The All Stories editors
Amina Youssef, in-house editor
Amina Youssef is a Commissioning Editor at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books. She works on everything from young illustrated fiction to YA and occasionally dabbles in non-fiction. She loves to develop close and collaborative relationships with her authors and the thing that keeps her going is the knowledge that the books she works on may just change a child’s life.
Ben Horslen, in-house editor
Ben is Fiction Publisher at Penguin Random House Children’s, where he publishes a range of authors, including John Green, Clare Balding, Sam Copeland, Ransom Riggs and Jeremy Strong. Before that, he worked for many years as a packager of commercial series fiction. Ben loves nothing more than bringing debut authors to market and rolling up his sleeves to get elbows-deep into the editorial process. In his other life, Ben co-runs a professional theatre company, so one way or another, he’s always helping people to tell a story.
Eishar Brar, in-house editor
Eishar Brar is Editorial Director at Knights Of, an inclusive publisher focused on publishing underrepresented voices. In her role she creates space for non-trauma-led narratives and aims to widen the scope of Own Voices publishing through her commissioning. Most recently, she launched Elle McNicoll, author of the 2020 Blackwell’s Book of the Year A Kind of Spark.
Jasmine Richards, in-house editor
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 It doesn’t matter if you are published, unpublished or self-published they’d love to hear from you!
Libby Hamilton, in-house editor
Libby 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 Editorial Director of Picture Books at Andersen Press, owned by Klaus Flugge. 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.
Linas Alsenas, in-house editor
Linas Alsenas is Executive Editor at Scholastic UK where he works across both fiction and picture books with authors such as Simon James Green, Vashti Hardy, Sue Wallman and Michael Rosen. Previously he has worked at Walker Books and Abrams Books for Young Readers in New York, where he began his career in book publishing back in 2002. Co-founder of Pride in Publishing, Linas is also the author of a young adult novel, a history book for teens, and several picture books that he also illustrated.
Website: www.linasalsenas.com Twitter: @alsenas
Rebecca Hill, in-house editor
Rebecca Hill is Fiction Editorial Director at Usborne Publishing. She was named Editor of the Year at the British Book Awards 2019, the first children’s editor ever to win this coveted prize. Rebecca has acquired and published bestselling authors Holly Bourne, Peter Bunzl, Sophie Anderson and Jenny Pearson alongside award-winning titles such as After the Fire by Will Hill, winner of the YA Book Prize, and Kick by Mitch Johnson, winner of the Branford Boase Award. She’s passionate about nurturing children’s writers, especially voices that have historically been underrepresented, and publishing books that allow all readers to see themselves.
Catherine Coe, mentor and founder of All Stories
Catherine 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 – and loves nothing more than helping writers develop their talent and become published authors. She also knows what it’s like to be on the other side, as the author of over 40 children’s books.
Website: www.catherine-coe.com Twitter: @catherinecoe
Emma Roberts, mentor
Emma has worked in publishing for many years, starting off as a magazine journalist before finding her way into kids’ books. She’s worked in all age groups and genres, including middle-grade fantasy, funny illustrated books and contemporary YA, with a family of authors that includes Patrice Lawrence, Nikesh Shukla, Christopher Paolini, Andy Riley and Nadiya Hussain. Emma believes it is vital that every child and young person can see themselves represented in books, but also that they can see themselves in the people writing the books too; representation matters. Emma’s proud to be a part of All Stories and looks forward to helping you unlock your potential!
Genevieve Herr, mentor
Genevieve is an editor working across adult and children’s books, fiction as well as non-fiction. She has worked for Walker Books, Scholastic, Macmillan, Bloomsbury and Hachette amongst others, and her authors have been nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the Waterstones Prize, the Branford Boase Award and the YA Book Prize. Her first novel, A Gift in December, written under the name Jenny Gladwell, was published in 2019.
Helen Mortimer, mentor
Helen Mortimer has worked in children’s publishing for over 25 years, for companies including HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster and Oxford University Press. Helen went freelance in 2019 and manages projects for a variety of children’s publishers. This allows her to continue working closely with authors and illustrators which is what she loves to do the most! Since going freelance Helen has also focused on writing her own picture books as well as taking on writing-to-brief commissions.
Jenny Glencross, mentor
Jenny is a children’s books editor with over 15 years’ experience in the industry. She was previously Commissioning Editor at Orion Children’s Books, editing and commissioning bestselling fiction from 5+ to YA, with authors such as Francesca Simon, Sally Gardner and Kate Pankhurst. She has been freelance since 2015, and works with a variety of publishers and agents, as well as directly with writers. Jenny is on the editorial committee for Undiscovered Voices, a SCBWI competition for unpublished, unagented authors which opens every two years. She loves helping writers get to the heart of their stories and unpicking plot niggles.
