To begin with, a new series idea is developed and refined in a process we call hothousing, during which it is brainstormed in a series of vibrant creative meetings. Gradually, the idea is translated into a written concept outline, including a detailed chapter-by-chapter breakdown of the first book in the series.
When we’re happy with this outline, we ask some of our pool of talented writers to use it to produce a writing sample. Although we don’t pay for these samples, we do provide detailed feedback to all our writers. Once we have found the perfect writer for the concept, they are commissioned to write a larger sample. Writer and editor work closely together. The book comes to life.
When we’re convinced we have a compelling proposal, we enter the next phase of the process – presenting the series to publishers. When we’ve found the right home for the series, we grant book rights to that publisher, in return for an advance against royalties. The writer is then commissioned to produce a full manuscript for their own advance against a share of Hothouse’s royalty income.
Once a series is licensed, the publisher assumes complete control of its creative packaging and marketing, although Hothouse continues to work closely with the publisher to ensure that we get precisely the finished product that we want.
In some cases, Hothouse will even develop TV advertising campaigns and other promotions to help launch our multi-book series.
Our pool of writers is expanding all the time, and we are always on the lookout for fresh talent. Hothouse offers writers the opportunity to develop their storytelling through working with an experienced and skilled editorial team. A Hothouse writer needs to be happy to work to a clear and detailed brief, enjoy working in a collaborative relationship, and love telling good stories. If you’re a writer with a good eye for a story and are happy to write in collaboration and to commission, we’d love to hear from you.
To be considered as a writer for Hothouse, fill in our writer information form.
Many literary agents see a clear benefit in encouraging their clients to work with us. Less experienced writers can gain confidence from working with our editorial team, while for established writers, it can be a chance to take a break from their own work, fill a gap between projects, or try working in a genre or age group that is new to them.
If you’re an agent feel free to contact us.
We present new projects to publishers every month, usually in the form of a concept outline, series overview and three or four chapters of sample writing. Hothouse is generally contracted to supply fully-edited texts for a number of books on an agreed schedule. We guarantee commercial and marketable quality, efficient and dependable speed-to-market, ease of operation and low-maintenance working relationships.
In some cases, we also undertake the design of the covers, the illustrations, layouts and websites. In others, we devise and manage TV advertising campaigns to help launch the series.
If you’re a publisher feel free to contact us.
When schoolboy Jonathan Starling stumbles into Darkside, the secret rotten borough that is the black heart of London, he encounters a host of memorable and terrifying characters, from the seductive bounty hunter Marianne to the vampiric banker Vendetta. Can Jonathan survive long enough to find the only man who can protect him – the gruff private detective Carnegie. And even if he succeeds, will Jonathan survive their first meeting...?Buy now!
Dr Fry is building an army of monsters to help him take over the world, but those who don’t come up to scratch – the Rejects – are dumped and left to die. Rescued from Fry’s laboratory by a mysterious girl, Cameron finds himself thrown into the world of these outcasts, who have created their own society – the Monster Republic. Abandoned by his family and friends, the Republic offers Cameron a refuge and a mission – to stop Dr Fry at all costs...Buy now!
Cassie Bell wins a scholarship to attend the prestigious but secretive Darke Academy. She soon realises that a group of beautiful and glamorous students who call themselves The Few are hiding a sinister and supernatural secret. Cassie tries to investigate, but finds herself increasingly drawn into the terrifying world and relationships of The FewBuy now!
Once every century comes the Shadowing – a dangerous period of thirteen months when the shadowy inhabitants of the Netherworld can cross the boundary between worlds and enter our own. A conspiracy between the evil dead and living threatens to tear down the boundary between the two realms forever. All that stands between our world and a legion of nightmarish creatures are two teenage boys. One of them has been dead for 100 years...Buy now!
When young street urchin Lot sneaks into a forbidden tower, he accidentally breaks the Amulet of Melian, and magic pours back into the land of Tyrellion. The spell binding five evil wizards is broken, allowing them to escape and scatter across the realm. Newly-imbued with magical powers by the amulet, it falls to Lot and a band of allies to track the wizards down.
Alien in my Belly Button
One night Pete wakes up to find a tiny alien has crash-landed in his belly button! Binko, the alien, has mistakenly let loose a swarm of extra-terrestrials from his parents’ zoo on planet Pok. Pete and Binko have to recapture these horrid creatures to stop them causing havoc in some of the yuckiest places on Earth (like between Pete’s grandad’s toes for example)!Buy now!
The Secret Kingdom is a magical world full of amazing characters and creatures that no one knows about – except three best friends! A magic box transports the girls to the Kingdom where they must help King Merry thwart his evil sister’s plans to become ruler.Buy now!
