The Megaphone Team:
Leila Rasheed is a children’s author and creative writing tutor. She had the idea for Megaphone in 2014 after reading an article called Where are the people of color in children’s books? by Walter Dean Myers. She is the author of multiple children’s books, most recently EMPIRE’S END (Scholastic, 2020, shortlisted for the Tower Hamlets book award). Her experience includes designing and teaching a module in Writing for Children on the MA in Writing at the University of Warwick, working as a children’s bookseller and for the National Literacy Trust. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Over the past ten years she has worked with many emerging writers individually and in small groups to bring their writing to the best possible level. She has an MA in Children’s Literature from Roehampton (Surrey) and a distinction in an MA in Writing from the University of Warwick. She tweets @MegaphoneWrite and @LeilaR and her own website is www.leilarasheed.com. She lives in Birmingham.
Stephanie King is a Commissioning Editor at Usborne with a wealth of experience – in fact she worked on Leila’s first book nearly ten years ago. Stephanie’s authors include Serena Patel (7+, Anisha, Accidental Detective), Sarah Hagger-Holt (10+, Nothing Ever Happens Here), Darren Simpson (10+, Scavengers), William Hussey (14+, Hideous Beauty) and Michelle Quach (14+, Not Here To Be Liked). Throughout her fourteen years at Usborne, she has worked with multi-award-winning authors including Claire Barker, Andrew Beasley, Pseudonymous Bosch, Maggie Harcourt, Phil Hickes, Ann M Martin, Geraldine McCaughrean, Meredith Russo, Hayley Scott and L A Weatherly. Stephanie is an active mentor in the annual Usborne Academy, a scheme for eight people from groups currently under-represented in publishing to spend a paid week at Usborne and experience daily life in a range of different departments. Passionate about finding and nurturing talented children’s writers of colour, and committed to ensuring all children can see themselves reflected in the books they love, you can read more about her personal connection with Megaphone and its aims in this 2017 blog post for the Usborne YA blog. Stephanie lives in south-east London and tweets at @beret_girl.