Mentorship editors

During your All Stories mentorship, you’ll benefit from in-depth support from expert children’s book editors. This includes:

1-2-1 mentoring with an experienced freelance editor, meeting online regularly to discuss your work
Expert webinars delivered by in-house editors, which will tutor you on the craft of writing picture books and young fiction, along with helping you to understand, navigate and thrive within the industry, especially as a creator from an underrepresented group
Monthly book clubs run by our editors – a chance to discuss and dissect published books, and get to know each other!

If you’re feeling nervous about meeting and working with such people, please let us reassure you that we select our editors carefully, ensuring they are all very friendly and welcoming, as well as being experts in their field.

Meet your webinar hosts

Photo of Jasmine Richards

Jasmine Richards is the author of over 15 books for children including Keeper of Myths published by Harper Collins US and several books in the Beast Quest series under a pen name. She is a former publisher who has worked at Puffin and OUP Children’s Books and she has edited hundreds of books. Jasmine is also the founder of Storymix: a children’s book incubator that creates stories with inclusive casts of characters. All children, regardless of background, get to be the heroes in these stories. Storymix is actively seeking writers of colour to work collaboratively with. It doesn’t matter if you are published, unpublished or self-published they’d love to hear from you!

Twitter: @JRichardsAuthor

Photo of Libby Hamilton

Ken Wilson-Max is an award-winning author, illustrator, and children’s books publisher. He was born in Zimbabwe, lives in London and has over 70 books published in many languages worldwide. His distinctive style always manages to capture special moments between children and grown-ups, while his books are, and have always been, naturally inclusive. 

In 2020 his book, Astro Girl won the STEAM award for early years picture books in the UK. Of his other books, Where’s Lenny? was listed in 50 Best Culturally Diverse Children’s Books by The Guardian in the UK. Several of his books are included in the core books list of The Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) and Book Trust in the UK for early years education. He has been nominated for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award on three occasions.

Ken also advocates for a more inclusive and authentically representative publishing industry, and mentors artists and writers from around the world.

Simone Taylor is a commissioning editor at Ladybird, an imprint of Penguin Random House, where she works on preschool, picture books and non-fiction for young readers. She began her editorial career at Scholastic where she began in fiction but transitioned to picture books, editing and publishing authors such as Rachael Davis, Gareth Peter and Lucy Rowland. Simone loves to work closely with authors to help bring their stories to life, and she’s particularly keen to nurture underrepresented creative talent.

Eleanor Farmer is Editorial Director of the preschool and picture book list at Puffin. She loves stories that make her laugh, packed with personality and charm, and that engage young minds. She is always searching for fresh voices or interesting approaches to evergreen themes. During her career in children’s publishing she has edited novelty books, non-fiction titles and licensed properties.

Joe Marriot is publisher for picture books at Puffin, an imprint of Penguin Random House. He works with a team of designers and editors making picture books for babies and 2–6 year-olds, both launching new stories and curating established brands. Some of the authors and illustrators on his list include Tom Fletcher, Nathan Bryon, Dapo Adeola, Mini Grey, Rachel Morrisroe and Steven Lenton. He’s always on the lookout for original texts and ideas (and illustrations) that are funny, clever, surprising and heart-warming.

Anne Marie Ryan has worked in children’s publishing for nearly three decades and is currently Editorial Director at Hachette Children’s Group. Her recent acquisitions include books by the journalist Ella Dove, New York Times bestseller Sarwat Chadda and debut author Isabella Harcourt. She is an IP specialist, and loves collaborating with authors on commercial series fiction. Prior to that, Anne Marie worked for several years at a fiction packager, devising children’s fiction series. She has written series fiction under a variety of pseudonyms, including Rosie Banks and Bella Swift, and writes adult fiction under her own name. When she’s not editing or writing, Anne Marie enjoys performing as part of a narrative improv comedy team. 

Photo of Libby Hamilton

Libby Hamilton was born in Nottingham back when there were no mobile phones or internet, so she moved to London because that was where she imagined everything happened. (She was wrong.) Libby is Publisher at Rocket Bird Books. She has worked in publishing for over 20 years, and has been fortunate enough to edit some incredible authors and illustrators including Jonny Duddle, Levi Pinfold, Jeanne Willis, Tony Ross, David McKee, Michael Morpurgo, Michael Foreman and Joseph Coelho. Books that Libby has edited have won the Kate Greenaway Medal (twice), the Lollies book award and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, among others.

Twitter: @libbyhamham

Meet your mentors

Photo of Catherine Coe

Catherine Coe is a children’s book editor, author and the founder of All Stories, created from her determination to tackle the lack of diversity in children’s books. She has 20 years’ experience as an editor, and was Senior Commissioning Editor at Hachette Children’s Books before going freelance in 2011. Catherine enjoys working with a wide variety of clients – publishers, literary agents and writers – alongside teaching at Anglia Ruskin University. She loves nothing more than helping writers develop their talent and also knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the editorial coin, as the author of over 40 children’s books.

Website:
www.catherine-coe.com
Twitter: @catherinecoe
Instagram: @thisiscatherinecoe

Natascha Biebow is a picture book expert and the founder of Blue Elephant Storyshaping, an editing, coaching and mentoring service for authors and illustrators, both published and pre-published. Natascha has 30 years’ experience commissioning and editing award-winning picture books, pre-school and novelty books, non-fiction, early readers and young fiction for major publishers and independently published authors. She is an experienced tutor, who has run a number of picture book webinar courses for Write for Kids, and the Editorial Director of Five Quills. In 2018, she was awarded and MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in recognition for her services to children’s writers and illustrators, and the Stephen Mooser SCBWI Member of the Year in 2019. She is the longstanding Regional Advisor (Co-Chair) of SCBWI British Isles and a member of the SCBWI Advisory Council. Natascha’s favourite job is collaborating with authors and illustrators at all levels to shape and find the heart of their stories. She is the author of the award-winning, bestselling The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons.

Ruth Redford has over twenty years’ experience in the children’s books publishing industry. She started her career at Ladybird Books at Penguin and then moved over to Random House Children’s Books. She specialises in picture books and enjoys working with illustrators as well as authors. As a freelance editor Ruth works with a variety of children’s publishers, on a wide-ranging variety of formats and different types of books. A published picture book author herself, Ruth knows how hard it can be to pin down that elusive idea to become a fully-fledged and well-rounded text.

Photo copyright: Charlotte Knee

Barry Timms is a children’s picture book editor with over 20 years’ experience. His previous roles include senior and managerial positions at Macmillan, Walker Books and Little Tiger, making commercially successful books for markets around the world.

Barry is also a multi-award-winning author of over fifteen picture books. This is NOT a Unicorn!, published by Nosy Crow, won the Stockport Children’s Book Award 2022 and Love Grows Everywhere, published by Frances Lincoln, won the Bock Book Award for Children’s Literature 2023. Barry has been shortlisted for the Scholastic Laugh Out Loud Award and both the Leeds and Nottingham Children’s Book Awards.

Instagram: @barrytimmsauthor

Jo Collins is a freelance children’s picture book editor. As well as working on book projects with publishers, Jo mentors and teaches new writers at the Golden Egg Academy. She created the academy’s 4-week course, How to Be a Picture Book Writer, and their online 12-month course, Writing Picture Books for Young Children. Previously, Jo worked as senior editor at Little Tiger Press, commissioning and developing picture books with a host of talented and acclaimed authors and illustrators. Jo is a published author of children’s short stories, non-fiction, novelty picture books, and gift books for adults.


Twitter: @jocollinseditor

Photo of Kathy Webb

Kathy Webb is an editor with over 30 years’ experience in children’s publishing. In 2019 Kathy set up her own freelance editorial and consultancy business and has many wonderful clients including Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster, UCLan Publishing, Chicken House and Penguin Random House. She has taught writing and editing for Golden Egg Academy and the University of Central Lancashire and loves nothing more than working with authors on developing ideas and helping them to shape their manuscripts. She has worked with many new, established and award-winning writers and has been shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award.

Website: kathywebbeditorial.com

Twitter: @kathyjwebb
Instagram: kathywebbeditorial