Growing great stories

Combining the creative powers of top-notch writers and editors with cutting-edge market research, Hothouse is a complete fiction creation and packaging service that produces outstanding new fiction series for children, and marketing services to help sell them.


How we work

At Hothouse we create stories. From the seed of an original idea, we develop characters, settings and plots, and then collaborate with talented writers to turn our concepts into proposals for full book series, which are then presented to major publishers.

A Hothouse series can come into being in many ways – to fit a gap in the market, as the result of a specific request from a publisher, or from a good, old-fashioned flash of inspiration.

But however the idea begins, the development process remains the same.



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.


Who we work with

Our expert in-house creative team is at the heart of the Hothouse process, but the success of our books depends on keeping in touch with our target market – the young readers who will eventually be reading them. We regularly use market research at all stages of our development process to gauge how appealing our ideas are to children.

To help turn our ideas into finished, printed books, we work with many other members of the publishing community. Writers, agents and publishers are our key partners, and we work with them all in many different ways.



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.


Our series

Since we started out in 2006, Hothouse has originated and developed a portfolio of high-quality commercial series fiction for children aged 5 and up. Our first book, Darkside, won the 2007 Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, and the company has now placed more than 35 series with major UK children’s publishers including Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Curious Fox, Scholastic, Templar, Puffin, Hodder, Orchard, Egmont, Nosy Crow, Usborne and Little, Brown.

Monster Republic
Darke Academy
The Shadowing
Mage Hunter
Alien in my Belly Button
Secret Kingdom
Spell Sisters
Vulgar the Viking
Quest of the Gods
Signs of Love
Bake a Wish
Fairy Animals of Misty Wood
Harry Hammer
Zoe's Rescue Zoo
City Farm
Roller Girls
Robot Races
Secrets and Spies
Demon Defenders
Hyperspace High
Space Pirates
Time Hunters
Maisi Mae
Disaster Diaries
Lizzie Brown
Lizzie Brown
Lizzie Brown
Lizzie Brown
Lizzie Brown
Lizzie Brown
Lizzie Brown
Lizzie Brown
Secret Princesses

IP licensing

The Hothouse disciplines for producing a successful series – defining a clear target market, creating a strong central concept, commissioning writers, establishing distinctive brand DNA – will be very familiar in the television, film, digital media and brand-marketing environments.

The fact that our properties have already encountered significant sales success as books – often in several major worldwide markets as well as in the UK – gives potential licensors the comfort of proven commercial viability as well as an existing, pre-disposed target market.

If you are interested in any of our series for TV or film adaptation or want to discuss licensing opportunities, don’t hesitate to contact us.


Foreign Rights

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 30 territories by more than 60 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.

If you are interested in the rights to any of our series, please do not hesitate to email us.


TV advertising

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, 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

Script writing

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!


Contact us

Hothouse Fiction is situated in Brick Lane, a lively area of East London.


Hothouse Fiction Ltd
The Old Truman Brewery,
91 Brick Lane,
E1 6QL.
Tel: 020 3384 2609


Reg Wright
Richard Maskell
James Arnold-Baker


Anne Marie Ryan


Matt Drew


Sarah Cahill

Please use our email form to contact us with any questions or queries you may have.

*Please note that Hothouse Fiction does not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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