I have over 25 years’ experience commissioning and editing pre-school novelty books, picture books, non-fiction, early readers, young fiction, and at Penguin Random House Children’s Books, ABC and Dorling Kindersley in London. I am currently Editorial Director for Five Quills, and have managed a number of freelance picture book and young fiction projects for publishers such as Penguin Random House, Tate and Thames & Hudson. I have also helped several authors and illustrators create and launch their self-published picture books.
I have had the privilege to work with esteemed authors and illustrators including Kes Gray, Garry Parsons, Nick Sharratt, Jane Clarke, James Brown, Loretta Schauer, James Brown, Lizzie Finlay, Lindsey Gardiner, Kate Petty, Ben Blathwayt, Adrian Reynolds, Georgie Birkett, Sean Taylor, Jane Massey, Sara Fanelli, John Prater, Mary Murphy and many others.
I will be a mentor for the 2023 Jericho Prize for unpublished and self-published Black-British children's writers. In 2022, I mentored an underrepresented author 1-1 for six months as part of the inaugural All Stories mentorship programme, and am committed to contributing to nurturing these voices.
Many of the books I have edited have won awards, including the Red House Children’s Book Award, Booktrust Best Book for Babies, Dundee Children’s Book Award, Junior Aventis Prize for Science Books, and Royal Mail Book Awards.
I run several online picture book webinar courses.
My favourite job is crafting books with writers and illustrators and shaping stories. I have a talent for visualizing books and encouraging authors and illustrators to find the heart of their stories. I love collaborating with people who are passionate about their work and understand that creating a great book is a journey, an organic process that evolves over time.
I am a published picture book author.
l always have other writing projects underway, including more non-fiction picture books, picture books and a young fiction series so I understand the creative journey.
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Winner of the Irma Black Award for Excellence in Children's Books NSTA Best STEM Book 2020, Junior Library Guild Gold
Standard Selection, winner of several book state awards voted for by children
I know what’s it like to receive mystifying rejection letters, to wait endlessly for a reply from publishers, to struggle through a revision and to experience the elation of getting a book deal.
Find out how I can help you shape YOUR stories!
I serve on the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Advisory Council and am the longstanding Regional Advisor (Co-Chair) of the British Isles Region, the largest professional children's writing organization in the world and provider of a variety of excellent professional development and networking opportunities.
In 2018, I was awarded and MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in recognition for my services to childrens' writers and illustrators. I was awarded Stephen Mooser SCBWI Member of the Year in 2019.
I was born in Johannesburg and grew up in Rio de Janeiro, where I attended the American school. I have lived in London since 1993, where I moved after completing my B.A. in Developmental Psychology from Smith College, MA. In 2013, I qualified as a Montessori pre-school teacher.
Now, I live just outside London with my family. I love reading, eating chocolate, spending time with kids and travelling to exciting new places. My favourite colour is blue and, ever since I was little, my favourite animals were elephants.