Andersen Press, 2018
On this shortlist:
Emily Thomas was born in London, and has lived there most of her life – except between the ages of 13 and 18 when she lived in Maldon in Essex on board a Thames Sailing Barge, with her family of seven assorted siblings and stepsiblings and two warring cats. Emily also works as an editor of many different kinds of books, including children’s and young adult fiction. She now lives in Brixton, with no pets and a lot of books.
It’s 1979, and 13-year-old Lydia has no idea how she’ll cope when her dad announces that the family has to sell up and move onto a Thames sailing barge in Essex. With his girlfriend. And her three kids. Between trying to keep her clothes dry in a leaky cabin, disastrous hair-dye attempts, awkward encounters with local boys, and coping with her suddenly enormous and troublesome family, Lydia fears she’ll sink rather than swim.
Mud is Emily’s first book and it’s also semi-autobiographical.
In 2015 she won the Branford Boase Award, with the author Rosie Rowell, for Leopold Blue.
Prawn crackers from Marks and Spencer are her go-to writing snack.
One of her ambitions is to write a TV drama.
To find out more about Emily follow her on Twitter @EmilyHThom.
Mrs Blashill from Southfield Grange Trust:
Rakia from Southfield Grange Campus: