Entries should be on A4 or A3 paper, and can be of any media that suits, e.g. pens, pencils, pastels, crayons, paints, collage etc.

On the back of each entry you must write the name and age of the child entering, plus the name of the organising book group, school or library. 

Collections of entries must be accompanied by the contact details and email address of the book group, school, or library submitting them.

Send entries to: Marc Thomas, NNFN, 16 Lottage Road, Aldbourne, Wiltshire, SN8 2ED

Closing date is Friday 6th December 2019.
Sorry, entries are non-returnable.
The winners will be announced in January 2020.
For full terms and conditions see here.