AN award-winning blog, Slummy Single Mummy, began in the heart of Somerset.

Jo Middleton has lived in Taunton for the past six years and since then, she has become a published author.

Jo recently launched her new book, Playgroups and Prosecco, at Waterstones in Taunton.

It all started when Jo started to write about her life as a single parent.

She said: “When I started my blog, my children were 7 and 14 and I was a single parent. They were at ages when it was difficult for me to go out and do other things. So, talking about my own life was a way to have some social interaction.

“When I set the blog up, I was working as well and doing bits of journalism, copywriting and so on. It was just somewhere to showcase my writing, rather than being something on its own.”

Somerset County Gazette:

When Jo moved to Taunton, she made the decision to become involved with the local community. She co-hosts a networking group and has received a great amount of support from the people of Taunton.

The blog received its first award for Best New Blog in 2010. In 2015, Jo won Best UK Parenting blog at The Vuelio Blog Awards, as well as Best UK blog overall.

In 2016, Jo took part as a judge and then in 2018, she won the Best UK Parenting Blog award for the second time.

Now, Jo continues to write about her life, but does sometimes struggle for inspiration.

She said: “After ten years, it is hard to think of new things to say. A lot of the popular things I write are about me complaining about things – but I am quite a positive person! Quite often I will have to think about something that really gets on my nerves.”

It was never Jo’s ambition to write books – only blog posts, but she was approached by a publisher who suggested she wrote fiction. So, a few months later, Jo had finished Playgroups and Prosecco.

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She said: “I am used to writing 800-word blog posts so the idea of writing a book was quite daunting to be honest.

“A publisher asked if I had ever considered writing fiction and so I decided to give it a go. Obviously I have only written about real life before and I was worried that I would find it difficult to make stuff up.”

Now, Jo is looking forward to visiting literary festivals all over Somerset, including Ilminster, Frome and Bath.

To find out more, visit or take advantage of the 25% discount offer on Jo’s book and read it for yourself.