My father reading The Lord of the Rings to me and my brothers

Why Publishing?

My passion for books started at a young age, when my father read to my brother and I every night – doing all the voices of course! At the age of 12 I decided that I wanted to work in publishing and through sheer determination, ten years later I got my first job and I have never looked back!

I started that job in 2007 and since then I have had the privilege to work at some amazing companies and with some amazing authors, illustrators, gatekeepers and influencers. I’d love to add you the the list!

Authors and Illustrators:

During my time in house, I have worked with a range of authors and illustrators, with a range of experience and profile.

Amongst others, I have successfully worked on the UK series launches of ‘The Brilliant World of Tom Gates’ by Liz Pichon (2011), ‘Goth Girl’ by Chris Riddell (2013), and ‘The 13-Storey Treehouse’ by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (2015), which have all resulted in fantastic press and a continued profile long after the first book published.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a number of authors and illustrators with an already established profile, which has allowed me to seek out and explore new opportunities. These include Sarah McIntyre (You Can’t Eat a Princess!, 2010),  Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys, 2012), Philip Reeve (Goblins, 2012), Sita Brahmachari (Kite Spirit, 2013), Catherine Rayner (Smelly Louie, 2015) Emily Gravett (Tidy, 2016).  I worked on the relaunch of Frank Cottrell-Boyce in 2015 which resulted in my campaign for The Astounding Broccoli Boy being shortlisted for a PPC Award.

I work closely and collaboratively with debut authors and illustrators, ensuring they are kept fully involved in the pre and post-publication process throughout, successfully identifying and targeting the right audience to get the books recognition they deserve. Debut authors I have worked with include the multi-award-winning Kim Slater (SMART, 2014), Mo O’Hara (My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish, 2013) and Amy Wilson (A Girl Called Owl, 2017).

I have also extensive experience working with licensed brands and celebrity authors.

Companies I have worked for:

Scholastic Children’s Books (pt. 1) (January 2008 – June 2009)

I started my publishing career at Scholastic Children’s Books as Elaine McQuade’s PA. Elaine was an incredible first boss, giving me the opportunity to work closely with all departments which gave me a fantastic overview of publishing and allowed me to meet some key industry people and make some life-long friends.

Random House Children’s Books (June 2009 – March 2010)

I joined Random House Children’s Books after deciding that publicity was the path for me!  I was incredibly lucky to work within a creative and engaged team, and I learned a huge amount. The list was very prestigious and I got to meet and work with some of my heroes, including Jacqueline Wilson, Mark Haddon, Shirley Hughes, Anthony Browne and Terry Pratchett.

Scholastic Children’s Books (Pt. 2) (March 2010 – February 2013)

I was lured back to Scholastic in the role of Publicity Executive by Alyx Price, who would become my boss for nearly 8 years! It was a very exciting time to be at Scholastic, with the Hunger Games film making huge waves, Horrible Histories growing and expanding and the acquisition of some incredible authors, including the amazing Liz Pichon.

Macmillan Children’s Books (February 2013 – December 2017)

In February 2013 I started at Macmillan Children’s Books as Publicity Manager, with a small baptism of fire as I met several authors I would be working with in my first week! One of those authors was the wonderful Chris Riddell, who would have a huge part to play in my working life for the next five years.

Children’s Laureate 2015 – 2017

When Chris became UK Children’s Laureate in 2015, I was very involved in everything that he did – and he did A LOT! Not only was I running campaigns for his (extensive!) publishing schedule but I was also running his diary, making sure that he was in the right place at the right time, that he was fully briefed for press and that his other publicists were fully in the loop over what he was doing.  It was an incredible opportunity and one that I am so grateful for.  Chris is an amazing person to work with and I’m utterly thrilled that in my freelance capacity I am continuing to work with him.

During this period I was also lucky enough to develop close working relationships with lots of other authors and illustrators, as well as with some brilliant organisations including EmpathyLab, BookTrust, the National Literacy Trust and the School Libraries Association.

My mum was a school librarian, and one of my first jobs was working in a library.  I have seen first hand what an incredible job they do to help children develop.  Children’s literacy is a huge part of what publishing is about and I’m so happy to have worked with organisations that focus so much on improving it.

Huge thanks to the wonderful Sally Felton for designing my lovely logo. Like what you see? Contact her on sallyfeltondesign@gmail.com

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