Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge


Last fall, to commemorate Roald Dahl’s hundredth birthday, the late author’s estate and publisher launched a year-long celebration of all things Dahl. (We celebrated by eating crow—to read all about how Booklist has slagged off Dahl’s writing over the years, click here.)

In March, the Roald Dahl Literary Estate and others kicked off Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge—a contest that closes at the end of this month. What’s an Imaginormous Challenge, you ask? Watch Adam Gidwitz explain in the video above, or check out the press release:

This year, for the first time since Charlie Bucket won the prize of a lifetime, Mr. Wonka is looking for children from across the United States who will become 5 NEW lucky golden ticket winners!

Not only will winners have the opportunity to see the new Broadway musical Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and even win an incredible family trip for four to the UK sponsored by Norwegian Air, but Roald Dahl’s Imaginormous Challenge will grant the five Golden Ticket winners a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to “wonka-fy” their story ideas in one of the following 5 spectacular ways:

1. Theatrical Creation

“Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on Broadway will turn one winning story idea into a marvelous, theatrical creation.

Fifth-graders in Valley Cottage, NY hard at work on the challenge

2. A Hollywood Pitch

One winner and his or her family will fly out to Hollywood, courtesy of Mr. Wonka, and pitch their story idea to a major Hollywood Executive at Warner Bros. Animation!

3. An Immersive Minecraft World

A team of Minecraft builders will transform and reimagine the winning story idea into a playable Minecraft experience for the winner and the world to enjoy.

4. Become an Author

The New York Times bestselling, award winning author Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm, The Inquisitors Tale, The Empire Strikes Back: So You Want to be a Jedi?) will work with one story winner to turn their idea into their very own short story book!

5. A Candy Creation

Following in Willy Wonka’s footsteps and with the help of Dylan’s Candy Bar, one winner’s idea will be turned into a magical, edible creation: a 3D-printed piece of candy!


Meanwhile, Dahl’s estate shared with us some of the submissions they’ve already received—ideas far too cute not to post here:

Brady, 6

Brady makes an unusual friend named Bang Bang Bingo Bingo Bong Bong—or “Sound” for short, because he is. . . a Sound. You can’t see or touch Sound, but he can make any sound you could imagine! Sound plays tricks on Brady’s Auntie Kimberly, like making a door knocking sound (which confuses Auntie when no one’s at the door) and squeaking “please don’t eat me” when Auntie picks up an orange. Sound gets in a bit of trouble with his tricks, but becomes a hero when he makes a police siren sound to stop a robbery at the ice cream store!”
“Abrielle, 8:Yo Dippy D is an avocado. He hates the way is he shaped. Big and round on the bottom. All the other vegetables tease him and call him names. He sad and runs away. He runs into worse things in the jungle. Then he meets watermelons and cantaloupes. They show him how its cool to move. And its better to have more on the bottom.

Jose, 9

A talking frog named Henry lives in a space shuttle, and his ship gets hit. Henry has to travel to Cheese World to get a tool. Cheese World is a giant cheese planet shaped like the moon. Once Henry gets there, Henry steals the tool, but somebody finds out,and she tells on Henry. He escapes Cheese World, but Henry has to go though the mouse army the mouse army is a bunch of soldier mice. It takes hard work to escape,but he makes it out.

Sean, 12

A boy tries to create a musical play with the help of a miniature giraffe, a tap dancing tortoise, and a bird that’s afraid of heights.

Siena, 11

The story takes place in the year 3000, but here is the problem – there are 4 kids from our time who slept in waaay to long.How will they get back? BY TEAMWORK!!!!

Eirena, 6

Once upon a time there was a chick named Edgar, he lived in an egg. Inside the egg there was a desk, a luktuary bed, and a TV.


Get out of your luktuary beds and get your students in on this contest. Full details are available over at the Imaginormous Challenge website.



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