The Spell Sisters have been stripped of their magic powers and trapped in locations across the kingdom by their evil sister, Morgana Le Fay. Feisty and rebellious young Guinevere (Gwen) proves herself to be the girl to help save the Spell Sisters with some magical help from Nineve, the Lady of the Lake. But it’s a race against time - all of the Sisters must be released before the next lunar eclipse and Morgana’s assumption of power over the kingdom.Buy now!
Vulgar the Viking
Vikings in the sleepy village of Blubber have settled down to a quiet life, but one boy is determined to live as a proper Viking. Whether it’s launching an empty ale barrel into the fish pond as a ‘longship’, wrestling a walrus, or ‘borrowing’ the king’s gold helmet to put on a play, Vulgar the Viking is never far from adventure – or trouble.Buy now!
In a distant galaxy, three planets co-exist in a fragile alliance. When an inter-planetary summit is attacked by vicious spider-like aliens, the three teenage children of the planets’ kidnapped leaders must put their differences aside to fight back, save themselves, their parents, and their planets.Buy now!
Quest of the Gods
Wicked boy-pharaoh Oba has made an alliance with the evil god Set who has imprisoned five good gods who protect ancient Egypt. Their only hope of salvation takes the unlikely form of a farm boy called Akori – the last descendant of a long-lost branch of the Egyptian royal family. As he battles monsters and evil spells to free each god, he receives an object that gives him a special new power, until he is ready to face Oba and his evil master.Buy now!
Signs of Love
A young college girl who dreams of being an award-winning journalist finds herself lumbered with doing the horoscopes for her high school e-magazine. Things start looking up when she discovers a talent for using her horoscopes to play matchmaker to her friends, helping their romantic dreams come true. But Cupid’s arrow always seems to miss Gemma, or perhaps she’s too wrapped up in other people’s lives to notice signs of love closer to home...Buy now!
Bake a Wish
Grandma always comes up with exciting things for Lily and Archie to do. One day she introduces the children to her magical cooking jar, full of recipes that are great fun to make and bake. What’s more, these straight-from-the-oven goodies always seem to have a special magical effect – they make anyone who’s got a little trouble or worry feel just right immediately!Buy now!
Fairy Animals of Misty Wood
A young hammerhead shark is determined to prove that he’s just as brave, tough and scary as any Big Fish in the sea. Harry throws himself into a series of daring adventures in which only his loyal friends - and his own previously unrecognised “hammerhead” skills – manage to get him out of trouble.Buy now!
Zoe’s Rescue Zoo
Great-Uncle Horace brings back lost and homeless animals from his travels around the globe, but it’s zoo vet’s daughter, Zoe, who really knows best how to settle the animals into their new home. But it’s not just Zoe’s kind heart and natural empathy that helps the new arrivals, she can understand what they say and even talk to them (but that’s her secret to keep!).Buy now!
At the heart of one city farm is a reclaimed barn, home to a social project called Harvest Hope - set up to help children in need. Those excluded from school, victims of bullies, bereavement or divorce; children with disabilities or long-term health problems – all can benefit from the therapeutic aspects of working at City Farm. Each book focuses on a new child to the project, following their progress and the relationships they form at City Farm.Buy now!
When Annie moves from London to a small American town in the Mid-West, she struggles to fit in. She gets off to a bad start when she makes an enemy of her school’s queen bee, Kelsey. But she discovers the exciting sport of roller derby and makes friends with the cool and quirky girls on her team. The series follows the roller derby team’s journey, but also tracks the girls’ tempestuous home and school lives. Because getting knocked over on the track is nothing compared to being bowled over by the pain of heartbreak.Buy now!
Jimmy’s favourite sport on TV is Robot Races, where drivers and their high-tech robots compete. When the races’ founder announces a special version of the competition just for children, Jimmy would be the first to sign up - if only he could afford his own robot. However, his grandpa’s shed holds a few surprises! Soon Jimmy is off on the adventure of a lifetime to take part in the Robot Races championship, where thrilling races complete with zany gadgets and high-tech robots, take place in dramatic terrains across the world.Buy now!
Secrets & Spies
Fourteen-year-old Beth Johnson is a talented and beautiful young actress. She is also an English spy. The year is 1664, and Charles II is on the throne, but all is not well in the bustling city of London, and there are enemies both inside and outside the country who would gladly kill the king and destroy the monarchy. In a race against time, Beth has to outwit a series of ruthless enemies and ingenious plots to save her country, her friends and herself.Buy now!
A group of hyperactive football-loving angels are kicked out of Heaven and sent down to Earth for playing one too many pranks. They must earn their way back to Heaven by proving they can stay out of mischief - not an easy task when they discover their teacher is a demon with his own, rather unpleasant, agenda.Buy now!
John Riley catches the wrong college bus and ends up at Hyperspace High – an amazing, elite academy-ship for inter-galactic students. Light-years from home, John has to come to terms with being the only human on-board. He soon makes friends with the alien students - and a few enemies - as he is put through his paces by the demanding and extraordinary curriculum. As if that isn’t enough of a challenge, he gets caught up in a whole series of adventures as Hyperspace High seems to become a magnet for deep space trouble.Buy now!
