17-year-old shortlisted for book prize

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Lily Say with her book which has been shortlisted for a prize Lily Say with her book which has been shortlisted for a prize

A book written by a teenager when she was 11-years-old has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Lilly Say, 17, of Glebe Avenue, Woodford Green, wrote short story Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice when she was 11 for a homework assignment.

Two years ago her mother found the publishers she is now with, Percy Publishing, which specialises in children’s books and sent the story to them.

So as not to distract Miss Say from her studies, the book was released under a pseudonym, Mrs Hilda Poppitt, described as a “grandmother who has been happily married for 50 years and lives by the sea in Essex with her dog and parrot”.

However Miss Say decided to use her real identity for the publication after it was shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize Spring 2014.

Miss Say, a pupil at Trinity Catholic High School in Woodford Green, is looking to go to university in September to study forensic science.

She said: “It was my little Year 5 book, it’s amazing to see how far it’s come. I am currently writing the sequel but am going to be studying forensic science at university.

“When I was 11, I thought that was the end of the story, but I’m pleased to get back into the Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice world.

“I hope that my readers find it as engaging as I did when I was writing it.”

The book tells the story of Lilly and her sisters who stumble across a secret world and is the first instalment of a trilogy.

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The winner will be announced after voting closes in May.

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