Mentee NameTitle of ManuscriptMentor NameAge CategoryGenre(s)Total word count (approx.)
Emily RandallThe Flood ChildEmma Finlayson-PalmerMGMagical realism, ghost story, folk horror52000

The Flood Child is an Upper MG book of 52k words. It’s a mixture of ghost story, magical realism and folk horror. Comparison titles would be Catherine Doyle’s THE STORM KEEPER’S ISLAND and Helen Cresswell’s MOONDIAL with elements of THE WICKER MAN and Shirley Jackson’s short story THE LOTTERY. 

Thirteen-year-old Autumn sees dead people, much to her annoyance. When her father drowns and he’s the one ghost that doesn’t appear, it’s down to her to solve the mystery of his death. 

She’s convinced that he was hiding something, particularly when a clause in his will forces her to move to his childhood home of Imber, a strange island in the Celtic Sea. Autumn’s warned that Imber is ‘wrong to its bones’ and it certainly seems a little peculiar, what with the towers of white stones, odd ceremonies and an obsession with the ‘here and now.’ It’s impossible to find out anything about Dad, but when ‘Find Me’ appears etched into his old bedroom door, it becomes clear that his spirit is in trouble. 

With unwelcome nightmares, a mysterious wise woman and a talkative ghost vying for her attention, Autumn begins to understand that she can’t fight who she is anymore. To find Dad, she must first accept her gift and uncover the island’s dark secrets. 

I am a graduate of Curtis Brown Creative’s Writing YA & Children’s Fiction, a member of SCBWI, a Write Mentor Flash Fiction winner and a winner of the Cornerstones Literary Consultancy’s #corpitch competition with my pitch for The Flood Child. I was a professional actor for eight years and subsequently worked for the National Trust, writing interpretation, trails and exhibitions. Indeed, it was my creation of an interactive murder mystery game for ages 8-16 that reignited my love for children’s writing, particularly thrillers and mysteries. 

Thank you for your time and consideration, 

Emily Randall

Normality was overrated, although sometimes, Autumn thought, it would be quite nice.  

She was standing in the middle of a tube station platform with a gentleman in a top hat on one side of her and a woman in overalls on the other. They were talking at the same time, because neither had any idea that the other was there.

Anyone alive watching Autumn would’ve seen a small thirteen-year-old girl with wild dark hair stuffed under a mustard beret, reading a book intently. In fact, Autumn had read the same sentence of Rebecca forty-three times because Overalls Ghost was singing We’ll Meet Again in her ear and Top Hat Ghost was moaning about the state of the British government. 

A guttural roar and a flash of lights and the tube rumbled through the tunnel. The carriage doors swept open with a beep and Autumn dashed nimbly inside, squeezing herself into a corner. The ghosts, unable to leave their platform, chased the train as it left the station, swooshing through waiting commuters and stone pillars until they disappeared underneath an advert for skin cream. They couldn’t go any further, of course. But Autumn wasn’t sure if they knew that.

She breathed a sigh of relief. There were too many businessmen squashed together with bulky coats and bags for a ghost to reach her here. She briefly considered just going round on the tube all day instead of going to school, but they’d call Mum — again —and she’d have to make up a reason — again — and quite frankly it was easier to just show up and hope nobody noticed her. 

She put Rebecca in her school bag and pulled out a pen and a little purple notebook. Even though she couldn’t fully extend her elbows, she scribbled as best she could as the tube juddered. 

Top Hat Ghost 

– Tube Station, Westbound Platform 
– About 50? Beard and hairy cheeks
– Victorian, I think
– Appeared from behind the tube map 
– Asked me to write to the Prime Minister about the state of the drains

Overalls Ghost

– Tube Station, Westbound Platform
– Pretty, young. Nice accent
– I think she was from the war. Worked in a factory
– Was waiting for me
– Wanted me to find her sister

Autumn closed the notebook and put it back in her bag before anyone could peer over her shoulder and have a nosy. She’d have to avoid this tube platform for a while. In the past six months she’d had to stop walking to school because of the park ghost, stop getting the bus because of the conductor that kept asking for her ticket, and had to use a different tube station because Matthew the tube station ghost had been particularly noisy about the upcoming apocalypse. Granted, he was one of her usuals. But he was a lot more chatty than normal. 

But it wouldn’t get to her today. Today was special. She would go through anything to get to that evening, because finally Dad was coming home.