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The Megaphone Team:
Leila Rasheed (she/her) 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 freelance editor, and founder of her own editorial business, Scribbling Suit.
Stephanie studied English Literature at UCL, before embarking on a career in children’s brand licensing, developing brand identities and copywriting. She joined Usborne Publishing as an Editorial Assistant and worked her way up to Commissioning Editor, enjoying over fifteen happy years there, and even working on Leila Rasheed’s debut. At Usborne, Stephanie commissioned and edited an eclectic range of books for 7+ to YA by bestselling, award-winning authors including Pseudonymous Bosch, Vanessa Curtis, Sarah Hagger-Holt, William Hussey, Ann M Martin, Serena Patel, Michelle Quach, Meredith Russo, Darren Simpson and L A Weatherly. She has also been immensely lucky to work on titles by authors including Sophie Anderson, Claire Barker, Holly Bourne, Peter Bunzl, Phil Hickes, Geraldine McCaughrean, Jenny Pearson, K M Peyton, Hayley Scott and Tim Tilley.
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 @scribblingsuit