The following editors will be helping select the final choice of mentees from a shortlist of applicants. They have a wealth of experience in children’s and YA publishing.
Commissioning Editor, Usborne
Stephanie helps run Megaphone – as it happens 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 as @beret_girl.
Senior Editor, Chicken House
I’m Senior Editor at Chicken House, a boutique children’s publisher based in the South West of England. I started my editorial career as an assistant at Pan Macmillan in 2013 before joining Chicken House in 2015 as Junior Editor. I’m also the author of two YA fantasy novels published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books. At Chicken House, I acquire and edit novels for children aged 7 to YA and have been lucky enough to work with a number of prize-winning and bestselling authors such as Costa-winning Jasbinder Bilan (Asha and the Spirit Bird).
Diversity is something we often talk about but there’s still a long way to go before the publishing world reflects the society we live in. I’m really excited to be involved with a project actively trying to redress this balance – and to discover some talented new writers in the process.
Jasmine Richards has worked as a children’s publisher and storyliner for over 15 years with roles at Penguin, Working Partners and Oxford University Press. She has published over a dozen books for children and teenagers and has visited schools across the UK to run creative writing workshops. Her most recent novel Keeper of Myths was published by HarperCollins. Jasmine is the founder of Storymix – a children’s fiction production company that creates inclusive stories and offers writing opportunities to authors of colour.
Twitter: @storymix1 or @jrichardsauthor
“I think children’s publishing needs to feature books that reflect all parts of our society. We need stories that celebrate all young people and gives the richest possible tapestry of characters, experiences and places. We need your stories! We need your talent. “– Jasmine Richards