Mentor for the inaugural All Stories Mentorship 2021-2022. I mentored a picture book author with 1-1 coaching for 6 months.
“When Natascha chose me as her mentee for the All Stories Mentorship Programme, I was thrilled. I’d heard she was a brilliant editor and I was
struggling with my picture books. From the moment we got started, Natascha worked me hard. She highlighted my strengths whilst pinpointing which areas of my writing
needed developing. Then, together, we looked at ways I could improve. No word was left unturned. Natascha is meticulous and pushes each text to be the best it can possibly be. I felt that
she was genuinely invested in the texts and even though the mentorship has now concluded, we are still very much in contact.
Natascha is eagle-eyed but in a friendly and approachable way. Her feedback is straight to the point but always constructive.
Analysing and changing my writing was challenging at times but I knew, without doubt, that she was committed to helping me improve. My manuscripts are definitely
stronger and I can apply what I have learned to future work.
Natascha has really championed my stories and having someone so experienced in your corner is invaluable. I would highly recommend her as an editor and, although I’m incredibly sad the mentorship has come to an end, I know I can carry on writing with more confidence.” – Tracy Curran
"Natascha is an editor among editors, a true writer's editor. Having worked with her in always-enjoyable and always-productive ways for several years, I was nonetheless astonished at her unbending commitment with one, in particular, of my clients. A young, smart, dedicated professional writer, Lee Carr McGovern benefitted from Natascha's insight and guidance through SCBWI before we ever submitted a picture-book manuscript to her formally. And once Natascha did take on MONSTER BABY (Random House; 2011), she was tenacious in a way I feared belonged to the golden age past of children's publishing. She pushed Lee to her best writing, she managed the manuscript's fate in-house with deft professionalism, and her vision and leadership won the day: a debut picture book by a writer with a serious future ahead of her. I hope we thanked Natascha enough – and I'm delighted that, through Blue Elephant, more emerging writers will find a way to their strongest voice." – Marie Campbell, Transatlantic Literary Agency
"My career in children's publishing started with Natascha. Natascha's expertise has been crucial in the many projects we have worked on together. Her vision and passion for children's books makes the journey from idea to publication creative and enjoyable.” – Garry Parsons
"The trouble with Natascha is...she listens. She listens and she helps and she cares. So when she leaves to start her own editorial venture, I am left shouting ‘COME BACK!!' Natascha has been the editorial driving force behind Daisy for many years. She’s passionately passionate and thoroughly thorough. Make the most of her!" – Kes Gray
"Natascha is inspiring, nurturing and approachable, I found our sessions so invaluable that I booked another four weeks of 1-1 coaching! Natascha's input, knowledge and insights on both my texts and illustrations have been invaluable. She was tireless in her pursuit to get the best results, with a wonderful tenacious attention to detail. The outcome of these coaching sessions is that one of my projects was accepted for publication by Child’s Play International, as part of a three-book deal. Whilst a further three texts I worked on in our coaching sessions are being considered, for a later date. My confidence at writing increased considerably as did my understanding of how to structure and pace my stories. I found the whole experience brilliant!" – Polly Noakes
“Working with Natascha is like going on a treasure hunt and ALWAYS finding gold. With good humour, generosity, empathy, and an unerring instinct for a good story, she sifted through the shifting sand dunes of my writing and pulled out gems. From her, I have learned to trust that the story will reveal itself, to extract the extraneous, to listen to the audience, and to show instead of tell. In Natascha, I have found not just an extraordinary editor, but a mentor and a friend who shares a deep delight in stories, recognizes the power of storytelling, and always laughs at the right moment!” – Elizabeth F. Hill
"I signed up for 8 weeks of 1-1 coaching with Natascha and was looking to explore and develop my writing voice as a published illustrator. Natascha helped me to develop and finesse a book idea that was accepted by my publisher (Two Hoots) and was recently featured in the Guardian’s best new children’s books round up! As a busy person, the opportunity to take some focussed time out of my schedule to think about new work is invaluable. It's very easy to put the generation of new ideas to the bottom of the 'to-do' pile, but having booked in a series of sessions with someone who is waiting for your work and wants you to progress is a really good motivation. It's a different way for me to approach making a picture book as I am used to using illustrations rather than text but I feel that now I have both options and more confidence in my ability to start a book this way. Natascha has a wealth of knowledge and will help to guide your story ideas while helping you to find your own unique writing voice" – Kate Read, author of One Fox and The Big Bad Bug
“Natascha is a meticulous picture book editor. She is someone, in a way not common, to be completely relied upon to keep in touch on all aspects of the development of a book and to do everything with great care and attention to detail. She also understands the commercial needs of the market and the interface of this with the creative process.” – Caroline Sheldon, Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency
"What I loved the most about Natascha's 1-1 coaching is that she gave me skills and tips to learn how to be independent and develop my story by asking myself the right questions." – Nadine Kadaan
"Having one-to-one coaching with Natascha has not only supported the significant improvement of my picture book manuscripts, but has led to a newfound confidence in my writing that simply wasn’t there before. Over the course of the four sessions, Natascha took time to understand the writer and the writing, and offered careful, considered and kind analysis and feedback. Those stories whose paths were clear and focused, became tighter and more vibrant; whilst those that needed to find their way, did so, and eventually - through Natascha’s insightful commentary - discovered their heart and soul. It is an understatement to say that this coaching was invaluable to my journey as a picture book writer, and should I be fortunate to achieve any degree of success in this industry, I will owe a substantial debt of gratitude to Natascha." – Sam Robertson, Head Teacher
“I have worked with Natascha for ten years now and she is by far the most supportive and nurturing editor I have had the pleasure of working with. As a writer and illustrator I have experienced working with her on these equally and found her intuitive and helpful in both respects. It is invaluable when your editor has a grasp for the visual aspect of the book as well as the written.