Website: www.jennyglencross.com Twitter: @JennyGlencross
Jon Appleton, mentor
Jon has been an editor of books for all age groups for 25 years, in England and Australia, working for Hodder, Orion, A&C Black and Scholastic. He has edited many award-winning and bestselling authors including Linda Newbery, Babette Cole, Grace Nichols, Caroline Lawrence and Cliff McNish, and has been shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. While at Hachette Australia, he wrote a number of successful picture book texts in-house for a range of established and debut illustrators. Now working freelance, he helps authors at all stages of their careers as well as assisting publishers with work on manuscripts at various stages of development.
Kathy Webb, mentor
Having worked at Oxford Children’s Books for over 25 years, in 2019 Kathy set up as a freelance editor and consultant. Throughout her career in children’s publishing the one thing Kathy enjoys above all else is working with authors on developing ideas, helping to shape their manuscripts and detailed editing. She has been lucky enough to work closely with many amazing writers including Ben Davis, Joanna Nadin, Matt Dickinson and Jo Cotterill. Kathy’s clients currently include Bloomsbury, Puffin, Chicken House and UCLan Publishing. She is also mentoring aspiring writers for the Golden Egg Academy.
Website: kathywebbeditorial.com Twitter: @kathyjwebb Instagram: kathywebbeditorial
Lucy Rogers, mentor
Lucy Rogers started her publishing career at a literacy agency before realising her heart lay firmly in editorial. She has since worked for Scholastic and Simon & Schuster, commissioning award-winning children’s fiction from bestselling authors such as Michelle Harrison and Laura Bates. Now a freelance editor, she works with a variety of clients – publishers, agents, literacy charities and writers – to discover and develop stories and promote the power and magic of reading.
Natascha Biebow, mentor
Natascha Biebow has over 25 years’ experience commissioning and editing picture books, novelties, young fiction and non-fiction at ABC, Dorling Kindersley, Random House Children’s Books and Five Quills. Founder of Blue Elephant Storyshaping, a coaching, editing and mentoring service aimed at empowering children’s book authors and illustrators to fine-tune their work pre-submission. She is passionate about story shaping, author of The Crayon Man: The True Story of Crayola Crayons (Irma Black Award winner and best STEM book 2019), and Co-Chair of SCBWI British Isles. In 2018, she received an MBE for services to children’s writers and illustrators, and the Stephen Mooser SCBWI Member of the SCBWI Year Award.
Niamh Mulvey, mentor
Niamh Mulvey is a writer and editor. She worked for ten years in UK publishing before leaving to set up a children’s books start-up. She also writes a newsletter on money in publishing and the arts. Her work has appeared in The Stinging Fly, Banshee, The Irish Times, IMAGE Magazine and The Pool.
Website: www.niamhmulvey.com Twitter: @neevkm
Nicki Marshall, mentor
Nicki Marshall is an editor with over 25 years’ commercial publishing experience, including 15 years specialising in children’s fiction. After working at the Chicken House for six years alongside Barry Cunningham and Imogen Cooper, and being a regular reader for the Times Chicken House competition, Nicki continues to work in a freelance capacity for children’s publishers including Pushkin Press, Guppy Books and Firefly Press. Having been an industry editor and mentor at the Golden Egg Academy since its inception, Nicki also works directly with authors and loves to help every writer discover the heart of their story.
Sara Grant, mentor
Sara Grant has inspired, written or edited nearly 100 books for children – from funny, magical stories for young readers to action-adventure for middle graders to dark, dystopian YA tales. She teaches master’s courses on writing for children/teens currently at Goldsmiths University and previously at the University of Winchester. She has given writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe. She co-founded Undiscovered Voices – which has launched the writing careers of authors who now have written more than 400 children’s books.
Website: www.sara-grant.com Twitter: @authorsaragrant
Sarah Stewart, mentor
Dr Sarah Stewart is Director at the Lighthouse Literary Consultancy, and has freelanced for Canongate, Curtis Brown, Faber & Faber and Thames & Hudson. Previously, she was Senior Editor at Floris Books and Fiction Editor at Scholastic Children’s Books. She acquired/edited The Nowhere Emporium (winner of the Blue Peter Best Story Award and the Scottish Children’s Book Award), Thorfinn The Nicest Viking (shortlisted for the Laugh Out Loud awards), and The Brilliant World of Tom Gates (winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the Red House Book Award, and the Waterstone’s Prize). She is the author of the Elspeth Hart trilogy, as Sarah Forbes.
Website: www.lighthouseliterary.co.uk Twitter: @sarahfstewart
Tilda Johnson, mentor
Tilda Johnson worked at David Fickling Books, Random House Children’s and Hot Key Books/Piccadilly Press before freelancing as a children’s fiction editor. She is Editorial Director of the Golden Egg Academy and works freelance for a number of publishers, as well as running Children’s Books North, the voluntary network she co-founded in 2020 to help draw focus on regional diversity in children’s publishing. Tilda loves working closely with writers and stories, and being lucky enough to have a front-row seat as these transform.