trained as a primary school teacher at Froebel
College, Roehampton, I taught in Hounslow and Vietnam
before leaving the profession to pursue a career linked to my other great
passion – children’s books.
My educational experience led to a job with independent publisher
Child’s Play (International) Ltd. I progressed through the company from an
education and sales role to a position as Junior Editor. As
part of a small team, I managed a number of projects and assisted on many
others. I was highly valued for my keen eye for detail and my ability to
provide a new insight on projects. I remained involved with education
liaison and marketing, and managed the complete redevelopment of the website.
Child’s Play is well known for its innovative novelty books and award-winning
baby books so I have an excellent grounding in this area, as well as with
traditional picture books.
As a key part of my role, I was instrumental in
ensuring that the books that Child’s Play developed truly reflected our diverse
society, helping them to become one of the leading publishers in this field. In
2009 I was involved in a Booktrust seminar at the London Book Fair where I
spoke about how publishers can successfully include images of disabled children
in their books. I wrote an article on the subject for TAC journal and have also written guidelines for illustrators on all aspects of equality and diversity -
gender, heritage and race, culture, disability, sexual orientation and age.
Since going freelance I have worked on a range of projects, including a number of books written for teenagers. I also still work with Child's Play as a freelance editor and inclusion consultant. On top of editorial work, I have co-founded Inclusive Minds, a collective to encourage and promote diverse, inclusive, accessible and equal books for children.
I have spoken at a number of events and seminars about inclusion in children's books and will be speaking on the subject at the IBBY congress in Mexico, as well as at the Bookseller Children's Conference in September 2014. I have developed training for teachers on the importance of inclusive books in schools and has spoken to MA Publishing students on the importance of diversity and equality in books and how to achieve this. I have recently been appointed as an Associate Tutor for the Distance Learning Editorial Management module for MA Publishing Studies taught through Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies. I also review books for specialist bookseller Letterbox Library and for the School Librarian.
well as my passion for diversity and equality issues, I have a real interest in child development and
keep up to date with research in this area. When I was launching my freelance career I worked part-time as a 1:1 teaching assistant for a child with additional needs; this provided me with further valuable first-hand experience.
Training and Conferences Attended
Introduction to Quark and Photoshop – June 2004
Quark in Context: Leaflets and Newsletters – October 2006
Successful Editorial Freelancing – September 2011
Talk to Your Baby: The First Years Last Forever – September 2009
Talk to Your Baby: Smile, Talk and Listen – September 2010
Early Childhood Forum: Exploring Equality and Diversity in the the Early Years – March 2010
IBBY/NCRCL: Conflicts and Controversies in Children's Literature – November 2010
Equip: Developing the Publishing Workforce – May 2013 (Speaker)
SUII: New Horizons for the cultural industries: Diversity – May 2013 (Speaker)
IBBY/NCRCL: Food in Children's Literature – November 2013
Born Happy: Happiness, Childhood and Children's Literature – November 2013
Academy of Marketing: 13th International Colloquium on Arts, Heritage, Nonprofit and Social Marketing – September 2014 (Keynote Speaker)
IBBY International Congress: Reading as an inclusive experience – September 2014 (Speaker)
Bookseller Children's Conference: What is working and what isn't – September 2014 (Speaker)