Our 'one in four' new writer competition winner to have book published!

We are thrilled to announce single mum Jemma Wallace, the winner of our 'One in four' new writer competition, will have her debut novel The Truth about My Mother published on February 20th. Jemma took away her prize - a £10,000 advance and publishing contract with Trapeze Books as well as mentoring by author Tilly Bagshawe, and has written a book exploring the changing perceptions of single parenthood.

Jemma's submission Butterflies is a multi-generational novel that follows two women from the same family as they each embark on their own journeys through single parenthood in 1953 and 2012 respectively. It explores the varying perception of single parenthood, and was inspired by Jemma’s family as her grandmother raised her mother alone in the 1950s. This has formed the foundation of The Truth About My Mother.

At Gingerbread we are challenging the stigma that still remains for the 1.7 million single parent families in the UK today and celebrating the value that diverse families bring to our society. We are immensely excited that Jemma’s unique novel will play an important part in helping us to achieve that.

Jemma Wallace - 'One in four' competition winner!

About Jemma

“I’m a single mum to my six year old son, Archie. Being just the two of us at home, we’re pretty close and I’m stupidly proud of what a great little person he is! We’ve got a fantastic support network of family and friends, so we’re really lucky in that sense. Being a single parent doesn’t come without worries but it’s incredibly rewarding too.

My friend Hannah saw an advert for the competition in the Guardian. She thought it was perfect for me as I’ve been banging on about writing for years, and of course because I have experience of being a single parent. I thought it sounded like something I had a fair bit of material for and so I got writing.

It’s vital to celebrate and encourage all shapes and sizes of families because there isn’t a magic formula for perfect parenting. This competition not only highlighted the fact that a quarter of families in the UK are headed by a single parent, but also provided the opportunity to explore and focus on the positive aspects of single parenthood – which can only be a good thing”.

Read Jemma’s blog about a career in writing and single parenthood.

The competition aims to challenge the social stigma that single parents too often face, and celebrate the brilliant job that the one in four families headed by a single parent do.

Please join us and use your voice to fight for a fairer and more equal society for single parents families.

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