Young space-colonist, Sam, discovers that his parents are stranded on the legendary, golden Planet X. Planning an attempt to recue them, Sam bravely tries to enlist the help of his neighbours, the notorious Space Pirates. But they’d rather carry on doing their piratey worst than help, so Sam hides in a barrel of alien slime and becomes a stowaway! With plenty of pirate gags and a rival pirate ship, it’s a chase through space to get to the gold on Planet X.Buy now!
Tom breaks a museum statue and releases an ancient curse. Now he must travel back in time with a mummified Egyptian Princess and her pet cat to find the time-scattered jewels that will allow the Princess to enter the afterlife, and release him from the curse. From fighting the fiercest gladiator in Rome, to foiling a Viking invasion, to battling his way into ancient Troy - there is always an action-packed adventure waiting for Tom.Buy now!
Maisie Mae has five grubby brothers. Their small house is jam-packed with dirty socks, mouldy plates, action figures and all things “boy”, leaving no room for anything “girl”. With a bit of help from her best friend, Maisie is determined to redress the domestic balance– even if she has to fight her brothers every step of the way.Buy now!
Sitting Duck has got to be the unluckiest place on earth. Disaster Diaries follows local residents Sam, Arty and Emmie as they deal with a series of outlandish calamities that befall their small town. The Diaries record our heroes’ survival strategies, plans of attack, setbacks and victories.Buy now!
In one devastating night, Grace Milton’s peaceful life on a horse ranch outside Tombstone, Arizona is shattered. Grace’s family is brutally killed by the notorious Guiltless Gang, leaving Grace the only survivor. Alone and desperate, she sets out into the wilderness on her trusted stallion, Bullet, with burning thoughts of revenge. But when she falls foul of the elements, a young man called Joe saves her life by taking her to an American Indian camp to heal her body and spirit. She begins to learn their ways and, despite all her heartache, she finds herself beginning to fall for Joe. Then she comes face-to-face with one of the Guiltless Gang, Doc Slaughter. Can Joe persuade her to start a new life with the tribe or will Grace stop at nothing for justice?Buy now!
The Magnificent Lizzie Brown
Lizzie Brown has always had strange dreams and weird visions. But it’s only when she runs away from home, and joins Fitzy’s Circus as an assistant to the fortune teller, that she discovers what they really mean... When Lizzie has a vision about a masked burglar’s next attack, she knows she has to act. To stop the mysterious Phantom terrorizing London, Lizzie and her circus friends form a crime-fighting gang. But the Phantom proves to be more dangerous than a tightrope without a safety net.Buy now!
The majority of Hothouse series are sold direct to UK publishers who retain worldwide language rights to sell to foreign publishers. However, there are a number of series in which Hothouse holds all rights and actively sells these to foreign publishers. We attend Bologna Children's Book Fair, Frankfurt and London Book Fairs to both pitch series in which rights are available and to assist our UK publishers in promoting series in which they retain such rights.
To date, Hothouse series are published in over 25 territories by more than 45 different publishers. We have built strong relationships with our partners abroad and, on occasion, have sold series direct to them or worked to a particular brief on their behalf. We are represented in the US by Adams Literary (www.adamsliterary.com). If you have any queries about US rights, click here to contact them directly.
If you are interested in the rights to any of our series, please do not hesitate to email us.
We work with some of our publishers to help promote our kids’ series by producing TV ad-campaigns. If our publisher commits to a multi-book launch and a supportive marketing and distribution campaign for one of our series, we use our experience of producing TV ad-campaigns for partworks to develop TV ads for our books. We will undertake all stages of the campaign – from developing and researching scripts, to clearance from the authorities, to producing the ads and any animation involved, to buying the media to reach the readership. The creative process of making the ads can also be surprisingly useful in identifying TV and screen potential!Fairy Animals of Misty Wood Time Hunters Secret kingdom Quest of the Gods
We also work with some of our publishers to add value to our book series by developing complementary immersive websites. These can help bring the books to life and extend their worlds into the more interactive digital space. We will either work with our publishers by providing website-content (such as games or activities or newsletters) to add to a site they manage, or we will create and manage the whole website as a sort-of online world.Fairy Animals of Misty Wood Time Hunters
We are also able to develop and commission pitch documents and film and TV scripts, and are well used to the creative and commercial processes of each. Several of our fiction writers are also hugely accomplished script writers who understand the different demands of the respective media – the process of adapting and extending Intellectual Property is one we respect, enjoy and value highly!
Hothouse Fiction Ltd
The Old Truman Brewery,
91 Brick Lane,
Tel: 020 3384 2609
*Please note that Hothouse Fiction does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.