Our judging team 2023

Meet our magnificent judges! Between them they represent a really wide range of publishing experience and insight.

Zoe Griffiths

Zoe is Editorial Director at Nosy Crow Publishing. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Leeds, where she discovered she was best suited to helping others develop and hone their ideas. Realising Editorial was for her, she began her career at Hodder Children’s Books in 2004. After long stints at both Scholastic and Bloomsbury, editing every kind of fiction book (and poetry!), Zöe was thrilled to join Nosy Crow’s dynamic, outstanding team in 2022. She loves working collaboratively in every part of making a book come to life, nurturing new talent, and finding projects with instant ‘does-what-it-says-on-the-tin’ appeal.

Three things she loves in a story are:

  • An irresistible voice, whether reliable or not
  • An instant hook
  • Page-turning, captivating action

Ashley Thorpe

Ashley is Senior Editor at Storymix: the inclusive children’s fiction studio. His role includes developing original story ideas and finding burgeoning writing talent to bring those ideas to life, before pitching to publishers. Ashley is also a fiction writer himself with his debut middle grade novel expected in early 2024, so he has a 360 degree view of the world of writing for children.

Three things he loves in a story are:

  • Morally grey heroes and villains
  • Rich world-building
  • Satisfying character arcs

Stephanie King

Stephanie King is a freelance editor, and founder of her own editorial business, Scribbling Suit.  She joined Usborne Publishing as an Editorial Assistant and worked her way up to Commissioning Editor, enjoying over fifteen happy years there. 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.

Three things she loves in a story are:

  • an authentic, distinctive, child-centred voice
  • clear narrative drive and a confident story structure
  • a sense of fun, magic, drama or adventure – whether in this world or another

Georgia Murray

Georgia Murray has worked in children’s publishing for twenty years, beginning her career at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, where she worked closely on the fifth and sixth Harry Potter titles, before moving to Hachette and finally on to Hot Key Books and Piccadilly Press. She commissions and edits novels from chapter books up to young adult titles, working with authors including Maisie Chan, Andy Shepherd, Deirdre Sullivan and Alex Milway. She is the editor of Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths, former Megaphone mentee Maisie Chan’s debut, for which she and Chan were jointly honoured with the Branford Boase, one of children’s literature’s most prestigious awards which uniquely recognises the contribution of an editor to a book’s success.
Three things she loves in a story are:

  • Warm and tender relationships
  • Surprising humour
  • Immediate and engaging voice

Ama Badu

Ama Badu is the Assistant Editor/FAB Website Editor at Faber Children’s. In her time there, Ama has championed bold, brave books and rebranded the FAB platform into a hub that showcases the work of exceptional creatives who are underrepresented within the publishing industry. Ama is also the voice of Shudu, the world’s first virtual model, and is currently working on building her platform through narrative and storytelling.

Three things she loves in a story are:

  • A great plot with momentum
  • Captivating voice and character development 
  • An element of well-crafted and intentional surprise
%d bloggers like this: