Harborough author shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2024

“I never would have dreamt that my Knobbly Bottom would be shortlisted for this amazing award!”
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

An author from Market Harborough has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2024.

Emily-Jane Clark is nominated in the Books for Younger Readers category for her novel, The Beasts of Knobbly Bottom: Attack of the Vampire Sheep! a funny adventure where two young heroes must save the world from vampire sheep.

She said: “I never would have dreamt that my Knobbly Bottom would be shortlisted for this amazing award! I poured my heart and humour into this book, and I’m so proud to have it recognised by the Waterstones booksellers.

Emily-Jane Clark is nominated in the Books for Younger Readers category for her novel, The Beasts of Knobbly Bottom: Attack of the Vampire Sheep!Emily-Jane Clark is nominated in the Books for Younger Readers category for her novel, The Beasts of Knobbly Bottom: Attack of the Vampire Sheep!
Emily-Jane Clark is nominated in the Books for Younger Readers category for her novel, The Beasts of Knobbly Bottom: Attack of the Vampire Sheep!

“I have always believed that comedy is a great way to get even the most reluctant of readers into books, so I am excited that Waterstones have a space for humour on their shortlist! As a mum of two who reads a lot of bedtime stories, I really wanted to write something that was funny for grown ups as well as kids! I also wanted to show single parent families and quirky characters in all their beast battling glory… as well as make a lot of bum jokes...”

Emily-Jane will be taking part in a book signing event at Waterstones Market Harborough at 2pm on Saturday (February 10).

Now in its 20th year, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize has launched the careers of many authors and illustrators, such as Katherine Rundell, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Rob Biddulph.

Last year’s winner The Cats We Meet Along The Way by Nadia Mikail, went on to become Waterstone's April Children’s Book of the Month.

Emily-Jane Clark is an award-winning TV comedy writer whose most popular sketch for The Mash Report has been shared 200 million times. Her TV comedy writing credits also include Mock the Week and The Jonathan Ross Show.

She is also the author of the 2017 parenting book Sleep Is For the Weak and the creator of the Facebook page of the same name. Alongside writing, Emily-Jane teaches drama to primary school children.

In The Beasts of Knobbly Bottom: Attack of the Vampire Sheep! Maggie is not happy that her mum has decided to move them to the most boring village ever invented. But she soon discovers that Knobbly Bottom is full of secrets; it's up to Maggie, her little sister and their new friends, to save Knobbly Bottom from the attack of the vampire sheep.

Bea Carvalho at Waterstones said: "This year, as ever, our booksellers have chosen a stunning shortlist which is truly reflective of the vibrancy, creativity, and genius to be found in children's storytelling today: if this is the future of Children's writing, the next generation is in safe hands.

"There is something for every child here, with books both to encourage new readers and to challenge already passionate bookworms. Whether holding up a mirror to the real world or conjuring fantastical realms, delving into history or mining our own times, these books are united by enormous heart and imagination, and show Children's publishing to be as inspiring as ever.”

The shortlists consist of eighteen books across three categories. Six books will compete within each category to be crowned Category Winner, with the three category winners then vying for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Winner 2024.