This close relationship has led to friendship over the years and I would recommend anyone, whether just starting out or even needing some general guidance, that they could rely on Natascha’s editorial talent and experience to nurture and help them find their voice. Natascha is both professional and compassionate, you couldn’t ask for a better mentor.” – Lindsey Gardiner
“As RA for SCBWI-BI, Natascha's inspirational and supportive of thousands of published and unpublished children's writers and illustrators, generously sharing her love and knowledge of the craft and process of creating stories for children.
"Natascha got me started on a new career when, as editor at Random House, she took my first book, Sherman Swaps Shells (published 2001). Since then I've had the pleasure of Natascha editing two of my early readers, a chapter book and 6 picture books, including the very successful Knight Time, a deceptively short and simple story with deep undertones. Knight Time was more of a concept than a story when Natascha first saw it, recognised its potential and began to help me shape it - at one point literally, with scissors and sticky tape.
"She has an unerring instinct for what makes a good book and is an astute and thoughtful editor with all the right connections. There can be no-one better placed or more qualified to help authors and illustrators raise their work to the next level. I have no hesitation recommending her new and exciting venture Blue Elephant Storyshaping.” – Jane Clarke
“It was a great pleasure working with Natascha when we were creating the Daisy books with the writer Kes Gray. She gave me sterling editorial advice, made brilliant suggestions and found excellent solutions for artwork issues, and she had some invaluable insights that contributed enormously to making the series the success it was.” – Nick Sharratt
"Natascha is a hugely intelligent, perceptive, patient (!) and inspiring editor. She is genuinely interested in – and extremely good at – encouraging unpublished authors and illustrators to develop their projects in insightful and exciting ways. She’s also fantastically approachable." – Jenny Savill, Andrew Nurnberg Associates Ltd
“Natascha believed in me when I was still practically unknown in the World of Children's Books. To me creating the illustrations for a book is very much a team effort. Natascha has always been on hand to give great advice and support on each of the books that we have created together.” – Jane Massey
"Natascha has been my editor over the course of my four picture books being published. She has provided me with excellent professional guidance on all aspects of picture book writing and helped me shape my stories for publication. I have much appreciated her support and enthusiasm and it has been a real pleasure working with her." – Charlotte Hudson
“Working with Natascha is amazing. She shares her professional opinions kindly and honestly and she is very knowledgeable. She intuitively asks the right questions and you know that like you – she is striving to create the very best books for children.” – Lee Carr
“When I have worked with Natascha in the past, the projects have run smoothly and the result has been very successful. One of the books I have worked on with her has won a prestigious award, and another shortlisted. I would recommend her to anybody needing guidance.” – Georgie Birkett
“Natascha and I have worked together for many years. I love her enthusiasm and dedication to childrens’ books. She has helped illustrators to develop their authorial voice, which can involve a lot of encouraging and patience in the process. Illustrators have appreciated her sympathetic and constructive advice as they try to write their own stories.
"Natascha really cares about her illustrators: I have one such illustrator who has moved into writing her own stories. One of the best
things was that Lizzie was able to get quick responses to her ideas, that there was a timetable to work to and a relationship that developed into one of mutual trust.” – Heather Richards,
Tallbean Illustrator Agency
"Natascha is a brilliant creative editor, as I know from years of working with her when I was a publishing director at Dorling Kindersley. In more recent years, when she was an editor at Random House and I was an agent, I appreciated her friendly and helpful approach to the business. Clearly her enthusiasm for children’s books and her organisational abilities, as well as her creativity, have also helped SCBWI and its many authors." – Linda Davis, Greene & Heaton Literary Agency
“It was my pleasure to work with Natascha on a number of occasions in her capacity as commissioning Editor at Random House Children's. From an agent's point of view Natascha ability to support the emerging talent presented via our agency was so refreshing and once commissioned, I know that her efficiency, diligence, patience and kindness were always appreciated by each artist working with her.” – Mark Mills, Plum Pudding Illustration
"Natascha has always had an eye for good writing and my clients found working with her a pleasure. I have no doubt that that she will go on to inspire and help new writers find their own particular voices in the future." – Celia Catchpole, Celia Catchpole Literary Agency
"Your insightful comments and advice are so helpful. I keep finding myself saying, "Ah, of course." "Why didn't I see that?" and "So, that's what's wrong!" I'm really looking forward to redrafting and trying to improve each one." – Hazel
"Once upon a time, a young man who could only just write his own name started to write silly stories for children. These were mainly nonsense until a friendly wizard called Natascha said she would help . . . and help she did! Natascha was a guiding light in the creative minefield of children's storybooks; with her help and influence I went on to be very successful and wrote and illustrated many titles for Random House, and even wrote a series called "The adventures of Pinkie", something I never thought I was able to do. If you want to get published get a wizard!!" – Richard Morgan