Writer, Lucy Falkner wins a Books that Help and Little Tiger mentorship for her delightful rhyming book ‘Dung Beetle Doug’.

Posted in Awards on Mon, 27 February at 5.24 pm

Writer, Lucy Falkner wins a Books that Help and Little Tiger mentorship for her delightful rhyming book about a hardworking dung beetle that dreams of recognition and the limelight. Runner up is Krystal Snead for her story ‘Something Different’ supporting change and individuality.








In Autumn 2022, Books That Help founder Clare Helen Welsh launched a mentorship in partnership with children’s publisher, Little Tiger.

The mentorship offers an un-agented writer or writer-illustrator a series of virtual sessions with Welsh, beginning this year, to support the development of their picture book. The picture book should fit with the ethos of Books That Help, which aims to create emotionally honest spaces for children and families.

Editorial Director at Little Tiger, Ellie Farmer ran a live webinar in which she answered questions and shared examples of what she felt were great examples of picture books that help. Applications opened on 19th October and over 100 entries were received from writers all over the world.

On behalf of Little Tiger, Senior Editor Perry Emerson joined Clare Helen Welsh to whittle down the texts to one winner, one runner up and two highly commended.

The winner is ‘Dung Beetle Doug’ by Lucy Falkner.

Lucy is a teacher currently taking a career break to be at home with her young children. Her story ‘Dung Beetle Doug’ has environmental and educational themes. It stars an overlooked dung beetle and drives home an important message – we all have equal value in society.

Lucy’s text is written in exceptional rhyme, and balances character and story with action, humour and a heart-warming message to empower young readers.

This is what Lucy had to say about winning the mentorship:

“Having completed a writing course with Clare I knew that the chance to win this mentorship was not to be missed! I wrote Dung Beetle Doug during many sleepless nights with my youngest after hearing about a dung beetle safari at a farming festival. I am thrilled that my story has been selected and I look forward to benefiting from Clare’s guidance.”

In close second was ‘Something Different’ by Krystal Snead.

Krystal Snead is a Yorkshire-based writer and part time social worker. Her story ‘Something Different’ aims to support children with change and celebrates individuality. There is incidental representation of Hirsutism in the one of the characters.

Snead said: “When I first heard I’d been chosen as runner up for the ‘Books That Help’ mentorship I was stunned. I still am. With so many emotions swirling around it’s hard to express exactly how I feel. Thrilled – yes! Surprised – absolutely! But most of all, I am incredibly grateful. I had been reluctant to send my story out into the world, not sure if it was too niche, or too personal to resonate with others. But I guess that is what attracted me to ‘Books That Help’ in the first place, a safe space where important and sometimes difficult subjects can be explored. A huge thank you to the judges for your encouragement and for giving me the motivation to carry on sharing my story.

Although Krystal narrowly missed out, Books That Help are delighted to be able to offer her a 1:1 with agent, Alice Williams (Alice Williams Literary), who has kindly donated her time to support Krystal on her journey to publication.

On shortlisting the texts Perry Emerson said,

“Helping Clare to choose a winner was both a joy and a challenge. A joy for the variety and quality of texts that were submitted; a challenge for having to pick only one! In Lucy, we have found an author with a real natural talent for picture book writing, and I’m excited to see how she and Clare work together to develop her stories over the course of the mentorship. My huge congratulations to Lucy, and to all the shortlisted authors.”


Welsh said, “It was the highlight of my Autumn to read entries from so many wonderful writers who write to make the world a better place. The stories were read, re-read and carefully considered. It was incredibly difficult to decide between them. I urge everyone who entered to keep writing and to keep sending their words out into the world. It was a privilege and a pleasure to read every single one.”

The two highly commended texts were Daddy Has Feathers by Victoria Gatehouse, which explores the range of emotions a child can experience when a parent cross-dresses and When A Goldfish Dies by Andi Chitty, which approaches the finality of the death a pet with peace and hope.

The Books That Help team would like to thank everyone who applied. We hope to run the mentorship again in the future.